A good branding strategy goes further than discounts, advertising, and rock-bottom prices.
When you first go into business, things like logos, company colors, and an attractive website are usually top priorities. Unfortunately, for many companies, this is where efforts at “branding” end.
The reality is that while these items can support a brand strategy, they are not synonymous with branding. And in today’s cutthroat business environment, a nice-looking logo and website won’t serve you nearly as well as solid branding. Here’s why.
What Is Branding?
By definition, branding refers to the consistent image that identifies a company. This “image” isn’t just about visuals; it also includes your marketing messages, the emotion behind your advertising, and the way you make customers feel when they do business with you.
At ESB Advertising, we think of branding as a strong relationship between you and your customers. People fall in love with brands because of the way those brands make them feel. For example, Nike is known for its empowerment messages and helping people push to be the best versions of themselves. Beauty brand Lush is all about self-care and indulgence. Dove focuses on inclusivity.
These are all powerful emotions that capture people’s hearts. They make consumers feel good about doing business with those companies. And with the right branding strategy, you can use your brand to earn customers for life.
Branding As a Competitive Advantage
Some companies truly need no introduction. They’ve built such powerful, recognizable brands that most people know what they do and who they are, even if they’ve never done business with them.
But you don’t need that level of notoriety to give your brand a competitive advantage. Even if you’re only serving a local market, you can still use branding to become a hometown hero.
Branding = Recognition
Your brand is how you become known in your respective market or industry. It’s the way you present yourself—through visuals, marketing, and behaviors. With consistency, people will start to recognize your brand and associate it with what you offer.
Branding Attracts New Customers
When you build value in your brand, your brand becomes a powerful marketing tool. You can attract customers based on your name because your brand has done such a good job setting the right expectations. More people are likely to do business with you because they’ve bought into your company image. You’re familiar to them, and they believe you will deliver a great experience—just like you always have.
Branding Builds Trust
Last but not least, a strong brand can create trust in the marketplace. You not only become trusted by your customers but also by other companies that might want to do business with you. You’re no longer an “unknown” but rather a business that’s shown it cares enough to invest in its image.
How to Craft a Brand that Builds Your Business
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You don’t have to offer the lowest-priced product to get customers. Nike certainly doesn’t sell the cheapest apparel, and a Lush bath bomb will cost you significantly more than what you’d find at Walmart. These companies can charge premium prices because they’ve invested so much into their brand and taken control of how they want people to perceive them.
You can do the same with your business, even if you don’t sell a premium product.
Control the Narrative
Your brand comes down to how people feel about you. Your customers are going to form opinions about your company. Your job is to control this narrative so you leave them with the right impression.
Consider how your marketing speaks to people’s needs. Extend your brand to every part of your business—from how you answer the phone to how your employees greet your customers to how you ship your products and more.
Focus on the Feeling
A strong brand infuses emotional attachment into its company image. Your customers might not always remember what you say to them, but they will remember how you make them feel. Emotion can influence purchasing decisions as well as help you attract customers and retain their loyalty.
Think about how you want your customers to feel when they experience your brand. Excited? At ease? Powerful? Rich? Confident? Smart? Define the emotional connection, then work backward to infuse those emotions into every area of your business.
Consistency lets people know what they can expect from you. This is key in maintaining customer loyalty and building brand equity. When people can count on you to be the same company every time they do business with you, your brand can do its best work.
Now that you know the power of good branding, it’s time to start thinking like a top-tier brand. Contact our advertising agency in Virginia today for a consultation.