Branding is an essential component of effective marketing and can have a dramatic impact on your company’s bottom line. This is why savvy companies understand to get their business to the next level, they need to develop and nurture their brand identity.
Branding is a process that goes far beyond just creating a logo and putting it on a letterhead. It is the exploration of what makes your company different, better, and unique, and applying these distinctions in your marketplace to give you a competitive advantage.
Why branding is important
Consider Evian bottled water, which is basically…water. Yet it costs more than a bottle of beer, which contains a number of other ingredients (in addition to water) and requires a complex brewing process to produce.
How does Evian manage to charge so much for one of the most ubiquitous substances on earth? Because Evian has positioned itself in the mind of the consumer as more than just water. Drinking Evian water is a way for someone to reaffirm their commitment to health and concern for what they ingest. A bottle of Evian water is not just water. It’s a bottle of “utmost purity, lightness and underlying promise of youth.” A water with this special promise is worth significantly more than regular water (or beer for that matter), and this perceived value justifies its higher price.
Brands create emotional bonds with customers
People develop strong emotional bonds with and love for brands. They make emotional connections with their brands. They trust them, identify with them, and become fiercely loyal. They will seek their preferred brand and shun all other choices, even those offering a lower price or more features.
Brands add value to business
Branding has other benefits beyond the traditional role of generating or supporting sales. Developing a visible brand and becoming well known within your industry opens doors to financing from investors and bankers. It encourages the business media to seek out your opinion and run stories about your company. It draws future employees to your company because of the prestige a brand image cultivates. All this adds significantly to the prospective growth and value of your business. Simply put, people are more likely to want to deal with a company they know, rather than one they don’t.
Brand Identity Components
- Identifying core business values and principles
- Development of strategic positioning
- Identifying core customer attributes and attitudes
- Brand visualization — bringing a brand to life through name, colors, sound, and packaging
- Integration of the brand principles into the business culture