A brand is more than your logo and colors (and the fact that you think they look good).
A brand is how someone else perceives you and your business. This is powerful because it doesn’t matter if you have the best offer in the industry; if people don’t believe that, they will not buy.
Yes, you can tell your audience how great you are. But this is marketing, not branding. (We love this visual from Neil Patel that quickly explains the difference.)
For people to believe what you say in your marketing, you have to prove it – this is done with branding.
Let’s start with the power of branding.
- Connects with your ideal customers
- Communicates not just what you do but what you stand for
- Stirs emotions
- Influences buying decisions
- Separates you from your competition
- Triggers other associations: value (Toyota), premium (Gucci), excellent customer service (Zappos), high quality (Tylenol), convenience (Amazon)
- Speaks for you before you say a word
So, how do you create a brand that shapes how others perceive you?
You create an experience worth sharing: superior customer care, memorable platforms, seamless transactions, incentives for referrals.
Example 1: If you sell goods but your website looks outdated and cheap, potential customers are going to associate that with your brand and products.
Example 2: If you provide virtual assistant services but your website is riddled with typos, potential clients will associate that with your brand and work.
Start by being clear on your mission, vision, values, and business objectives. What do you do for whom and why? Everything else is built from there:
- Human Resources
- Customer Service
Can’t acquire or keep customers? Then you don’t have the right offers and promotions in place, and others don’t perceive you as the solution they need.
- Defined your ideal customer and mapped out their entire buying journey?
- Pinpointed ways you can serve them along the way?
- Served them with free and paid offers?
- Done this for every customer, every time?
Over time, the branding elements you see (the logo, colors, marketing collateral) are associated with the customer experience and others’ perception of you.
Sidenote: Don’t get caught up in fancy design. Craigslist isn’t pretty, but it consistently does what it promises to do: gives you a fast, free way to buy or sell something online.
If a brand alone cannot build your business, why is branding important? Why spend time and money trying to get it right? Because your brand is an indication of your customers’ experience, and that should be important to you.
Ready to build a brand story that helps you shape your audience’s perception? Contact us to learn more.