When it comes to branding, there are many misconceptions and mistakes, so let’s try to explain them and see how to rise to the comprehensive brand strategy game.
You have seen them, you have bought products and services from them. They are the type of company many people dream of as ideal places to work. You follow their journey, and sometimes, you make that journey a part of your life. You identify with them their messages, you share their values, and you trust them. How can companies do all these things for customers? What is their secret?
It is just pure and simple branding. Branding is the process that converts a potential client into a loyal customer, where a business is no longer an aloof entity in someone’s mind and becomes a place where you return over and over again, where you experience and feel rewarding emotions. A brand.
For brands, establishing and maintaining trust with clients and customers is a critical component to the long-term success of a company. To simplify even further, without trust, you can’t have clients or customers. And without clients or customers, your company won’t survive in the long term.
However, branding is a long-term process that involves planning and resources, and like planting a tree, you may not be able to reap the benefits from it the next week or month. There are so many brands that misunderstand this, brands that think that “a pretty logo will do, or a stylish marketing campaign should do the trick.” They could not be more wrong.
Branding is just a logo or visual elements
Probably one of the biggest misconceptions of all time. Too many companies think that a brand is just a logo or the visual elements that go with it. While aesthetics are key elements that define the identity of a brand, they hardly encompass one. If you limit your brand to a logo, a colour scheme, or a tagline, you are hurting the scope of your business and its possibilities. Something that would not happen if you plan and develop an integrated brand strategy.
Branding is the same as advertising
While advertising is a process closely related to the branding strategy, they are not the same thing. Advertising focuses on short-term efforts to communicate your messages to your customers to increase sales, build exposure, or promote your product or service with tangible results. While branding is a concept more intangible, it has more to do with the emotional impact that your brand has on your customers and how they perceive you.
Spending on branding does not add value to the business
When faced with presenting results, many businesses fail to see the impact that a branding strategy can have on their brands. Yes, it requires time and effort, but putting and developing the right brand strategy can do wonders. It will help you build your brand’s awareness, trust, and recognition. By sharing and maintaining a coherent voice, you create consistency and help build loyalty among your customers. All these efforts, while not measurable, do help brands improve their financial performance. Check out this McKinsey report that explains how strong brands always outperform the market.
The only businesses that need to worry about branding are big companies
No matter what size your business is, you always should have a brand strategy in place. While it might be true that large corporations have the financial meanings to invest in their brand names, the same applies to small businesses. Even with a modest budget, if you have a clear idea of what your brand strategy should be, you could put in place a winning brand strategy that will make your business flourish, generating the kind of impact, trust, and profit that will take you to the next level.
Branding is doing the same as your competitors do, but better
In the good old times, branding strategies were more focused on highlighting the benefits of a brand over its competitors. Branding was more about playing a game of who was better or bigger, aiming to go after the coveted price, that share of the market that could crown you as king (or queen). And while competitiveness is a valid reason to go into business, it cannot be the sole purpose of a brand strategy. Your brand should differentiate itself from your competitors by finding that one added value to make it stand on its own. Companies that create new value and, in the process, help to grow the market are better rewarded than those who focus their strategies on beating out competitors.
A branding strategy needs to target all customers
There is no “one size fits all” approach when it comes to branding. You cannot possibly expect to develop a branding strategy to attract anyone who might be interested in your product. Brands without a clear idea of the type of customer or audience they want to reach usually end up reaching no one. Your branding strategy should include a clear understanding of your target audiences. This way, your messaging will be more effective, and your brand will resonate with the right customer base. By targeting the right customers, your brand will become more appealing and memorable to them.
We like to wrap this article up with this quote from Sir Richard Branson:
Branding demands commitment; commitment to continual re-invention; striking chords with people to stir their emotions; and commitment to imagination. It is easy to be cynical about such things, much harder to be successful.
We hope the above information will help you in making informed decisions about your brand. If you want to say hi or have any questions about naming, branding, and domain names, get in touch. We’re always happy to hear from you.