What is “brand” and 5 reasons why it’s important for your business
A lot of businesses start off with what they believe branding entails - a fun logo, some fancy business cards, and in some cases, a pull-up banner or two.
The definition of branding is a “marketing practice in which a company creates a name, symbol or design that is easily identifiable as belonging to the company.”
But branding goes beyond a memorable logo.
A brand represents not what your company stands for, but what people perceive your company to be. It includes your logo, yes, but it also includes how your staff behaves, how you contribute to society (or your community), what you say about yourself, and the value you can add, but perhaps most importantly – what is said about you.
Areas traditionally covered by brand would be advertising, customer service, branded items such as stationery, merchandise and other collateral, your logo and your reputation. Ever heard about a “healthy brand”? If all these boxes are ticked and all your elements work together to form an attention-grabbing professional profile, this would be it.
Branding is therefore important because not only is it what makes a memorable impression on consumers but it allows your customers and clients to set you apart from your competitors, recognise who you are, and know what to expect from your company.
Here’s our top 5 reasons why you should start focusing on making sure your brand is healthy:
1. Brand recognition…
While most sites you visit will mention how important a recognisable logo is, to us, keeping your brand elements consistent is that one thing. Why? Well because if you keep it consistent (that means ALWAYS using the same logo, colours, fonts and visual treatment of pictures, and even extending the same tone of voice in communications), people are sure to know it’s your brand – and most importantly, what they can expect. Just think about great examples of brands getting it right locally like Nando’s and Kulula.
Of course, as a starting point you do need that eye-catching, unique and memorable professionally designed logo to make sure consumers know “the face” of your brand. Just remember it’s not the only important thing, and a great logo does not make a great brand!
2. Adding value…
Okay – so we know you’re not here for the artsy side of it only. After all - we are talking business here. Want to know how to attract future customers, and retain current ones? You guessed it. It’s in the brand and the people behind the brand and how they behave!
A strong brand often guarantees future business. The harder a company has worked on making sure it has a recognisable brand, the more likely it is to be interesting to others. Ditto for a company that adds value to the community, contributes in tangible ways (actually jump in and help where needed!), or takes care of it staff.
Just think about word of mouth. It’s easier recommend products to a friend if you can easily remember the name of the supplier. It’s easier to remember something, if it made an impression (so make sure you make a good one!)...
3. New customers…
Okay, so technically these two are related, and we already mentioned it. But word of mouth is your best friend. Strong branding generally means others have formed a good impression of your brand, and people will be keener on doing business with you as they assume, they are “familiar” with the brand.
In order for them to form a good impression – well let’s just say you can’t only rely on your looks. Studies have found that brands who stand for something, are actively involved in their communities, or give back are more likely to come across as positive. And we’re sure you can guess why. So make sure you have clear goals for the company, and know how you will achieve them. Expand on it by making a concise effort on following a moral code. Company values ae not just there to tick some boxes.
4. No “I” in team…
It’s kind of like supporting your favourite sports team. You’ll defend it to the ends of the earth, tell everyone that wants to listen about their best qualities, and want to make sure they watch nail-biting games with you – cheering when they should, and crying with you when it all goes downhill. And this is exactly how your employees will (and should) feel about your brand. Working for a brand that is reputable, supports the community and is recognisable, makes working for that particular company more enjoyable and fulfilling.
It also gives a sense of belonging and pride to be part of an easily recognisable “team”. If they know what your mission is, your reason for being, your staff will want to live your values, tell all that live where they work, how enjoyable it is, and most importantly work towards the company goals of success in unison.
A great brand inspires and motivates employees.
5. Trust us, we’re experts…
Looking professional at all times and making sure your brand pulls through in all you do, will build trust with your industry peers, potential clients and customers alike. Being properly branded gives the impression of you being an industry expert, and makes people feel like they can trust the company, your services as well as your way of doing business. Of course there should be some proof – so always make sure you leave room for real reviews, social media comments, and overall feedback. You are after all striving to be reputable -not just come across as if you are.
Need some more advice on how to achieve that perfect balance, and a healthy brand?
The Mulberry Marketing team have been doing plenty of the above in these mentioned categories, across various industries over the past years. We also offer various brand solutions!
And as you might have noticed – we’re passionate about branding. Ready to help whenever you need us!
Elizabeth Smithson, Brandingmag.com
Jenna Bruce, Mediasolutions.com