Beyond just a memorable logo, good branding increases the value of a company, provides employees with direction and motivation, and makes acquiring new customers easier. So what exactly is a brand? The short answer is everything.
A brand represents the sum of people’s perception of a company’s customer service, reputation, advertising, and logo. When all of these parts of the business are working well, the overall brand tends to be healthy. On the flip side, we all probably know a company that offers excellent products or services but has a tarnished brand due to poor customer service.
Why Branding is Important for Your Small Business
Let’s take a look at the important ways a strong brand impacts your business:
1. Branding Improves Recognition
One of the major components of your brand is your logo. Think of how we instantly recognize the golden arches of McDonald’s or the simple, but powerful eagle of the USPS. As the “face” of a company, logo design is critical because that simple graphic will be on every piece of correspondence and advertising. A professional logo design is simple enough to be memorable, but powerful enough to give the desired impression of your company.
2. Branding Creates Trust
A professional appearance builds credibility and trust. People are more likely to purchase from a business that appears polished and legitimate. Emotional reactions are hardwired into our brains, and those reactions are very real influencers.
3. Branding Supports Advertising
Advertising is another component of your brand. Both the medium is chosen and demographically targeted for advertisements to build a brand. Too narrow an advertising focus, and a company risks being “pigeon-holed” and losing its ability to expand into new markets. Too broad a focus and the company fails to create a definable impression of the company in the minds of would-be customers.
4. Branding Builds Financial Value
Companies who publicly trade on a stock exchange are valued at many times the actual hard assets of the company. Much of this value is due to the branding of the company. A strong brand usually guarantees a future business. Whether a company is in the position to borrow funds for expansion or rolling out to an IPO, being perceived as more valuable will make the process advantageous for the owner of the company. The greater a company’s devotion to building its brand value, the better the financial return from its efforts.
5. Branding Inspires Employees
Many employees need more than just work— they need something to work toward. When employees understand your mission and reason for being, they are more likely to feel that same pride and work in the same direction to achieve the goals you have set. Having a strong brand is like turning the company logo into a flag the rest of the company can rally around.
6. Branding Generates New Customers
Branding enables your company to get referral business. Would it be possible for you to tell a friend about the new shoes you love if you couldn’t remember the brand? A large reason ‘brand’ is the word used for this concept is that the goal is an indelible impression.
As the most profitable advertising source, word-of-mouth referrals are only possible in a situation where your company has delivered a memorable experience with your customer.
The most profitable companies, small and large, have a single thing in common. They have established themselves as a leader in their particular industry by building a strong brand and you can do too.
Sometimes, you need to step back and look at the big picture. It’s easy to get lost in the daily tasks of running your business, but sometimes you need to take a step back and look at the big picture. Your business is more than just your logo, your website, and your storefront. Your business is your brand.
The experiences, the feelings, the moods that your brand creates. And that’s important. It’s important because it’s the difference between your business being memorable to your customers, or forgettable. It’s the difference between having customers that come back, or customers that don’t. It’s the difference between making the sale, or not. Your brand is your business. And that’s important.