As consumers, there are millions of products and services vying for our attention every single day. From the smartphones we carry with us everywhere to the type of coffee we drink, we face decisions every day where to spend our hard earned money and what products (which brand) we want to buy. What’s so important about this branding anyway?
Simply put, one of the key indicators of whether consumers will buy a product or use the services of a company is the knowledge and feelings they have about the brand.
A company’s brand can convey a clear message about what that company believes in and who they are. It can instill a sense of customer loyalty, emotionally connect a customer to your products, and confirm credibility or expertise. In the end, a solid brand identity can motivate a buyer to take action and actually purchase a product or service.
Today we are examining a few of the main areas surrounding one of the services we offer our clients here at Sperling Interactive…branding your business.
We will be taking a closer look at:
A few decades ago this question would have been answered by saying that branding is a company’s slogan, logo, name, symbol, or overall design.
That was then, this is now.
Today, marketing specialists, including our team, considers branding to be a bit more complex than just the visual or graphic embodiment of a logo and name.
Branding encompasses many different areas including: your website, your social media presence, how you handle customer service, seo factors, as well as your logo, tagline, typography, and color palette that makes your brand easily identifiable in a crowded field of competitors.
Branding not only sets you apart from the others, but makes your identity recognizable, your reputation well known. Some would even say that your brand is your promise to the consumer.
Best selling author and entrepreneur, Seth Godin describes branding, “as a set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that account for a customer’s decision to choose your product or service over another.”
Neil Patel, known as a top influencer on the web, an award-winning author, and recognized as one of the top 10 marketers by Forbes, believes, “Your brand is simply how prospects perceive you.”
Branding is defined a little differently by people all over the marketing industry. In the end, however, branding in all its forms is important to all businesses regardless of size and field of expertise.
You don’t have to look far to see some exceptional examples of good brand identity. Beyond the top global brands of Apple, Google, McDonald’s, Amazon, Microsoft, Coca Cola, and Disney, many of us can look around our homes and see some rising stars when it comes to branding.
Take for example the at-home personal trainer/stationary bike system, Peloton. This brand is absolutely skyrocketing since so many of us have been confined to our homes during the coronavirus and were unable to get to a gym.
Are there other training systems out there? Absolutely! But the Peloton brand identity has risen to the top.
Peloton was able to get in on the market and capitalize on the demand for safe alternatives for the gym during a time when consumers were clambering for a way to stay moving without risking their health in a public space. It helps that their logo is easily identifiable (a letter P that looks like the spinning wheel of a bike) and has become a name synonymous with a good home workout with an on-demand fitness coach.
Now take a look beyond your workout area to examine a brand that can be found in your kitchen. Chances are you own a coffee maker. There’s also a pretty good possibility that you own a Keurig, the leading single-serve coffee maker in the country since 2010.
This brand basically revolutionized the way American’s brew their coffee every morning. Their specialized K-Cup® pod changed the way we think about coffee. Instead of brewing a large pot at a time, we can instantly brew one fresh cup at a time, saving money and wasted coffee that goes stale quickly. The simplicity of the concept as well as the multitude of options available for Keurigs has consumers passionate and loyal to their brand name.
We all seem to instinctively know that branding products help them sell and can help a company grow exponentially when a product, service, or company is branded properly.
Hubspot recently discussed a Nielsen Global Survey that showed “almost 60% of shoppers said they actively buy from brands they know, and 21% said they bought a product because they liked the brand.”
Here are a few of the advantages we have seen when helping our clients brand their business.
Building your brand takes a ton of work. It’s a process that takes time and energy. It can take years to put all the components together in a cohesive way that makes your company stand out from the rest.
Each piece of the puzzle, however, helps promote your organization and can boost your marketing efforts. While this initial list can get you started thinking about branding your business, you may want to enlist the help of a professional marketing team to create a cohesive plan as your company grows.
Not only should you research who your potential customers are (and why,) but also look at your competitors. It’s worth taking a look at what your competitors keyword rankings on Google searches to see where you can start zeroing in on keywords for your business. Don’t forget to do your seo research when building your brand.
Develop a strategy to meet your branding goals. This may mean mapping out a social media presence, adding content to your blogs, developing a voice in your writing, redesigning your website to match your logo, tagline, color palette, and typography.
A brand style guide is a collection of your preferred logo, fonts, and other creative materials that you plan to use to brand your company. This guide can be used when creating graphics, designing pages on your site, designing print materials, writing your blogs, and posting on your social media channels.
A quality customized logo can visually set your business apart from others in your field. Our professional design team can help you design a logo and add your color palette to bring your brand identity together under one visual component.
Founder and Director of Sperling Interactive, Mike Sperling believes that, “Having a consistent visual identity and voice is important in all of the forms of marketing and advertising that you are doing. It takes a potential customer at minimum 6 times seeing your brand before they start to identify with it.”
Yes, the logo and color choices are critical to creating a visual look for your business brand, but your voice, personality, and culture add to your brand just as much as those other components. Determine what voice and style you plan to use in all of your literature.
While many experts in the marketing community may not agree on an actual definition of branding, they all know the importance of carving out a name for your business. Carefully creating the components of your brand: your logo, slogan, colors, typography, written content, social media posts, website design, reputation, and your unique voice can bring consumers to your product and make them loyal to your brand.