Brands are promises that consumers believe in. As you venture into the world of branding, keep these truths in mind:
You establish your brand by building trust in a one-of-a-kind promise about who you are, what you stand for, and what unique and meaningful benefits you deliver.
You build your brand by living up to your promise every single time people come into contact with your name, your message, or your business.
It makes no difference whether that contact comes through advertising, publicity, word of mouth, the buying experience, customer service, billings, returns, or ongoing communication.
You strengthen your brand by constantly reinforcing your brand promise.
If encounters with your brand are inconsistent or not in line with what people expected they could count on, you essentially break your promise, breaking your brand and risking your reputation and business as a result.
Building brands takes focus, passion, persistence, and diligence. Plus brand building requires effort and money. The payoff, and it’s a big one, is that strong brands build business and equity for their owners. The following sections shed light on what brands do and why they’re such a big deal.
What brands do
Brands create consumer trust and emotional attachments. As a result, they foster relationships between consumers and products that withstand pricing wars, transcend offers from new competitors, and even overcome rare lapses in product or service excellence.
Great brands aren’t just known and trusted. They’re loved.
For examples of brands that enjoy strong bonds with customers, the next time you’re stuck in traffic, look at the logos posted in the windows of the cars around you. Each time you see a logo decal, try to think of that brand’s chief competitor. Then ask yourself “What’s the chance that a buyer of the competing brand would ‘wear’ the brand’s logo with such pride?” Only brands that strike deep emotional chords with customers make their way into hearts, minds, and car windows! As you develop your brand and it gains strength and loyalty in your market area, look forward to reaping the following benefits.
Brands make selling easier
Brands are a big business today because they make selling easier in person and online. People prefer to buy from companies they feel they know and can trust, and brands put forth that assurance.
Whether you’re selling products to consumers, investment opportunities to stockholders, job opportunities to applicants, or ideas to constituents, a brand paves the way for success by establishing awareness of your unique and meaningful promise before you ever present your sales proposition.
When people are aware of your brand, they’re aware of the positive characteristics you stand for. Long before they get ready to make a purchase, they feel they know who you are and what unique value they can count on you to deliver. As a result, when it comes time to make a sale, brand owners can concentrate on the wants and needs of the consumer rather than take up valuable consumer time trying to explain themselves and their unique attributes. Without a brand, you have to build a case for why you deserve the consumer’s
business every single time you get ready to make a sale. While brand owners are closing the deal, those without strong brands are still introducing themselves.
Imagine you’re setting out to buy a new laptop computer and you see one emblazoned with a known logo – the face of a known brand. It’s likely that your next step is to dive into a discussion with the salesperson of how much memory the particular model you’re viewing contains, how the machine can be customised to your needs, what software is included, and other details that will move you to the purchase decision. On the other hand, if you see a no-name model (even at a dramatically lower price) you’re likely to first try to assess the quality of the manufacturer. You may ask the salesperson where the computer was made, how long the manufacturer’s been in business, whether the manufacturer is reliable, whether other customers have been satisfied, and many other mind-calming questions about consumer satisfaction levels, warranties, and return programs that you wouldn’t necessarily raise when dealing with an established brand.
Selling a no-name item takes time and patience. It’s a costly route to a sale in a retail setting, and it’s nearly impossible online, where there’s no one standing by to offer explanations, inspire confidence, counter resistance, or break down barriers for your consumers.
For more information on branding and corporate identity, visit http://www.acedia.co.uk