Think of a brand, any brand. What springs to mind? Is it Apple? Maybe Google or Amazon? Perhaps even Starbucks or Disney? It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from, brands pay a big role in all our lives. Good brands have the power to sway your decision-making, get talked about in our daily lives and even create communities of like-minded people. It isn’t just companies that need a brand, they apply to individuals too such as celebrities, athletes and everyday people.
What do we mean by ‘brand’? A brand is something that makes you recognisable from all other sellers. This could take the form of a design, a name, phrase or any specific feature that is used to identify a specific service or product.
If you think that building a brand name is worthless or a waste of money, then you need to think again. The power of a good brand is limitless and here are 10 reasons why we believe branding is important for any business out there.
1. Branding sets you apart from the competition
With millions of businesses worldwide, there are bound to be copycat or similar companies out there to you. They might offer similar products or services to you, or you might be starting out in an already competitive market. Fighting competition on a global or even national scale is hard, but with a strong brand by your side, you can easily set yourself apart. A brand gives you that extra edge and originality that other companies or individuals might never have.
Imagine you’re buying a pair of trainers. You see a pair of nice £100 Nike trainers and then a pair of very similar £20 unbranded trainers. Some money-conscious consumers might buy the cheaper pair, while consumers interested in quality or personal appearance would rather invest more money into the expensive pair of trainers. All because they are familiar with Nike and associate their trainers with being trendy and of a high-quality.
Consumers only need to see the logo of the Nike brand and already associate a number of other features or benefits with this brand.
When your company is unknown, your potential consumers have no associations to make with your brand. And for this reason, customers see you as a risk which may not pay off in the end.
2. Branding makes selling easier
The customer buying journey is a complex thing. And it becomes even more complex when the value of products or services gets higher. But one thing that remains consistent, is the impact of a good brand in the process. Whether the customer is spending £1 or £10,000, branding could be the very reason to make their decision.
Take for example the Adidas collaboration with Yeezy (Kanye West’s brand name for his clothing and shoe line). These collaborations will instantly sell out and have queues of people waiting to purchase these on the day of release, regardless of the price. Having the brand collaboration with Yeezy adds significant value. Combine that with the limited number of items released it creates even more demand, in turn making them significantly easier to sell.
3. Brands make your employees proud
Imagine working at a company like Disney or Google, it doesn’t matter if you are the cleaner or a high-level executive. Branding gives employees a sense of pride and the feeling that they are really making a difference in the world. You could go to high-school reunions and say “Yes, I work at Pixar” and your former classmates will be suitably impressed. People know the brand, what it stands for and it is something you can be proud about.
Building a strong brand helps people build an association with the brand and feel connected to it. It can motivate employees to work hard and stay loyal as they want to be part of the magic and history of your brand.
Companies with a strong brand tend to have a unique working culture. The key is to make employees feel like they belong to an exclusive club or that they are part of one big family working together against all the competitors out there. It is a positive culture that is rarely seen in less known brands or companies.
4. People talk about strong brands naturally
Little known brands work hard to get their company noticed and at the top of their customer’s minds.. Don’t get it twisted, building a strong brand in the first place is hard work. But once it’s done, it normally takes less effort in marketing and advertisement to get people talking about your brand compared to unknown brands.
Try to remember any conversations from the past week, did you drop any company names? The likely ones might be Facebook, Amazon, Apple or Gymshark. The everyday consumer loves talking about brands. Sometimes you might mention a couple of brands to a friend and not even notice that you’re promoting those brands.
Take for example a little boutique in town, even if you visited it recently, it is less likely to get mentioned in conversation with friends compared to a big brand like Zara or Levis. The only way that little boutique in town will get talked about is by holding a big sale or doing something really unique and out there. And even that could only result in temporary mentions of the company or unless it is of such exceptional quality that people tend to favour it.
Word of mouth is a very powerful tool. Having a well established brand gives people something to talk about.
5. Branding confirms your credibility in the market
Good branding isn’t built overnight. It takes years and years of hard work and reputation building. But once you have created the strong foundations of a good brand, the rest is history. Generations after generations will view your brand as the trusted one in the market. The industry leader and the one that will always meet your expectations.
A couple of industry leading examples include:
- Phones or computers – Apple
- Search Engines – Google
- Crisps – Walkers
- Fast food – McDonalds
- Games console – PlayStation or Xbox
The list could go on.
