Why is branding important? Branding is much more than just a fancy logo or a memorable motto. Today, it encompasses so many different elements that giving an exact definition of it seems unattainable. That being said, there are a few fundamentals to keep in mind.
Branding refers to the tactics or strategies one employs to make their brand recognisable and unique among competitors. It’s critical for business success because it gives the company meaning, value, and identity. Once a brand is known for something, it’s difficult to forget.
If you’re curious to know more about branding and its importance for the success of your business, keep reading this article. We’ll see what business and personal branding are and why they’re so important today.
What is branding in business?
Finding an exact comprehensive definition for branding is tricky (if not impossible). However, the Oxford dictionary defines it as giving particular names and images to products and services so that people will be drawn to them and want to buy them.
That’s a good definition, but it’s a little too shallow for those just starting out.
The American Marketing Association also defines a brand as a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that sets one seller’s goods or services apart from those of other sellers.
What catches the eye here is that branding differentiates you from others, and that’s true. Being different and remembered is the core aim of branding strategies.
Moreover, Heidi Cohen, the chief content officer of Actionable Marketing Guide, definesbrands as “-shorthand marketing messages that create emotional bonds with consumers-”.
What she adds to the above definitions is the emotional linkage created between your business and consumers. So we can define branding like this:
Branding refers to strategies through which give your business identity. Therefore, branding is used to help you stand out so people can identify your products or services. Branding requires different tools from name, logo, strapline, and advertisement to consistency, credibility, and reputation.
Five essential branding elements (other than visuals) are:
Let’s talk about each element in more detail to understand the components of branding definition better.
Brand positioning statement
Brand positioning refers to where you stand in the marketplace. In other words, you’ve got to identify what you do, for whom, and how.
This element makes you define your target customers or clients and the value you’ll uniquely offer them.
An excellent example of a brand positioning statement is from Nike:
“At Nike, we’re committed to creating a better, more sustainable future for our people, planet, and communities through the power of sport.”
A brand promise is the statement of needs you’ll satisfy through your business. It’s the emotional anchor that attracts customers toward your brand and makes them support you.
For instance, the Starbucks brand promise is: “To inspire and nurture the human spirit—one person, one cup, and one neighbourhood at a time.”
Note that it’s not directly connected to the product, but rather it reaches out to human emotions.
Brand differentiators is an element that refers to the things that make you different from others. So, you have to state your unique offerings and why customers/clients should choose you.
Differentiators help you stand out in today’s competitive world.
Brand personality refers to the tone you adopt in visual or auditory hints you provide. Once you decide what it should be, you can determine other brand aspects, such as:
What’s more, by giving human traits to your brand, you’ll make it relatable. For instance, Jeep’s brand personality is: adventurous, outdoorsy, and rugged.
Finally, you’ve got to have an authentic story for your brand.
A narrative that showcases the brand’s uniqueness is one way to create a connection with potential customers. These stories are sincere expressions of what your brand aims to do and how it will potentially affect a customer’s life.
In addition, it should explain why the brand was created and why others should trust the business.
Why is branding important in business?
As Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, states, “a brand for a company is like a reputation for a person.” And in the same manner, this reputation can be good or bad.
Branding is important in business because it helps you gain a positive reputation. It gives you recognition, prominence, credit, and loyal customers. It also adds value and direction to your business, attracting and keeping more talented staff. Overall, branding results in your business growth.
But branding’s importance doesn’t end here. Let’s break its benefits down and see why it’s so critical for your business’s success.
Branding helps recognition
The first and foremost, well-executed branding is making you more recognisable. People will easily identify you anywhere and remember you for what you are.
Recognition can happen through a stunning logo design, catchy motto, or a good customer experience. Whatever your branding strategies are, ensure they’ll make you notable.
Branding helps you stand out
One of the most critical objectives of branding is to stand out among competitors.
There are countless organisations and businesses like you in today’s world, and you need to show your uniqueness; that’s what makes a customer choose you over the others.
Branding helps in building trust
Today’s customers are in no way like the customers in previous decades. They’re much more aware of what they’re paying for and won’t easily get persuaded to buy a product or use a service.
However, branding helps you gain their trust—in the long term, of course. Trust-building won’t happen over a night, but once it’s built, you’ll see that it’s worthy of the time spent on it.
Branding creates loyal customers
Closely connected to trust-building, branding helps you earn loyal customers. Once people trust your business and product/service quality, they’ll always come back to you and won’t bother themselves looking for alternatives.
