We all know good branding makes you look good. Right?
But...well, is that it? Is there more? What's the connection between branding and business success? And, does branding actually impact your bottom line?
Short answer: yes! Here are seven key ways that good branding builds your business:
1. It connects your vision and values to your name & face.
Every brand is a reputation. It gets built, established and strengthened over time. When you take the time to develop a brand based on your vision and values, you're able to lead out with what's most important to your business, and you make a first impression that's solidly in line with who you are and what you offer. As your business grows and your brand becomes more recognized — and, as you deliver on your promises — that connection is strengthened. Apple no longer needs to tell us that they're about innovation, creativity and pushing boundaries: when we hear their name or see one of their products, we know instantly what they stand for.
2. It builds trust.
We live in an increasingly visually-savvy world. Our collective ability to sniff out anything discordant or disingenuous in an advertisement or marketing message is at an all-time high (and only going up). When you don't present a unified front with your brand, you look scattered and inconsistent...and if your customers can't trust your image, why should they trust you?
Good branding paints a clear, consistent picture of who you are. It requires knowing your story, and then showing & telling it in a way that's authentic and easy to understand.
3. It shows you’re a pro.
The way you present yourself says a lot about how you operate. When you show up to a meeting in a tailored jacket, heels and lipstick (or if you're a guy, with your suit and tie and snazzy briefcase), it communicates confidence and says, "let's get down to business." In the same way, great branding helps establish you as a serious player (in whatever field you're in) — it's an investment in yourself that shows you're a professional, and immediately boosts the way you're viewed by your community, your colleagues, and by potential customers.
4. It elevates the perceived value of what you provide.
Your branding sets a standard for what we can expect from you, and the price we're willing to pay. (If you're selling high-end, custom-blended perfume at a $700 price point, would you package it in a brown paper bag tied with yarn and printed with a stock photo? Didn't think so.) In the same way, the quality and character of your branding impacts the value of your products and services in your customers' minds.
5. It helps you stand out, and differentiates you from the competition.
Ladies and gentlemen, communication is everything. In a crowded marketplace — and especially online! — design is a differentiator. Thoughtful branding is your opportunity to stand out; to highlight what makes your services & products unique; and to show why you're the best one to provide them to your chosen audience.
6. It helps you capture people’s attention.
As we're all aware, attention spans are short. You can either grab people's attention with something wild, flashy or furry (mmm...cat videos), or you can reach them with a message that has depth, interest and focus. Good brands know their audience well, and cut through the clutter by speaking to them directly.
7. It makes your ideal customers feel that you understand them.
Good branding makes your customers feel like you know them, because you’ve taken the time and effort to actually understand them — and then to show them that you do, with brand communication that speaks their language. (Which, in turn, builds more trust...along with brand loyalty.)
What other ways do you see branding helping (or hurting) businesses? I'd love to hear. Let me know in the comments below!
(For more brand-savvy info, check out Branding 101: Three Magic Words You Need to Know.)
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