In today’s ad-saturated world, the ‘brand’ is king. Your brand is what sets you apart from the competition and brings in customers. Your brand lets people know who your company is, what you stand for. What is your mission? It is designed to appeal to your target audience, and help generate sales as well as customer loyalty. Some companies don’t understand the importance of brand development and don’t spend the right amount of time working on theirs. You, however, have an advantage.
What exactly is a brand? Your brand is the backbone of your company. It’s the logo, the design, and the core beliefs, the “mission statement” of your business. A lot of business gurus will extoll on the importance and near holiness of “the brand” as the real key to a business’s success. Maybe they do get a little religious about it, but brand development is what sets you apart and makes your company unique. It’s what gets your target market interested and keeps them coming back. They’re everywhere, in everything we do.
First of all, you need to figure out what it is that you’re trying to tell your customers. What do you represent? What do you want people to know about your company? What is your target audience? These are key questions that you need to ask yourself in the earliest stages of building your company.
Brands take time to develop. So many details need to be considered and thought through that good brand development can take weeks or months. Don’t call a brand development expert and expect that they can pitch you a brand after a brief questionnaire. You need time, money, and a clear business plan to birth the right brand.
Once you’ve got these key factors down, you will need a designer to help you build your brand identity. If you’re a young company, you will probably want bright colors and energetic art, fonts that pop and visuals designed to appeal to a younger target audience.
If you’re an older company, you will want to emphasize your experience and tradition of serving customers. If you have an extensive local history, reflect that in your branding. Locals and tourists alike love to support local businesses. If you’re a national company, you want to emphasize your relatability.
Brand development is key in advertising. In a market where it’s hard enough to get noticed by customers, you need every edge you can get to make an advertising campaign work for you. A strong, organized brand makes it easy to pinpoint the right types of advertising that you need and will help make it easier for your marketing company to design ads that turn into sales.
Social media is the most important tool that modern businesses have at their disposal. A strong brand recognizes this and makes use of social media profiles tailored to the brand’s aesthetic and cultural climate. Your social media profiles can’t thrive, however, if you don’t have solid brand development. Without the brand, your social media profiles are unfocused, with no driving force behind their posts to give them that extra power.
Brand development should take trust into consideration. You want your potential customers to trust your brand. They should trust that you are the right company to work with or purchase from. They should trust that you have the wisdom, expertise, and energy to fulfill their needs. Your branding and brand identity should speak directly to a target audience that has reason to trust you. Maybe it’s because they agree with your morals as a company. Maybe it’s because they just like your brand aesthetic. Perhaps they feel like they know you – in a distant sort of way – and they’re familiar with you thanks to, you guessed it: great branding.
Financial value is dependent on a lot of things. How much revenue a business brings in, how many employees it hires, and the potential money to be made by expanding the business. But the brand of a business also a pretty big indicator of how much a company will be worth. If a company already comes with a strong, organized, and concise brand platform, then that company will require less work to get off the ground, probably has a trusting and loyal customer base, and has something for their employees to work off of. A company that invests time in brand development can be assured of a fair sale price later on down the line.
Employees need something to rally behind, something to get them excited about coming to work and something to believe in. A solid brand creates a healthy, happy work environment where employees are focused and have a central focus to drive their work.
Customers are drawn to brands. For them, a brand represents many things–quality, trust, luxury, durability. Even generic store branded items are still a brand, albeit a brand that mostly stands on the principal of not being the nationwide brand. People are drawn to brands that they associate certain values – their values – with.
Brand development is critical for small business. You need a powerful presence to make yourself known, particularly if you’re working in a big market like any aspect of the service industry, you will need to set yourself apart.
Your brand is like a picture of your company – so what do you want customers to see?