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The importance of business branding is much deeper than your logo or catchy slogan. It’s how customers perceive your company, product, service, and reputation.
Over time, your reputation gains brand equity which is the difference between what someone would pay for your product or service above a generic counterpart. Yes…more money for you! Buyers are willing to pay more to established brands because they have earned trust and credibility. They know they’ll receive an exceptional product or service that bears a familiar mark of excellence – your logo!
Additional benefits of brand equity include:
- Increased visibility and awareness.
- Greater customer loyalty / repeat business.
- More efficient marketing and advertising campaigns.
- Enhanced employee morale / motivation.
- Improved shareholder value.
The path to brand equity comes from relentless adherence to standards, which is the result of a well-executed strategy. Brand strategy begins deep within your organization; at your core. The core of every business is built on 3 principles – vision, values, and mission. Every thriving business has a vision, which might mean being the best or biggest in your category. However, it usually starts with a desire for change, technological improvement, or innovation at the forefront of what you do.
Sometimes vision is a model problem that desires a new approach to solving, one that your enterprise does so well over the competition. Having a vision is the first step to achieving it, and next comes a planned mission to get there. Meaningful missions are often driven by an inspiration to make something more affordable, creating new safer production methods, or using eco-friendly materials to achieve something greater than what is currently available.
This broad roadmap is crunched down into a single memorable statement that everyone can digest. Take Microsoft for example: “To empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.” Notice their mission has nothing to do with making software. But this mission is at the forefront of their production. And carrying out a mission goes even deeper – core values.
Establish Core Values
Core values drive us to carry out the mission and achieve the vision. Each employee and shareholder in the company must know and carry within themselves stated values that achieve the greater good. At The On Fire Group, our core values are simple:
- Make Lasting Impressions.
- Outperform “The Norm”.
- Operate With Integrity.
At our core, we want to do remarkable things that leave lasting impressions. We want to go the extra mile in everything we do, and we never sacrifice integrity to achieve goals for our clients. We win by extension of these values that are always customer first. None of these values have anything to do with marketing or what we necessarily do as a company. By now, you may be wondering, gee, I thought branding was just a really cool logo design, and a color scheme. What does any of this have to do with the importance of branding my small business? The answer is…everything!
Importance of Branding Strategy
By taking the time to develop a comprehensive understanding of your company, your target market, and your competition, you can create a brand that will resonate with your audience and help you achieve your business goals. An effective brand strategy gives your business the edge in competitive markets.
It begins with the promise you make to your customers. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from that of your competitors. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be, and how people then perceive your company.
This is why the values and vision firmly rooted across your organization is so important. Consumers generally don’t care if you make spark plugs that start your car. They do care when your mission is to make driving experiences more reliable and affordable for the everyday commuter. These are building blocks of trust, and customers ONLY ever buy from brands they trust.
Execute Brand Consistency
Your brand promise requires commitment and consistency over time. While having a memorable message does resonate with buyers, they do need to hear it repeatedly. As consumers, we’re bombarded by messages all day long; thousands of them. But having a clear brand message, and repeating that message on your website, email marketing, advertisements, web pages, and social media, adds a level of coherence that your organization doesn’t miss a detail. That tells customers that you care, and won’t miss a detail when they buy from you.
Consistency also means living up to the promises you made. You can’t state one thing and do another. You’ll get caught immediately, and your customers will use social channels to stick it to you in public. Some business owners don’t understand this. It’s simple. You broke their trust. People do not like having their trust broken, and we live in a trust-based economy. Brand consistency is the currency we use to build that trust. And when we make a mistake, amending it absolutely makes its way back to buyers and strengthens your commitment. No brand is perfect, but having that foundation along with caring employees that make it right, and demonstrate follow-through, gainfully reinforces the story that you are who you say you are.
Reap Branding Benefits
Many business owners we speak with think the logo comes first when creating a brand, but it’s actually the result of addressing these foundational components that establishes a brand identity. From there we design how a logo should visually represent the vision, values, and mission.
In simple terms, a brand is a name, symbol or mark that distinguishes an organization from competitors in the eyes of a customer. Branding strategies are created to build unique brands that stand out in competitive markets. The results of great branding include increased sales, improved customer loyalty, and higher brand equity. In other words, a well-executed brand strategy will help your organization achieve its business goals, execute it’s mission, and realize it’s vision.
Thanks For Reading!
The On Fire Group is a Philadelphia Digital Marketing Agency serving small businesses in the Delaware Valley PA NJ DE area. If we can help your organization with branding, marketing, website design, or social media services, please contact us below. If you like this article, please share it on your favorite social media channel.
Michael Spinka has nearly 2 decades of demonstrated success in marketing & technology, and was formerly a vice president with a #1 marketing franchise that scaled coast to coast.
He founded The On Fire Group to help small and medium sized businesses reach their target audience affordably. Connect with Mike on LinkedIn. Subscribe to stay up to date!
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