The term "brand" has become extremely popular in the marketing industry over the last several decades. There's a good reason for this: a company's brand image and reputation play key roles in ongoing business growth. Your brand may even play a more significant role in purchase decisions than other vital factors, like pricing.
Building a brand, therefore, involves "all of the ways you establish an image of your company in your customers' eyes." By proactively cultivating a solid brand reputation, you'll strengthen your business, foster loyalty among your current customers, and position your company for sustainable success. Let's discuss in detail a few reasons why building a brand for your business is so important.
A Strong Brand is Easily Recognized
What do Apple, McDonald's, and Nike all have in common? Not only are they all globally recognized brands, but they are so easily recognizable that it only takes a simple image for them to come to mind — an apple with a bite taken out, a pair of golden arches, or a leaning "checkmark." These companies have built solid and globe-spanning brands over the years and enjoy top of mind awareness among their respective consumer bases.
The point is, your brand image serves as the "face of your business." It's the first thing that comes to mind when people think about your company. It may be the last word when it comes to a customer's purchase decision. Effective branding can make you easy to remember, reinforce your reputation, and ultimately motivate consumers to buy from you.
Of course, a big part of branding does involve identifying features like a logo or a slogan. Your brand’s visual representations should be simple by design but still relevant to what your company does, how it operates, and what it stands for. Nike's "swoosh" is an excellent example of a straightforward yet effective logo, and "I'm lovin' it" is a phrase that's immediately associated with McDonald's.
To determine if your branding efforts yield the results you want, make sure to keep a pulse on your target audience to measure brand awareness through surveys, "social listening," and other tools. Over time, you should see an increase in brand awareness for your company.
Consistent Branding Improves Your Competitive Advantage
Apart from an instantly recognizable image and slogan, consistency in your branding initiative is also essential. Consistency is a telltale sign of dependability and stability — two qualities that customers want to see in their preferred brands. A consistent approach also makes your customers familiar with your brand. By not making frequent, drastic changes, your target audience grows accustomed to your company and will feel more comfortable buying from you.
Also, brand consistency can reassure and inspire your employees since they'll feel like part of a stable work culture and will be more willing to give their best. As you maintain brand consistency year over year, you'll also reap the benefits of word-of-mouth marketing. Employees and satisfied customers alike will recommend your brand to their family members, friends, and colleagues, giving you a lot of free promotions. It's no wonder that when brands are maintained consistently, they can expect a 33% increase in overall growth.
Strong Branding Builds Value
Another reason why strong branding is so helpful is the positive effect it has on your advertising campaigns. For instance, a well-defined brand position can give your ad creative a perfect starting point to further develop your messaging depending on the campaign’s specific objectives.
The reality is, even ads that are entirely focused on brand building (as opposed to lead generation or sales) can yield wonderful benefits. Think about car commercials from luxury brands. Isn't it true that many of those ads center around brand image instead of factors like pricing or specific vehicle features? A strong, well-maintained brand creates momentum, which helps to guarantee future success for the company.
Keep Building Your Brand for Sustainable Growth
In summary, branding should be a key component of your overall marketing plan. Strong brands are easily recognizable, consistent in their tone, messaging, visuals, and exceptional "momentum generators" for future ad campaigns.
High-performing businesses across the board put significant effort into brand building. They understand that the basis of any longstanding relationship with the customer is trust in their brand. Some 81% of consumers won't buy from a brand unless they trust it. Brand building is one of the most critical, most effective ways to generate trust among consumers and if you invest in it for your own company, perhaps with the help of an experienced media partner, you'll see positive results from your efforts, sooner or later.