The idea of having to brand your business might, you think, be something that happens naturally. It would follow your entire business philosophy; it’s easy to assume that the brand itself is not a distinct entity.
In reality, failing to treat your brand as a living, breathing organism that requires nurturing is a one-way ticket to failing. Branding is not the same thing as the essence of the company behind it. It doesn’t just happen organically; it has to be created and thought of as a separate component of your business entirely.
What Makes A Brand?
A brand is all about what you want to be represented as. Let’s take an example of a clothing store. On the basis of it, that’s pretty simple: you sell clothes, probably to a specific demographic, with a particular style in mind.
That’s not really something you can promote, though – for one thing, it would never fit on the posters. What you create as a brand is your hook, something that becomes recognisable to everyone. So that example wouldn’t be about just clothes; it’d be about selling the lifestyle of the people who wear those clothes. If you were marketing to teenage women, then your brand wouldn’t just be “clothes”. It would be “stylish, carefree, exciting” for example – and everything around your company would emphasise those values.
Why Is A Brand Important?
Over time, associating yourself with certain feelings, movements, and lifestyles, becomes a way of being remembered. Even if the aforementioned teenage girl wasn’t shopping for clothes, she might remember your company when she saw something that referenced being carefree.
Not only does it help retain existing customers, but a good brand will act as a selling point. People will want to buy into the lifestyle you are promoting as much as they want to buy your products or use your service. For example, if you offer business services with a brand based around excellence, then companies will want to use you to associate themselves with that.
What Is The Most Important Thing About A Brand?
It has to be visible. If you’re not indulging in outright brand promotion, then you’re falling out of the public eye. If you’re out of the public eye and consciousness, then no one is going to be buying into what you are selling.
Visibility is no longer a matter of billboards and the old fashioned styles of promotion. You can use these tactics if you choose; there is definitely still a place for them. However, online branding is incredibly important, especially if you are wanting to catch the millennial demographic. If you don’t feel that you know quite how to do that (if you’re not a millennial, for example, it can be tricky to know how they think) then bring in people that do.
Is Branding Expensive?
It may be, depending on how far you want to push it. As always with business expenses, there are small things you can do for a low cost – or you can spend a huge amount of money. The impact you make may correlate with this, or you might just get lucky with a small campaign.
However, it’s an investment in the future of your company – so it’s one you should think longer and hard about.