Most of us use digital platforms to forge stronger bonds with people and businesses we know and trust on any given day. As consumers, we’re constantly searching for – not only making intelligent buying decisions – but also connecting with the items or services that provide benefits and quality to our everyday life. From a consumer perspective, indeed, it is our market. From a business standpoint, however, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find the right audience. According to a Nielson study, two seconds of attention are what businesses are given to make a lasting impression. So what-the-what? That’s why we’re here to discuss a brand and why branding is important.
It’s not just a logo or graphical element. While that may have been the case for the largest corporations in the world, like McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, and Nike, we’ll be the first to tell you that times have changed, friends. Brands are no longer recognized exclusively by their outward appearance. Instead, it’s essential to consider the newer characteristics and elements that comprise a brand and how to leverage these components to make an impact.
The Importance Of Branding In Business
We can answer the question of developing a unique brand identity and brand development strategies to achieve compounding growth. Still, first, we have to review the definition of a brand. Then, endless summaries on the world comprehensive web cover what a brand is and what it does. At the risk of being contrary, a brand is a mythical entity, not unlike unicorns or mermaids. It exists only because we created a world where these majestic creations reside.
In general, brands are an expression or experience. They’re intangible but still extremely important in the world of
What is a Brand?
Here at The Brandsmen, we like to simplify branding. Because, really, Webster’s definition won’t help you identify how to apply branding to your business, vision, product, services, organization, etc. For the sake of driving this point home, here’s the true definition of a brand directly from Merriam-Webster:
Brand: /brænd/ (noun): a particular identity, image, or reputation regarded as an asset for one specific company.
Let’s take it back to 10th-grade English class. If you were like us, a little dazed and confused, you might have missed the lesson on personification. What does it mean to give human characteristics to something nonhuman?
The Brandsmen Definition of a Brand
A brand is how an organization brings life and purpose to something that’s otherwise non-living. It means digging into the aspects of a business that reveal character and human qualities to which most people can relate. These are the mythological subjects or entities that help to forge connections and build stronger relationships.
Brand: /brænd/ (noun): your business… personified.
Exploring your brand means defining how you wish the organization to be received by the world. It’s more than what you do or sell. It’s about who you are that makes a lasting impression.
Why is Branding Important in the Digital Age?
Picture this; we’re all a little like toddlers, captivated by every shiny passing object. But, unfortunately, we’re also very easily distracted and influenced by newer or more exciting shiny things. And when there are shelves and rows and pages of shiny objects to shift through, which do we choose? How is that determined?
The National Centre for Biotechnology Information claimed that the average human attention span dropped from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds in 2013, one second below that of a goldfish. This phenomenon was coined the goldfish effect. However, a newer study from Microsoft Corp. found that people now generally lose concentration after eight seconds, highlighting the impact of an increasingly digitized lifestyle on the brain.
What does this mean for brands? For one, it means building trust through authenticity and value. It requires creating a brand that seeks to be a problem-solver for large segments of any given audience. This is crucial because, without these factors, companies are easily lost in the noise of the high-speed digital highway.
The main question is: how can a brand help to achieve these characteristics?
Importance of Branding
In a world where almost any piece of information we access is at our fingertips, does it dilute the purpose of content creators and brands? In other words, are most companies or organizations small fish in an even larger ocean?
According to a study, about 59% of consumers prefer to buy new products from brands familiar to them. These statistics, on the surface, sound poetic. Of course, every company would like to build a brand that resonates and entices people to make connections. However, if everyone seeks to build a better brand, what does that mean for overcoming a competitive edge among brands that have already garnered brand recognition?
Finding ways to stand out is becoming increasingly more difficult. The good news is that with a solid brand-building (tried and true) process, achieving recognition for a brand is doable. First, let’s review why branding is important.
It Promotes Recognition
If familiarity determines loyalty to a brand, then gaining visibility is mission-critical. A strategic branding campaign should help consumers recall a product, specialty, or service. This is usually done through:
- Visual aids or design
- Credibility (think reviews)
- Value giving
Audio and visual cues are usually adopted first to help set a brand apart in the marketplace. These sensory-driven campaigns use things like logos, colors, marks, or jingles as their main driving force to promote brand recognition.
Consumers should immediately sense the brand by simply looking or listening to visual aids. Additionally, they should be able to find consistency within your marketing practices, whether through content delivery, social media posting, ads, or other avenues of digital media promotion.
Brand recognition can bring potential customers confidence while demonstrating key value propositions.
