If you’ve just launched a small business, it’s not surprising if the notion of branding does not come up as one of the top priorities on your list.
While the urgency to brand your business may not be felt at this stage, branding actually plays a very crucial role in building and growing your enterprise, and can take you from where you are to where you want to be.
Branding goes beyond designing a logo. Broadly speaking, branding is basically the process of distinguishing one business from the next.
In five brief points, we explain why branding is important for your business.
1. Branding Builds Awareness
Awareness is the first step in the marketing funnel, and effective branding is crucial if you want to increase awareness of your brand.
Brand awareness is a measure of how conscious customers are of your company, and their ability to associate your brand with a product or service. Before they hand over their hard-earned money in exchange for your products or services, they must first know that you exist.
While your business is still in its infancy, it’s extremely important that you pay attention to building brand awareness for your company.
A brand may not be just a logo, but it helps to design a meaningful and memorable logo that customers can recognise easily anywhere.
Take a look at these logos — how many of them can you recognise? While some of these logos have been given multiple makeovers over the years, yet they trigger top-of-mind-recall when consumers lay eyes on them.
2. Branding Steers You In The Right Direction
Your brand serves as your compass. When embarking on a new venture, it is meaningful to scope out your organisation’s mission and values. Even if you’re working with a lean team, having a proper mission and a set of values will help your business move in the direction that it needs to.
This also helps the team stay focused and inspires them to work towards achieving that mission.
3. Branding Builds Trust
Entrepreneurs who are just starting out tend to be a bit more prudent with their expenses, and not everyone sees the value in investing precious financial resources to build the brand.
While it takes some time to reap what you sow, the rewards are well worth it.
Investing in branding will eventually pay off because it goes a long way in establishing trust with consumers.
Let’s say you’re looking for a restaurant to celebrate a friend’s birthday. You turn to the internet to gather some information before you make your booking. If the website appears dodgy and hard to navigate, or populated with illegible fonts and low-res photos, how likely are you going to end up at that restaurant for dinner?
Not very likely.
A brand has to appear legitimate and trustworthy before it can attract consumers to its products and/or services.
Having a proper brand identity helps consumers form trust with your brand. This means consumers are assured that your products or services will benefit them in the way you say they will.
4. Branding Brings in Business
Customers need to be familiar with your brand before they can recommend your products or services to other people. When people can relate to your brand and its values, they are more likely to be returning customers.
Take Starbucks for example. The American coffee company has constructed such a strong foundation for its brand that it has attracted millions of returning customers daily, even though they command a premium price for their beverages.
Investing in good branding is always a wise decision — it will end up raking in profits for your business.
5. Branding Helps You Distinguish Your Business
Branding is essentially the process of creating an identity for your business. Your logo helps customers identify you, while your mission and core values govern operations and workplace culture. Through defining who your brand is, what it stands for and what it does best, you can engineer the way you want your organisation to be perceived.
Customers need to understand what makes you so different. With several options in the market, the onus is on you to help consumers understand what makes you the best choice for them.
You could do this by highlighting what you do differently from others, and why they should pick your product and service for that distinction.
At the end of the day, it’s really about how you stand out from the crowd. TOC
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