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Branding – Why it is Important for Any Size of Business
Branding is important for all businesses
Whether you are multinational, or a one man band web content writer like me, creating and maintaining a brand is more important than you might have thought. A brand logo and strapline used to be a thing that would appear on business cards, letterheads and advertisements, but now that we have websites Twitter, Facebook, e-mails, and viral marketing, projecting a consistent brand image, across all platforms, is more important than it has ever been.
Not everyone has the marketing budget of someone like Coca Cola, but none the less, the Coke brand is an ideal example of just how powerful banding can be. If the advertisement above had no picture of a bottle, and didn’t even say Coca Cola, it would still be recognisable as a Coke ad by the colours and the font alone. The Coca Cola brand has sunk so deeply into all of our minds because they have consistently used that same theme for so long. The same applies, on a smaller scale, to any business. If you are consistent with your branding in all your communications and web formats, your brand will start to stick in people’s minds too.
Take the Brand Test
Whether you are based in India, or Indianapolis, whether you are creative enough to come up with your own brand, or you use a company to create a logo and brand image for you, it’s the brand and things like slogans that will be what people remember about your business. To remind you just how well something as simple as a slogan gets lodged in your memory, see how many of the following slogans you can correctly match up with the companies they have been used by.
How well do you know your brand slogans?
view quiz statistics
See how many logos you can guess, before the artist finishes drawing them
What good branding does for any organisation
Branding is important whether you are McDonald's, or a small local business. Even a very small business will benefit from the local community, or colleagues in the same industry, being able to instantly recognise the company logo. Here are some of the reasons why any sized business should be taking great care over their graphic design, website design, logo, and corporate image.
Branding creates instant recognition
The most obvious thing that branding creates is easy recognition. You may not play sports, or even be a sports fan, but the chances are that most people would recognise that the trainer above was made by Nike. When people recognise your brand, they will see your advertisement amongst all the others, they will spot your product on the shelves of a store and, it’s your stand they will head for at a trade show. Just as importantly in today’s world of e-commerce, they won’t dump your email straight into the spam folder either!
Branding adds value to your business
If you ever think of selling your business, a good brand will add value to that business. An established brand will normally mean that there is an established customer base and that there is also a healthy sales pipeline. Investment in branding is money well spent, because it will also make it easier to obtain financing and investment.
Branding inspires trust
Consistent banding across websites, stationery, and advertisements, also shows that a company is serious and professional about its business. People will think that, if you have taken a professional approach to your branding and marketing, then you will also take a professional approach to how you supply your products or services. If your brand is scrappy and ill conceived, people won’t trust you to produce a quality product.
Branding creates cross selling opportunities
If you do a good job and you have happy, satisfied customers, you will be able to build brand loyalty that will give you the opportunity to sell those customers even more products. One of the best examples of brand cross-selling is Richard Branson’s Virgin. The virgin brand now encompasses rail-travel, air-travel, holidays, and banking services. None of those products have anything whatsoever to do with the record store that Virgin first started out as, other than the brand.
Branding generates referrals
The cheapest form of advertising is customer referrals and branding will help you out there too. If you were to tell a friend about how much you enjoyed a chocolate bar, you wouldn’t say how much you loved the soft toffee coated in chocolate you bought, you’d say how great a Cadburys Curly Wurly tasted. Your friend would then go and try to spot the Cadbury, or Curly Wurly logo. It would be the brand that they buy, not the ingredients of the chocolate bar.
Branding creates employee loyalty
A brand will install a loyalty in your employees as well. If they are proud of the brand, they will work hard to maintain it and they will be telling all their friends about the company and the product too. If your employees understand what the objectives of the organisation are and they can relate to the brand, that brand becomes similar to a flag that can bring them together and make them work together as a team.
Branding sets you apart from your competition
No business is ever safe from competition and, in today’s electronic global market, who knows where that competition is going to come from? That’s why it is critical that you use branding to set your product apart from all the similar products on the market. A lager drinker, for example, may have his or her favourite lager, but they are a lager drinker. A gluiness drinker, on the other hand, is not a drinker of dark beers, or stouts, they are a Guinness drinker, and that is the sign of a brand that has made its mark.
Branding provides a cohesive message
Branding is also what ties all together all the various forms of advertising and marketing. On Twitter, you may adopt a very informal tone and not even mention your product for service. Whereas, on your website, you would probably give details of your offering, and on Facebook, you might provide customers with news about your company or advertise special offers. Each platform lends itself to different styles of marketing and, the one thing that ties it all together, is your brand.
Branding is for all types of organisations
Large or small, sole trader or company, for profit or a charity, the brand is your identity and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. You can employ the services of a specialised marketing company to create your logos and brand image, or you can do it yourself. If you have a brand that you use constantly across all your stationery, online platforms and on your products, you will be creating value, loyalty and awareness. In other words, a brand is what will help you make a name for yourself.
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