When you are thinking about how to start a business it is absolutely critical to get your branding right to communicate with your target audience. Branding is the process of determining an instantly recognizable theme for your business. The business name, logo, colour and tone of the business, if created with some careful thought, can then be easily recognised as belonging to a particular business. It paints a picture of the overall business intention and as such, a business without branding is like a book without a cover. Without careful consideration of your branding, your business runs the risk of looking unprofessional or poorly planned out and it probably won’t be remembered by your target audience. Did you know you can grow your business organically when your branding is on point? When branding is done well, it drives new business, influences the way people perceive your brand and increases awareness about your products and services. Below we discuss four reasons why branding is a crucial factor in the success of your business.
Are you planning to create a business with you as the centrepiece or create something more generic? Whether you are using yourself as the face of the business or a generic logo, this will be the way your business will be recognised by your target audience. When branding is done well through a logo, tag-line and consistent visual cues, consumers and potential customers will be able to recall your business with ease, which ultimately builds a relationship and trust with your audience, through the use of ongoing familiarity. The value of a brand is directly connected to its certainty and reliable presence in the memory of consumers and customers are much more likely to buy a product or service if they are able to recognise the brand easily. Take Coca Cola for example. This branding has been so effective that the brand name, Coke, has replaced the generic term “cola”. It’s commonplace for people to order a “Coke” rather than to specifically ask for cola soft drink, because the ‘Coke’ branding has left a sense of familiarity in the minds of consumers. When faced with a variety of options, consumers are more likely to choose a brand that they’re easily able to recognise.
Memorable, distinctive, even at times controversial branding can leave a positive impression of your business in the minds of potential customers due to the trust established and sense that you honour the values you stand for. Forming a sense of community that your audience can be part of is a great way to engage with customers and make them feel included and part of the group. Nike effectively use the hero model to build a sense of trust and community with their audience by using successful sports people who stand for something to showcase their products. Seeing successful people using Nike products gives rise to the idea that it’s a quality brand because top athletes and vibrant personalities are endorsing it and gives the impression that everyday people can be heroes and stand out too by buying their product and joining the Nike community. Your brand is the combination of your business goals, beliefs and vision and essentially conveys what you think about the world. If this brand vision resonates with your audience, because you share the same world view, you may have a customer for life. If your branding is done well it can create a sense of security that ensures repeat customers and even generates business referrals and recommendations to friends and family to buy your products and services.
The overall image of a brand through all the different components of its look is essentially an accumulation of the brand’s world view. This world view should match with how your customers also see the world. What is the preferred buying behaviour of your ideal customer base? What are their preferences for a brand look? Should your product or service look expensive and luxurious or simple and plain? How you brand your business will determine which type of consumer you attract back and what they are willing to pay for your product or service. Branding is a way to sell your image to your intended target market in a way that’s going to appeal to their particular tastes. For example, Rolex use visual cues and storytelling as part of their branding to tie their luxury watches to the lives of extremely good looking, unique celebrities to show a clear connection between the owner and the product that declares their brand as a product for the elite few, not an everyday watch for everyday people. Brand image is a way to appeal to the wants and needs of a target audience to effectively and quickly explain why your brand is the brand they’re looking for.
Differentiation is the way your brand is set apart from the competition and can refer to the unique aspects of your product or service, and the unique emotional response triggered by your brand when compared to others, including its presentation, your brand story and the brand’s price point in the market. Take Prada for example, they are a trendsetting global luxury handbag and fashion brand who are differentiated by the highest quality, quirky, Italian design. Their branding instantly shows that they sell a luxury, high-end product and as such they are able to ask a higher price than a generically branded handbag lacking the unique design and provocative, stylish branding. Differentiation is important because you want to be attracting the appropriate consumer to your product or service, so picking a niche for your brand is a smart way to start a business, rather than trying to be all things to all people.
A new business is going to be unrecognisable and unmemorable to most people without effective branding. You have the power to put your business at the forefront of the mind of your ideal customer by creating an iconic brand for your own business. Customers are more likely to choose a brand that they can remember and relate to the most and our NEW E-Course Wealth for Women, 8 Easy Steps for Business Success will teach you how to turn your brand into the brand people think of first when they’re looking for the product or service that you sell.
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Remember, your success is my #1 priority!
Business Mentor and Master Coach
Founder, Radiate Coaching + innerCIRCLE6