Building a strong brand has the potential to transform your business, but how?
Brand is far more than just a logo. We define brand as ‘all the reasons someone buys a product or service’. This includes reputation, price point, promotions, communications practices and a number of other areas.
Businesses are quite often sceptical of the value of strategic branding. But global household names are testament to the importance of brand – Apple is the example we love to use. However, there are countless other examples of businesses who don’t just sell a product or service, but sell experiences, communities, emotional connections, relationships. Ultimately, they add value to our lives by using every aspect of their brand to support this.
But how else can brand make a difference?
AWARENESS: The greatest value of effective brand and marketing practices is awareness. Your business and your offer don’t exist in the eyes of potential customers if they’ve never heard of you. Building awareness is one of the greatest challenges for businesses. But it has potential to have a huge impact on the bottom line.
PRICE: An effective brand has the power to influence the market price of its goods or services because of the reputation it has developed in the minds of customers. Why do we pay twice as much for Starbucks coffee when we could get it much cheaper from a local independent? Perhaps the ingredients may be different and the recipe more precise at Starbucks. But, fundamentally, their reputation and supporting brand is responsible for the premium we’re willing to pay.
ENGAGEMENT: Every business has a target audience with which it needs to engage. The more you positively engage with your audience, the more likely you are to sell more often, to more people, at a higher price. The best brands engage with their audiences so well they develop a following of brand advocates. These advocates become powerful sales tools for brands and, the best bit is, they’re free! Word of mouth can be the most effective marketing channel.
COMMUNICATION: At the heart of every communications strategy are core messages, that need to be communicated to the right audiences; what sets you apart from competitors, how you add value, the benefits of your product/service, the values which are instilled within the business etc. These will all increase the chances of engaging with consumers in a meaningful, relevant way. Having a story to tell is one thing. Not telling it effectively or not connecting with the audience can mean your messages fall on deaf ears.
CONSISTENCY: When it comes to building a great reputation, consistency is key. You need to be delivering in line with your promise to customers across every touchpoint they come into contact with; customer service, product quality, communications, staff members, packaging etc. all need to deliver a consistent message. Developing your brand, getting everyone on the same page, and weaving these values into all aspects of your brand is vital.
PERSONALITY: Business can be a cold, transactional world. At the end of the day, a successful business will sell more than it spends and most will aim to maximise profit, hit financial and customer targets and, ultimately, out grow its competitors. Brand and Marketing help to soften this laser focus, adding colour to what is fundamentally a black and white practice. The best brands do this so well. Consumers are falling over themselves to buy what they’re selling, because they can engage with the brand in an emotional way.
Fundamentally, we believe that powerful, meaningful and engaging brands help businesses sell more products or services. They are sold to more people, more often and probably at a higher price. Get the brand right and opportunities will follow!
Rebecca is the founder and Managing Director of rbl. An experienced brand and marketing professional, Rebecca has spent over 30 years helping clients to build, design and manage their brands.