- Brand recognition is the ability of consumers to recognize an identifying characteristic of one company over another.
- Brand recognition is achieved when consumers can recall a firm’s offerings using visual or auditory cues.
Branding Helps Provide Clarity and Focus
This point is two-fold. On the one hand, it’s highly important that audience members clearly understand what the brand does and how it executes its value within the marketplace. But additionally, branding also gives staff members and loyal fans motivation and direction in helping to promote the brand.
Importance of Clarity and Focus
A brand that lacks clarity lacks intention.
Business owners tend to find themselves lost in the weeds, especially in the beginning. According to a study by U.S. Bank, about 42% of failed businesses cite being unable to find customers for their products as the main reason for the closure.
A brand must effectively solve a problem or fulfill an existing need for consumers to compete. What’s more, these solutions should be highlighted and promoted ad nauseum for consumers to return. But without clarity or focus on the value proposition, it can quickly be buried by other brands.
Branding aligns different visions and solidifies a clear pathway to achieving focus. It would help if you approached your branding strategy from all angles to find brand clarity. Consider any of the following:
- Define a brand’s mission, purpose, and value propositions
- Refine the target audience and understand their unique needs
- Build out mood, character, and personality for the brand
- Create structure around processes and systems that highlight purpose and value
The goal is to align the mission with offerings that create and implement a cohesive customer journey.
Enhances a Customer’s Experience
Why is branding important? Simple. It enhances the experience customers have when interacting with an existing product or service.
The beauty of a brand is that it’s not restricted to transactional relationships. It usually pertains to the experience it delivers to any given audience through various touchpoints in their journey. Customer experience is how customers perceive their interactions with an existing brand. Consider the following:
- Ease of purchase options
- Customer sales experience
- Customer feedback
- Revising systems that are causing sticking points for customers
According to a Gartner statistic, “by 2016, 89% of companies expect to compete mostly based on customer experience.” Therefore, the brand building should factor in the experience customers will receive when interacting with strategically positioned products or services.
Empowering Consumers:Brand Aim
While living in a customer-centric world can be challenging, it still offers a clear-cut way to achieving successful branding. It boils down to empowering any given brand’s consumers. They should feel confident in the way they purchase. Successful brand strategies consider the interactions that lead to a purchase and actions that immediately follow.
By building on authenticity and trust, companies and organizations can leverage brands to help take action across value-driven propositions. It can also help to align messaging with intent and purpose.
“Brands are patterns of familiarity, meaning, fondness, and reassurance that exist in people’s minds.” Tom Goodwin
To compete in today’s marketplace, branding is essential.
The main components of Branding to Consider
Some common misconceptions about the brand are that these factors exclusively drive them:
As more companies catch on to this formulaic approach, marketers are quickly diluting those factors’ value by relying only on data-driven results. However, as digital media transforms how people make real-time connections, brands should consider more human characteristics and factors outside of data-drive scopes, such as:
Additionally, some marketers suggest that even a touch of magic is required to build a profitable brand that resonates with key audience groups.
The Brandsmen: Answering Why Branding Is Crucial
Standing out in a crowded room is difficult for companies, especially for those pivoting or starting up. Unfortunately, many companies make the mistake of going to market without a clear brand vision defined by unique goals, mission, and authenticity. Neglecting to build a brand may put an organization at risk of losing sight of purpose and value – both of which are key drivers in helping to improve customer experience and giving internal teams direction on marketing and promotions.
The Brandsmen provide clients with practical and proven branding services to transform an entity’s look and feel and establish its position within the market. Through our various services and support, we strategically design brands that are meant to engage with and stay relevant to existing audiences. Our experience highlights the critical methodology that garners brand recognition and overall support. Some of our services include:
- Website & Logo Design
- Brand storytelling through content & SEO
- Analyzing competitors
- Establishing clear client or customer personas
- Branding Strategy & Execution
- Reputation Management
- Social Media management
Suppose you want a top-shelf brand with a solid reputation. In that case, taking the time to design a captivating brand is imperative. Additionally, as consumers become more educated, brands are working around the clock to understand the best methods in engaging with the two to three seconds of attention granted on any given day.
That’s where we come in. We develop brands that are rooted in identity, strategy, and to some degree, a little bit of magic. We have helped numerous brands establish their online presence and execute proven methods to drive ROI. At the Brandsmen, we do the hard work necessary to ensure continued success for years to come.
If you’re looking for branding services for your product, services, business, or organization, contact a Brandsmen today.