What is branding and why it is so important for your business
There are many definitions of branding. In this blog you can find some of the most common ones to better understand what branding is and why it is so important for your business.
Brand vs Branding
Firstly let's make a distinction between brand and branding.
A brand is a set of features that characterise a business and make it unique. These features include a logo, a business name, its tone of voice and the customer experience, among others.
Branding is, on the other hand, the process of developing these set of features so that customers can instantly recognise the products and services that belong to the business (source: HubSpot).
So, brand is a thing whilst branding is a process.
With this distinction in mind, let's see some definitions.
According to Branding Magazine branding is
"a marketing practice in which a company creates a name, symbol or design that is easily identifiable as belonging to the company".
For the American Marketing Association a brand is
"name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers"
Making your business unique and giving it a clear positioning is the true power of branding. Here lays the first reason why branding is so important to stand out from competitors and speak to the customers that are relevant to you.
"It’s what transforms first-time buyers into lifetime customers and turns an indifferent audience into brand evangelists"
Through the process of branding, you are also trying to influence what customers and prospects perceive of and think about your business as branding is translated into marketing campaigns across channels.
"By building a website that describes what you offer, designing ads that promote your goods and services, selecting specific corporate colors that will be associated with your company, creating a logo, and featuring it across all your social media accounts, you are branding your company"
Going further we can say that branding is not just the process of promoting or endowing products and services (Kotler & Keller, 2015); it is also the process of establishing a connection between your business and its customers (Hislop, 2001) where feelings and emotions are developed.
Why is branding so important?
Branding is fundamental to position your business in the market and communicate to the right audiences, especially today when the relationship between businesses and customers is getting more challenging. Can we actually use statistics to support the importance of branding?
Yes, we can. Let's start with the one on the impact of branding on growth ...
"consistent branding across all marketing channels can increase revenues by 23%"
Branding can indeed have a direct impact on your bottom line so it's worth being serious about it. Toronto based agency Venngage has put together 80 branding statistics that will surprise you. Here are some of what we think are the most significant ones and for each a quick recommendation for you. You're welcome!
For customers to remember a brand, there will be between 5 to 7 interactions. So think what experience you want to give to your customers and which channels you want to use to engage with them.
Almost all customers have stated that they would buy from an authentic brand. So think about what authenticity means for your business and how you will communicate that to your customers.
Over 80% of investors want the businesses they invest in to have a strong and recognisable brand. So if you are funded by a VC or other institutional investors make sure that they are on board with your branding plans and that there is a clear connection between branding and growth.
The majority of customers (over 70%) love a brand for a great customer service. So, besides designing amazing brand identity and implementing good messaging, think customers first and how they interact with your business.
Brand loyalty is worth 10 times more than a single purchase. So when implementing your brand, don't think only about how to acquire new customers. Think customer retention and building a long term relationship with your audiences.
Almost all companies, whether big or small, have formal brand guidelines. Do you have one or do you need to develop one? Now it's the time to think about it.
Last but not least, businesses with a strong brand experience a decrease of over 40% in their cost of hiring. So brand not only can increase your revenues but can also decrease your cost to acquire and retain new talent.
If you like to discuss your brand strategy or you're looking to rebrand, get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below.
Thank you for reading.