Your brand identity defines you. It determines how you are seen by others and informs your next business move. But why exactly is well-planned branding so vital for success? Here are six reasons why establishing your brand should be a truly essential part of your business plan.
Brand identity endows you with a powerful form of shorthand communication. Used wisely, this is an invaluable tool. It enables customers with no previous experience of your company to recognise you and mentally slot you into the right place among other products and services on the market. Your visual identity and logo, packaging, copywriting style, and even your voicemail recordings and telephone manner can all help the public to build up a picture of your company and its values, enabling people to form an instant and accurate impression of what you offer.
How do you set yourself apart from your competitors? Just as on a personal level, our physical appearance, sense of humour and conversational style all help people to relate to us and understand who we are, the signals you send through your branding help customers to do the same with your company. And while it’s not about aiming to be liked by everyone, sending signals to like-minded souls who have a lot in common will help you to reach the very customers who will help your business succeed.
Advertising and marketing is often about playing the long game, building up awareness over years of constant, consistent presence. Your brand identity is a vital part of this strategic and slow approach, allowing people to build up awareness of your company and making your brand more memorable. Your brand personality will enable people to get to know you on a personal level, becoming familiar with your name and even looking forward to hearing what you have to say.
Branding isn’t always outward-facing – it can unify your employees and help them work well together. That’s because having well-identified goals and company values gives employees a sense of purpose, offering something to live up to and work towards. With a good understanding of your corporate brand identity, employees are motivated to strive to achieve for the brand. This then generates commitment and pride in your business.
Brand loyalty is the Holy Grail for companies large and small who rely on customer dedication and the resulting word-of-mouth recommendations to sustain and grow their business. But customer loyalty can’t exist without a strong brand identity for people to stay loyal to. To succeed in retaining loyal customers you first need to put in the groundwork by planning a brand development strategy that will underpin all your customers’ interactions with you.
To communicate your message effectively, you need to ensure that that message remains the same. Well-established branding helps to keep your output consistent across multiple channels and media, as well as over time.