With lots of businesses coming up and business leaders seeking unique ways to sell their products and gain loyal customers, building a brand becomes vital for differentiation. One of the biggest obstacles in branding is not really understanding what it is. Before a brand that delights customers is built, there are certain expectations you must meet over time. Some of these expectations include consistency in quality, message, and value.
There is a lot of misunderstanding about branding and what it can do to improve the products or services of any company. Gaining a clearer understanding of how important branding is for any company before you write it off as a futile exercise can be pivotal to business growth. In this article, I’d like to expose these misconceptions that might be hindering effectiveness in business and growth.
BRANDING CAN BE GIVEN MORE ATTENTION LATER
Lots of businesses have failed to understand that customers are building a perception about their brand without them realizing it. Many business owners believe the enterprise will succeed if they create a decent product and provide good service at the right price without a brand strategy.
When making buying decisions, customers tend to focus on emotion rather than rationality and this is where branding the business and its goods will make a difference. Buying a Lamborghini for several hundreds of thousands of Dollars is not just about the product, it’s about the status and feeling the brand creates. Another good product with a less popular logo might not create the same emotional response like the former. This feeling and perception is built from the first day that products are rolled out from the company into the market.
BRANDING IS NOT JUST ABOUT VISUALS
While visuals and overall product packaging play key roles in successful branding, even the most beautiful designs cannot erase the harm that a poor customer experience will cause. Logos are visual symbols that reflect the essence of a company but so many businesses feel that the logo is all they need to build a good reputation. Branding includes commitments made to customers by your company, how you deliver on those commitments and how they value your product. Branding goes beyond your visual identity and encompasses other facets of your business, from management to communications.
CUSTOMERS COULD CARE LESS ABOUT BRANDING
Many companies assume that they don't need branding if their products or services are brilliant. Note that consumers today are more aware, trained and self-conscious than consumers of 10 or 20 years ago. If a person doesn't understand or disagree with your brand values, they are likely not going to buy your products. Even more so, they might just go online and say something about it. People need to experience a connection with your company to make a decision to buy.
The brand promise is at the core of marketing, and even sales, providing an important basis for creating a good customer relationship when handled correctly in all interactions.
We live in a digital world where consumers can easily express their views on the performance and products of a brand, and share them with the whole world. So the validity of every claim that a company makes is critical.
Furthermore, efficient branding ensures that your great product is easily identifiable in its respective market, showcases its significant advantages and connects it to potential clients.
BRANDING IS EXPENSIVE
As the most talked about brands tend to be large multinational companies, it's no wonder there is a commonly held perception that branding is for big businesses.
Think of your brand as a pledge you make to your customers, and your job is to ensure that every part of your business exudes that pledge and fulfills it. Thanks to the branding efforts of the company, most consumers automatically associate Volvo with safety. Keep in mind, though, that branding and marketing are two separate things; branding is the message, and marketing is the tool that delivers the message to customers.
A brand’s marketing strategy often begins with a well-researched, well-understood positioning of the products. This is truly important to the target audience and is used to strongly direct the creation of product content, marketing campaigns and tactical measures. This solidifies a brand’s differentiation and customer perception over time.
MY BRAND’S PRODUCTS FITS EVERYONE AT ALL TIMES
When starting a company, identifying the target market and shaping the products and services to suit their needs, tastes and lifestyle is one of the most important things to do. This is where design research is important. It is definitely the biggest misunderstanding that your business should fit everyone.
Effective branding requires that you concentrate on a particular demographic, build your message based on the profile and explicitly design your goods or services. Don't try to appeal to everyone because the results you want will never come to you. Keep your brand strategy concise and clear, concentrated on your selected market niche and core vision and purpose as a business.
Additionally, you need to review your brand from time to time to ensure it remains relevant to consumers. If it is time for a change, this doesn't necessarily mean that the best or all of parts of your brand must be thrown out, instead it means that you must use them as a foundation for rebranding.
In summary, branding as a strategy should be there in your business from the start, adjusted to adapt to changing environment and circumstances while maintaining core principles and values for customer benefits.
Do you have other misconceptions about branding? Share with us in the comment section.