We’ve all heard how big companies invest in branding initiatives and how these efforts come back thousandfold. But what really is company branding and how can this affect a company’s success? Is it really important even for small business marketing?
Why is it Important?
They say a company’s brand, as long as it’s highly effective, can be a tool that will bring a company to its success. It is the company’s representation and it is how the audience and market recognises the business.
There are several reasons why company branding is important.
- Identity. Without a brand, a company is considered nobody in the highly competitive world of business. With an effective brand, you’re able to create your own identity and you can position yourself as the only company who can provide a solution to the consumers’ problem. Especially if you’re a small business, you need to develop an identity to be heard amidst the noise made by huge corporations. Only in having an effective brand will you be able to compete.
- Differentiation. A brand is essential for the identification of a company’s services and products and to separate and differentiate it from other businesses.
- Loyalty. Brands foster loyalty among consumers as opposed to products which people usually don’t have an affiliation with.
- Endurance. During tough times companies with effective brands can withstand companies who don’t.
How Can You Create an Effective Brand?
You can incorporate your company branding through the name, logo, design, content, tagline and even through your personality and level of service.
But before you get busy creating a logo, picking the right colour, and creating a design that will best represent your company, there are a few things you must prioritise. First, you must study your market and know what their needs and wants are. Then understand the values of your products or services. And most importantly, you must define your company. Identify and define the key characteristics that describe your company. Use all these factors in creating your company brand.
In the process of creating your brand, consider these tips:
- Identify what sets you apart from other companies. Magnify this uniqueness and use this to sell your brand.
- Focus on your market. You can’t please everybody so instead of trying very hard to do this, focus on pleasing your market instead. Pick a style that your market will positively respond to. Make sure this style suits your company.
- Leave an impression and make people remember your company brand. Make first impressions count. Be sure your marketing paraphernalia, like your company business card and brochures, are produced at high quality. Creating poorly designed materials, will give off a negative impression.
- Keep it clear. Don’t cloud your branding campaigns with too much technical jargon or too much flashy designs. Opt for an uncomplicated and clear design that will put your message in the spotlight. It’s important to make your message clear and understandable.
- Be consistent. Maintain consistency in your message. You want your market to think that whenever they purchase a product or get a service from you, they get the same level of excellence they had experienced before.
- Be fully committed. Company branding is not only followed in the marketing initiatives practiced by the business. It should also be evident in all of the daily functions of the business. You should integrate your company brand from the development of your product down to the sales and customer service you provide to your consumers.
- Always be truthful. Never mislead your market. Eventually the truth will catch up with you and when your market finds out about this, your company branding will suffer.
- Consider asking help from experts. If you are having a bit of a difficulty, consider hiring a marketing consultant that can help you create a strong brand for your company. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help, especially when you really need it.
International brands like Apple, Coca-Cola and Starbucks, and Australian brands like Woolworths, Telstra and Coles. They are among the top companies that have successfully created a brand for their business and have reaped the rewards.
You don’t have to be a big company like them to be able to create a strong company brand. Nowadays, building a brand has become inexpensive. New tools are now easily available, even to small businesses, for companies to make a name of their own and create a brand that will catapult them to global success.
The battle for customers is getting more intense each day, jump into the bandwagon and create a strong and effective company brand now.
Debra Wright blogs about a plethora of topics including business consulting in marketing and other fields. Wright considers Marketing Angels as one of the leading marketing consultants.