Loyal customers also support your brand in different ways, including social media, which plays a crucial role in the success of today’s businesses. They’ll spread good words and messages about your brand and introduce you to more people.
Branding motivates and directs your staff
Branding brings value to your organisation, and that matters a lot for the staff. They must know their goals and missions and how to work toward them. Branding strategies give them direction.
Besides, more talented people will be willing to work with you by getting a positive reputation through branding. Once you become a well-known brand, it’ll be hard for potential applicants to ignore you.
You can also keep your best staff members because they’ll be happy and proud to be part of your company.
Branding helps your brand grow
Branding lets you go beyond the local or even national boundaries. More people will be willing to pay for what you offer, even at a higher price.
When your brand sticks in people’s minds, they spend less time researching your products or services. This shortened purchase cycle leads to a faster cash flow for your company.
Over time and with a well-planned branding, your businesses will need to spend less on advertising. You’ll hold a substantial share of the market, making it hard for newcomer companies to take their position.
What is personal branding in business?
You’ve probably known personal branding as something limited to a specific person. But it’s further than that and can also hugely influence your business success.
Personal branding in business refers to a set of strategies that you adapt to promote yourself, your expertise, skills, and whatever you stand for. It can help you become a recognisable expert in your niche and stand out. But it’s a continuous process requiring you to nurture it.
Nowadays, the world of business is more competitive than ever, and you must be unique in your field to be seen; that’s why personal branding has appeared. It helps you become distinguished as a person in your domain.
Let’s see why it’s so important.
You will stand out
Oprah, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, and more; don’t need to be introduced. Their name has turned into a brand itself.
It’s the essence of what they’re standing for and supporting. Just in one glance, you know who they are and what they’re doing. That’s the power of personal branding.
With the right personal branding, people will distinguish and choose YOU where there might be thousands like you.
The important thing is to dare to specialise in a particular field. You can’t please and satisfy everyone. So, become an expert in one area and stick with it so that people will remember better.
Your audience will find you
Having your own story also makes you memorable. So, when people need services or products of your niche, you’ll be the first who pops into their minds.
They know where to find you and how. So, therefore, the target audience you were trying hard to attract and affect will autonomously come to you! Isn’t it amazing?
Even brands that are better-known than you will notice your progress and potential. Opportunities will appear one after another, and all you have to do is seize them.
People will trust you
Trust-building is one of the critical elements of business success. But it’s more complicated than ever to trust in a business nowadays.
So, you can first gain your customers’ trust as a person rather than a company.
Today, social media has provided an excellent opportunity to interact directly with your audience and tell them more about yourself. Use it wisely and let them know you’re a human, too.
When people know your story, passions, beliefs, vulnerabilities, past mistakes, and the path you’ve come to reach here, they’ll relate to you and trust in your words.
As we said about business branding, you won’t win people’s trust overnight, but it’ll happen eventually. They’ll gradually know and trust you through effective personal branding strategies.
It will bring you more visibility
Personal branding means the reputation you gain, how people perceive you and how they talk about you. As Gary Vaynerchuk says, “Your reputation online and in the new business world is pretty much the game….”
That’s how personal branding promotes you. It helps you become more visible on different platforms, expanding your overall network.
For instance, you may appear in an article in the media; or one of your employees be invited to an event, and most probably, your business and brand might pop up. This increase in visibility enormously affects your business’s success.
Moreover, once your name spreads in different platforms and media, it becomes distinguished, and more people and businesses will be willing to build relationships with you.
This network and business expansion gradually add to your brand valuation—just like how a football player becomes famous, and his signature turns an ordinary shirt into an invaluable asset.
Why do you need a branding strategy in business?
We talked a lot about the importance of branding, but how is it executed?
Branding strategies are essential in business because they help brands spread their name and values and become word of mouth. They keep a company on its track and focused so that it won’t waste dollars on different ads and campaigns. Branding strategies are also benchmarks to measure your progress.
Without a clear and well-planned branding strategy, your business and organisation will be like a ship being dragged with each wave.
But if you have these strategies in place, you can convey the messages you want customers to hear. The more precise this message, the easier it is to reach the target audience. Some of the most common branding strategies include:
In today’s dog-eat-dog world, branding is more important than ever. As a result, numerous businesses and companies strive to be seen and gain more customers to hold a firm position in the market.
What differentiates you from other companies is your brand.
That’s why you should invest in the business and personal branding; trust me, these will pay off in the long term. But don’t forget that branding isn’t an overnight process; you’ve got to work on it permanently to see results.