Branding is not only for Fortune 500 businesses or large conglomerates. Branding is for every business, from one-person operations right on up to the big kahunas. So what is the big deal about branding, and why is it so important?
Fact #1: A brand is a company’s identity: it is the defined image of the company and what it stands for. The brand sets the tone for how a company’s message is conveyed to the consumer. A business is shaped by values, preferences and opinions that directly affect customer relationships. This concept does not discriminate by a company’s size, market share, or profit margin. All of the above factors become integrated into and set the standard for a business’s brand.
This essentially means that whether or not you’ve advertised your business or services; whether or not you have a company logo, a website, an outdoor sign, an interior design theme, or even business cards; whether or not you’ve considered branding your business now or waiting until later, your business already has a brand because it already has an identity. What does this existing identity say about your company—about you? Does it convey your attention to detail, your standard for excellence, the pride in you take in your work? Let’s delve into why this is so important, and what can happen if it’s overlooked.
Fact #2: Our society is sensory-oriented, meaning we base things upon sight, taste, smell, touch, and sound; but we do this on a subconscious level. We are simply accustomed to associating a person, word, or symbol with expectations of quality, consistency, customer service, etc. Your customers define your company in correlation with the sensory impressions that are made upon them when doing business with you. Put simply, people’s opinions of your company are based upon their impressions.
Your brand, which constitutes the complete sensory experiences of your consumers, controls those impressions. Wrong impressions give, well… the wrong impression. Your brand directs your customers in their opinions of your business. Your not developing a strong brand for your company doesn’t stop your customers from developing their own strong opinions of it. It’s important to be proactive in branding your company’s image in order to set the standard for a positive public opinion.
Fact #3: Odds are that there are many other businesses out there that are just like yours. Every business should have what we call an “amazing factor” to separate it from the competition. What exactly is that? What is it that your business can have that no other business in your industry will have? Your Brand. Company A might sell the exact same product, but cannot have your brand. Your image is all your own. When it comes down to it, when product and price are the same, what will make a customer choose to buy from you versus a competitor? The customer will buy from whomever they think of first.
That’s why your brand is so important. Your company needs a brand, and it needs to be better than theirs. Your business should stand out; it should look like an industry leader; it should outshine the competition. Do you believe your company is made up of outstanding people, an excellent product, a competitive price point, and an exceptional service? Yes! And so should the general public. Your goal should be to wow them with your brand. Give them the amazing factor, and they will give you what you want: their business.