Everyone has their favorite brands - Coca-Cola, Google, Apple, McDonald’s - the list goes on and on. But what a lot of people don’t realize is that even with smaller businesses, creating a brand is vital for success.
What is branding?
Wikipedia describes branding as an ongoing process of establishing a prescribed image or impression in the mind of others. Branding encompasses everything that your business does. Logo design, company name and colors, even the way your customer service talks is all encompassed by branding. The goal of branding is to establish your business in a consumer’s mind. Here are the top five reasons why your business - no matter the size - needs to establish a brand.
1. Strong brands stand out
With the internet, customers can get anything from anywhere. This means that no matter what industry your business is in, you’ll likely have a lot of competition. Working on your brand will allow you to stand out in this globally competitive marketplace. According to The Global Banking & Finance Review, 71 percent of consumers are more likely to buy a product or service from a name that they recognize. This means that if your customers recognize and remember your name, they’ll feel more at ease when doing work with your business. When you establish your brand, your customers will begin to think of you as reliable and will keep coming back to you.
2. Branding ensures your message and appearance will be consistent
One thing you don’t want to happen is have your appearance be inconsistent in different channels. This could lead to confusion and distrust among your customers. With branding, your logos, colors, fonts and voice will all be aligned allowing for your customers’ recognition every time they come in contact with your business. One way to make sure that your message and appearance stays consistent is by creating a brand style guide. A style guide is a document that contains all the information necessary to create collateral for your brand. It lays out the rules on how your business should present itself to the world. This will be especially useful online in your business’ search engine optimization efforts. Your brand style guide should identify keywords that your messaging will use. This way, when customers search for those keywords your business will be at the top of the list.
3. Branding can increase employee satisfaction
Your employees are people, and people need things in their lives that make them feel fulfilled. Employees can feel pride in their work based on how your company brands itself. According to Snacknation, companies with happy employees outperform their competition by 20 percent. Your employees need to understand the mission your company has set out to accomplish, that way they can feel pride in their work - leading your business to outperform the competition.
4. Branding builds trust
An important factor in getting customers to return to your business is building trust. Customers need to know that you will deliver on what you tell them. Building trust with your customers can take a long time. However, having an established brand can help the process. If your brand is personal, customers will feel better about doing business with you rather than a company that seems stiff and corporate. You can build this trust through your customer service, social media presence and even through your website by being a thought leader in your industry.
5. Branding generates customers
In all the previous reasons there is a layer of generating customers - it is the goal of your business after all! A strong brand not only will help your business maintain customers, but will generate new customers. When your business has a unified brand, word-of-mouth referrals will increase. This is because people love to talk about brands that they like - and that do good work for them. For example, in manufacturing, referrals are a huge portion of business, and growing referrals organically can contribute to profits for your business.
The most successful businesses all have an established brand that helps them in countless ways. No matter what size business, branding should be a main focus because it can help build and maintain your consumer base. Learn more about how to bring new customers to your business by getting your free copy of Keystone Click’s Guide to Profits.