As a business owner and entrepreneur, the strength of your branding strategy is crucial to your company’s potential success. This is true whether you’re starting a new business or looking to expand an existing one. Entrepreneurship, tax preparation, real estate investing, landlording, property flipping—whatever business you’re in, you need strong branding.
Your brand determines how you’re perceived by your customers, competitors, and community. And one thing is for sure, it’s not possible to build a well-known and powerful brand if you don’t take the time to really focus on it. Instead, you should approach it with a long-term perspective.
So, if you’re looking for the how and why of cultivating a successful branding strategy, you’re in the right place! Here I’ll define branding as a whole and touch on the advantages of having a strong brand. I’ll also outline the fundamentals and discuss ways branding helps build your business in this introductory guide.
Get ahead of the game. Register today for access to my EXCLUSIVE online training, ‘Learn How To Build A Brand That Dominates’ and learn everything you need to know to create and manage a successful brand.
But First, What Is Branding?
Branding is defined as the process of creating a distinct identity for a company in the minds of its target audience and customers. The most fundamental components of a company’s branding are its mission, voice, logo, and visual design. However, the quality of your products, customer service, and even the pricing of your products or services have an impact on your brand identity.
Think of it this way: you’re branding your business by creating a website that explains what you offer, designing advertisements that promote your goods and services, choosing specific ‘corporate’ colors that will be associated with your business, creating a logo, and using it on all your social media accounts. That is, you’re influencing how and what people think of your company. You can get a step ahead by reading my recent blog post, ‘Five Tips For Marketing Your Business of Facebook’.
Branding Is More Than A Strategy
It’s important to note that even if you never invest in a strategic branding strategy, you still have a ‘brand’ you need to market. For instance, if your business provides subpar customer service, it will ultimately affect how your clients perceive you. You can establish yourself as a brand that goes above and beyond, or you can be known as a company that does not care about its customers.
In the end, the truth is what your customers think and say about your brand, not what you want them to think. When they hear your company’s name, it’s the first thing that comes to mind. Ultimately, it’s based on a feeling they have that stems from their positive or negative interactions with you.
It’s for this reason alone that your business plan and brand management strategy are crucial pieces of the entrepreneur puzzle.
Why You Should Care About Your Brand
Virtually no business ever sets out with the intention of curating a “bad” or unreliable brand. Many business owners set out to start a business with the grandiose goal of providing high-quality goods at an affordable price and acquiring long-term customers.
Again, even if you invest in creating a strong brand identity, you will still have a brand, so why not give yourself every chance to succeed?
Through effective positioning, building a brand aims to make it simple for customers to understand what you offer and how. But it’s more than just a USP—unique selling proposition—it’s a collection of all the ways you convey your values.
When it comes to effective branding, actions speak louder than words. There’s a big discrepancy if your company’s mission statement emphasizes your five-star quality service, but you don’t actually provide excellent customer service.
A well-thought-out strategy and agreement on your company’s preferred brand identity are necessary for successful branding.
Benefits of Investing in Your Brand Identity
Investing in your brand identity isn’t just for fun; it also has numerous real-world advantages that can assist your business in scaling up and achieving success.
Strong branding has the following advantages:
- Raised revenues.
- Recognition and loyalty to customers.
- Assisting in the development of an inspiring and clear company-wide mission or purpose.
- Assisting in the development of a robust company culture in which your employees enjoy their work.
- Attracting top talent to support further business expansion.
Creating a strong brand equity helps you differentiate yourself from your competitors.
Again, it takes time to build a strong brand, but the effort is well worth the reward.
Understanding The Branding Process and Brand Guidelines
Clear brand guidelines are essential for maintaining a consistent and cohesive brand. Your brand includes not only how your customers see you but also how your employees see you.
In addition to your company’s colors and logo, you can convey your brand identity and message by:
- The atmosphere and setting of your store: Is the atmosphere of your store upbeat and contemporary? Or is your environment drab and uninteresting?
- Possessing a distinct brand promise: What do you want your customers to know about you?
- Customer service from your employees: Are you renowned for providing excellent service to customers and a positive customer experience?
- The items/services you sell: Are you known for the high quality of your products?
- The cost you charge for goods and services: Is your brand more geared toward luxury customers or toward customers who value great deals or bargains?
- Packaging for a product: Strategic product packaging, which is often overlooked, can significantly affect your brand’s value and recognition.
- Public relations: Strategy for branding and public relations frequently go hand in hand. Your brand is impacted by how you handle difficulties and mistakes as your business expands.
- Sponsorships: Your brand’s image is also heavily influenced by the partners you work with.
- Advertising: If you want to increase the recognition of your business, brand advertising must be done well. The issues, challenges, and requirements of your target audience should be the focus of your advertising communications.
The strength of your brand will ultimately be affected by virtually every business decision. If your company does not yet have a consistent brand or if you do not like what your brand currently stands for, you may very well benefit from a “rebrand”.
That being said, it’s essential to keep your intended audience in your foresight as well as your devoted clients prior to discarding your current branding strategy. Typically, unless absolutely necessary, resist the urge to “start from scratch.” A new brand can significantly boost your business’s health, but you should avoid alienating existing clients.
Not sure if you could benefit from a rebrand? Speaking with an experienced business coach will give you the insights you need to make smart business decisions.
Branding Tips For Smart Brand Management
The following actions can be taken to improve public perception about your business:
- Find out what it is about your company that appeals most to your intended audience and customers—what sets yours apart? What do you excel at?
- Create a brand promise and message that describe your company’s goals for its customers and your strengths. For example: In just 15 minutes, Geico promises to save you 15%. That is its promise as a brand. Marriott makes quiet luxury a promise. What promises are you making to your clients? Here, it might be helpful to make a list of three to six brand characteristics that you absolutely want to be best at.
- Check to see that your brand and the visual elements you use are consistent, so use gray and boring images sparingly. It’s no secret that a strong brand’s image is heavily influenced by color and design.
- Set standards for how employees should dress and behave that go along with your brand’s promise. Make sure they know what your brand is and are willing to stand behind it.
- Use your visuals on all your marketing materials, including advertising, signage, store displays, mailings, and shopping bags. It’s a proven fact that a consistent brand message can increase revenues by 10% to 20%.
When In Doubt, Get Help From A Branding Expert
Branding is a complicated process, largely due to the fact that your customers’ reactions to doing business with you will determine its success or failure. Even if you don’t always get it right, the benefits of not investing in your company branding far outweigh the drawbacks of being perceived as unreliable or trustworthy.
If you aren’t sure where to start, getting in touch with a branding expert can take your business to new heights.
So, what are you waiting for?
I’m ready to help you if you’re ready to learn. Contact my team today to get started.
…Looking for even more ways to build wealth? Don’t forget to secure your spot for my FREE + EXCLUSIVE online training course, ‘Teach Me The Digital Products Game‘ and learn the simplest, most cost-effective ways to grow your business in 2023!