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Branding

The Importance of Branding

Smaller businesses often ignore the importance of branding since they see themselves as a business that is “too small” for that sort of thing. Branding doesn’t have to be limited to only the large multi-national multi-billion dollar companies it can also be an effective way for smaller companies to experience better growth potential.

Branding is a way to help build a connection (and if you are fortunate an emotional connection) with your customers/clients and help build a better relationship with your employees who can also serve as a powerful tool for recruiting. Think of some of your favorite brands and how they might bring back a childhood memory or some other emotional response.

Reasons why branding is important for your business.

Branding Creates Trust
When a company presents themselves in a consistent professional way, it conveys that their products and service are of quality something that will help potential clients/customers in feeling more comfortable purchasing from them.

Branding Builds On Your Marketing Efforts
Marketing is an important component of building a brand. Promoting your brand are key to helping grow your business and expand into new markets and demographics. It’s often best to target certain types of clients/customers that will bring in the most money (it might not be the best idea to promote a cupcake shop at a gym) to make the best use of your advertising dollars focus where your potential customers are.

Branding Helps Create New Customers
Branding is one of the best ways to get a word-of-mouth business or referral business. One of the many reasons why it’s important that your branding, logo, messaging, and reputation work together to create a favorable impression on potential client/customer minds. Think about it, you can’t tell your friends about those amazing chocolate chip cookies you just bought if you can’t remember the brand.

Branding Can Help Motivate Employees
Anyone can hire employees, but only a strong brand with a positive connection can hire motivated employees that are inspired to carry your vision and mission forward. When your brand feels gives a good vibe, your employees do as well. Having a strong brand is essential for both employee morale and productivity.

Branding Improves Recognition
Your brand doesn’t have to be revolutionary, it should still take some time and effort into coming up with a professionally-designed, recognizable logo. Not only should your logo be recognizable, it should give the desired impression of your company so when people see it, they instantly think and have an emotional connection to you want them to think and feel.

Now that you know why it’s important to develop a solid branding strategy, here are a few ways you can do it:

Keep Your Customers in Mind
Your brand should align with your clients’/customers’ wants and needs. When starting any branding campaign, always have your targeted customer in mind and do your best to connect with them. The last thing you want to do is offend them.

Create Messaging That Promotes Your Value Preposition
Your messaging should specify WHY your brand should matter to your potential customer (e.g. “We can save you time, money or make things easier for you.”). Most consumers don’t have the desire to spend the time figure this out. Your brand must promote the narrative the addresses “why you should use us”.

Use Emotion
If you give consumers a reason to care and feel something about your brand, they more often than no they suddenly have a reason to buy. Many people make purchasing decisions based off of emotions not logic (and some industries actually, rely on this such as fashion and autos). Work to create an emotion in your prospects every time they see your brand. How often have you purchased something because of want rather than need?

No matter how large or small your business is remember, the the majority of successful businesses are the ones that have established themselves as a leader in their respective industry such as Starbucks, Google, and Apple. These businesses focus on building valuable customer experiences, they easily transform customers into brand Evangelists a term coined by Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist Guy Kawasaki. Mr Kawasaki started with the Apple Macintosh and eventually moved on to the concepts of evangelism marketing and technology. His blog is located here: The Art of Evangelism.

The Importance of Consistency

Have you ever been to a restaurant and ordered a dish you completely loved only to came back at a later time and it was completely different? This is a perfect example of an establishment lacking consistency.

One of the best examples of consistency was McDonald’s where a Big Mac is a Big Mac regardless of where you visit (There are some exceptions in India (lamb) and Israel (Kosher).

Consistency Helps Establish Your Reputation
A successful business requires a consistent record of delivering a consistent product and/or service. You can’t establish a consistent experience if you are constantly changing your processes, materials or standards. Without a documented process its difficult to deliver a compelling product or service.

Consistency Helps Create Repeat Business
Customers usually want to know what they are going to experience they are going for is based-on of online reviews, marketing efforts, or word-of-mouth.

Consistency Sets Standards
How do you measure a procedure’s effectiveness if what you are measuring isn’t performed consistently? Whether its a table-wait time of under 15 minutes to a report turn around time of 5 business days, people often come with expectations that need to be met.

Consistency keeps your Stakeholders’ Attention
Customers and employees want a predictable flow of product and information from you. If you start a campaign or promise be sure to follow through with it.

Consistency Does Accountability
Standards better able to hold your employees accountable for their deliverables and service levels. It is management’s responsibility to establish the importance of consistency to employees.

Consistency Maintains your Mission
If your organization’s mission is to deliver an industry-leading client experience (for more see our section on Client Experience) its important to set standards regarding client on boarding, product/service production, billing, quality assurance, and service recovery.

Consistency keeps your Competition Away
Customers/clients and employees want a predictable experience, a if your customers/clients aren’t getting that they may look elsewhere. Remember its usually far more expensive to obtain a new client than it is to keep one.