Does the “swoosh” symbol look familiar? What about the “golden arches”?
These are visual icons that represent, respectively, Nike and McDonalds. And they are instantly recognized by consumers around the world.
When you create a logo that is both unique and memorable – as these two companies did – your business is well on its way to establishing a strong identity in the marketplace.
This is “branding” at its best.
What is Branding?
Visual symbols are powerful marketing tools.
But a branding strategy encompasses much more.
Your brand is your “character”.
It’s how customers feel about your business, and the experience of doing business with you.
When consumers make purchase decisions, they’re not just deciding which service or product they want. They’re buying into the qualities your brand conveys. So, developing an effective branding strategy should be a priority in all your marketing efforts.
Benefits of Branding
Brand image is important in so many facets of your marketing game plan. It plays a vital role in:
- Improving recognition with a logo
Logos shouldn’t be the only element of your branding strategy, but they’re a vital component. They make you recognizable. A professionally designed logo can effectively shape the impression you want consumers to have. (Think Nike.)
- Creating a Competitive Advantage
A successful branding strategy makes your business more recognizable. When consumers are more familiar with your brand, they’re more likely to consider you trustworthy and choose you over the competition.
So, while you and your competition might be marketing similar products, it will be your established brand that stands out.
- More specific targeting
Branding allows you to be more specific in your use of marketing tools – including everything from the company name to logo colours.
But it also allows you to zero in on who your target customers are – and market specifically to that group without wasting your resources on an undefined target.
- Establishing trust and familiarity in your customer base
When you present your business professionally with a brand image, and when consumers see proof that your products and services are high-quality, they will be inclined to trust you.
So, when they visit your website, it’s more likely they’ll be willing to engage with you. If they know that your brand is recognized and credible, they’re less likely to bounce. They’ll stay longer on your site, go through your funnel and, ideally, transact.
- Increasing Visibility
A good branding strategy raises your profile.
In an age where the majority of consumers are browsing and making purchasing decisions on their phones and laptops, visual cues play a big role.
A strong online brand presence maximizes your company’s visibility to potential customers.
- Better marketing
When your employees are equipped with a solid understanding of your brand, its goals and vision, they’re better able to identify and interact with good potential prospects. They’ll be confident – and therefore more effective – in discussing the ways in which your business can meet customers’ needs.
- Generating more referrals
Referrals can play a substantial role in business success.
Word of mouth (either in person or online) can be one of the more effective ways to promote your business. Making customers who have used and valued your product or service “brand ambassadors” is a smart move. Many studies have shown that using customer testimonials as part of your marketing strategy has a positive impact.
- Supporting your marketing strategy
Marketing is an important element in establishing your brand, but if you make your focus too narrow you endanger your potential to expand. Conversely, branding without market focus could hamper your ability to generate an impression with consumers.
The solution: strike a balance.
- Motivating employees
Having an impactful brand image will help when it comes to hiring. It will attract motivated employees who will want to help convey your company’s mission and vision. Brand pride fosters employee productivity and morale.
- Generating revenue
Having a strong brand image encourages referrals.
So, it’s important that your logo, overall marketing strategy, and business reputation work together to form a positive impression on the minds of consumers.
When customers remember a brand, they’re more likely to recommend it to others.
- Building Value
A positive brand image creates a strong financial value – and can generate business for you down the line. Your brand differentiates you from your competitors and can help drive demand and successful sales.
This in turn will increase growth in market share and build shareholder value. A company that trades publicly on the stock market is more highly valued than one that doesn’t.
- Generating new customers
With strong branding, you’re creating a positive impression among customers. They’re more likely to do business with you when they’ve come to develop familiarity with your brand and therefore believe it’s trustworthy.
Brand image is critical to business success.
Developing your brand means you stamp your business with a unique identity – one that is recognized and trusted by consumers.
A strong brand image attracts new customers and sets the path for the introduction of new products.
Overall, it fosters a better retailer-consumer relationship. It increases the trust of current customers and ensures customer retention.
And it benefits your business by reinforcing the company vision, attracting engaged employees, and boosting morale.
A good branding strategy is a sure way to optimize your business growth.