Having a strong brand could even mean that customers might even overlook any negative reviews or press coverage you recently got. All because they trust you and know that your brand always delivers. There might be a number of ways to build trust with your customers, but it certainly helps having a strong brand. It helps to provide stability and trust to your customers. You appear more established and it can help validate your position in the market.
6. Strong Branding builds you a fan club
You might have heard of the “Swifties” or “Beliebers”. For those of you who are unfamiliar, “Swifties” are Taylor Swift’s fans and “Beliebers” are fans of Justin Bieber. These fans are like no ordinary fans, they live and die to protect their favourite singer of all time. Any negative press or comments on social media and these fans will be ready to fight back in the name of their favourite celebrity.
The same goes for company branding, just take a look at Apple. They have a devoted following of fans that only ever seem to buy Apple products. And when the next iPhone comes out, you can bet that they are going to be queuing outside in the rain, wind and cold to purchase it. Fan clubs or communities are invaluable assets to companies. They will guarantee that your latest products will sell, protect you in hard times and best of all rant and rave about you to all their friends and family. And so the fan club keeps on growing and thriving, along with your business.
7. Strong Branding Increases your worth
We’re not only talking about brand value here, but also the worth of your products and services. When you have an undeniably great brand, you can charge a premium for your products or services and get away with it. To prove this, take a look at the example below:
The Asda branded cornflakes are much cheaper than the Kellogg’s branded ones. In fact, you can almost buy 3 boxes of Asda branded cornflakes for the price of one Kellogg’s cornflake box. Yet we are sure a large number of people will still buy Kellogg’s corn flakes. For some loyal brand followers, it is hard to break a habit. If you have been buying Kellogg’s for years, the price might not be enough to change your mind. In fact, some people would rather go out of the shop empty-handed than buying some other branded cereal. It may sound a bit extreme – but it does happen.
People are willing to pay the extra amount for a strong brand. Because they know what to expect and the quality they will get. While with an unfamiliar brand there are more unknown factors and potentially a greater risk in purchasing the product.
8. Branding gets you recognised
Here your company’s logo plays a huge part in your brand getting recognised. A good logo should be simple, easy to remember and unique. Once you have a powerful logo combined with a strong brand reputation, you are in a great position to not only be recognised but remembered too.
Having a good logo can mean seeing the visual aspect without the company name is enough to remind people of the company. Take for example the Apple logo, it is a simple apple with a bite in it. But whenever you see an apple with a bite in it, somewhere in your mind you are reminded of the tech company, Apple:
Maybe it’s their simple name and logo that gets Apple so many sales each year? Or maybe the logo has become synonymous with innovation. For this reason, logo design is crucial to the success of greeting a strong brand. We recommend hiring a professional logo designer to give your brand a good start.
9. A brand gives your company a personal touch
Everyone likes a brand that stands for something. For example, a brand that tells you to never give up or a brand that tells you that it’s okay to be different. It’s actually these emotional touches that give a company a unique competitive advantage. It could be a simple slogan, like Apple’s early slogan of “Think Different” or even the imagery and copy on your website.
Dove is a great example of a brand that really promotes their emotional side:
Over the years they have had a range of campaigns empowering women from all backgrounds, ages and sizes to be confident in their own skin. TV ads, website copy, imagery, social media posts – Everything is aligned with this strong, positive message. Now when most people see Dove products in the shop, they naturally connect their brand with a positive body image. Buying their products is saying that you support their campaign and feel the same way they do.
When you have a strong brand, you are more than just a company out to make sales – You are a company ready to change the world and make a real impact!
10. Strong brands never die, they evolve
Every year an astonishing amount of businesses get shut down. The economy can be tough, and those that survive each year are normally the ones with a good brand in place.
It would be foolish to think that once you have a brand in place it stays rigid forever. It shouldn’t. A strong brand that stands the test of time to remain relevant is one that evolves.
Take for example Netflix, what used to be a postal rental service for DVD’s has over the years evolved into an online streaming service that is now dominating the industry. As the technology changed, along with the buying behaviours of their customers they adapted their product. Yet they still dominate the industry thanks to the power of their brand.
If you want to know more about branding for your company, then please get in touch with our branding specialists.