Why does a corporation need a brand? And what is a corporation anyway?
Every company needs a brand – and identity. Something that a consumer can latch on to and file away in the ‘shopping rolodex’ inside their brains so that when they next come to purchase, your image comes flying out screaming, ‘me, me! Ooh! Pick me!’ A brand is a mixture of all your marketing, your customer service pre and post sale, your product and any service you offer. It’s easy to fall into the trap of only linking the word ‘brand’ to big corporations, as that’s exactly what they want you to think, but if you let that thought take over your company image, you will never be a big brand.
A company brand is a statement that combines a trade name, logo, slogan, and certain colours, and with creative branding by a corporate branding agency, your company should be recognisable without the name being visible. When you have developed strong corporate branding, consumers get to know your product and business simply by logo or slogan alone – such is the power of professional branding.
This is why businesses, including small businesses, cannot underestimate the power of creating, building, and developing a brand. Your company brand speaks volumes about the quality of your business both to other businesses and to the general public. Branding is, in short, one of the most effective methods of marketing and advertising around for a promoting a business.
I’m a small business – why do I need a brand?
If you are a small firm or a sole trader, you could be forgiven for thinking that branding is not for you. “Big names spend money on branding, small companies just get on with the job” is a typical response when small businesses are asked about their brand activities. But this perception is wrong, your company has a brand whether you consciously develop it or not. People associate you with the image you give and the work you do.
Even if you do “believe in branding”, it may come low on your to-do list after vital day-to-day tasks that keep your customers happy and keep revenue coming in. Every company starts off this way, but there comes a time when creating a brand rises up the ‘to-do’ list, and it’s wise to do it before another image or impression becomes the brand.
Why do small firms need a brand?
Branding matters – whether you are a window cleaner, a solicitor or run a restaurant. You may not have the finance to hire a big corporate branding agency, but you still have to invest in it to make it work for you. The ROI (return on investment) is huge on brand development so take the time it needs to truly consider the investment.
Perhaps the first thing to do is to tackle the wording. If you were to replace the word “branding” with “reputation” you might understand why a corporate brand has power. You care about your reputation, right?
Branding is all about the impression you make. If you want to succeed, that impression should do two jobs – it should convey what is special about your business and it should show you in a positive light. Of course, many small businesses make a good impression most of the time without ever giving a thought to their brand. But think how much more successful you would be if you gave a good impression all of the time. That’s the reason you develop brand integrity, so that your company is linked to trust, credibility and honour whether they see your logo, hear your name or the name of your product.
Corporate Branding opens Doors
It’s really hard to spend money on something that is not directly linked to generating revenue, but that is a short sighted view of corporate branding – and a very dangerous one too. If your company does not present a well polished and credible image consumers will not buy from you, but more than that, other companies will not consider you. Creating industrial alliances is one strategy many companies now use to strengthen their market share and share of wallet spending. If you ask for such an alliance the first thing a potential company will do is investigate you. You want to present to them an attractive, caring, knowledgeable company history – a strong corporate brand – before it happens to be in on the running. This is even more important is a company is on the look for someone to alliance with, as this is usually done discreetly. This is true for any company, whether you are a sole trading cleaning lady or a fully operating manufacturing company.
If the thought of trying to co-ordinate such a huge image overhaul overwhelms you then it’s time to consider using a corporate branding agency.
What does a corporate branding agency do?
A corporate branding agency is a company that specialises in your brand identity. Their day-to-day job is to create and develop a company image for you that will attract customers – and keep them. It will also make you stand out within your industry so that can more easily become an integral part of the movers and shakers that shape the future.
Working with a corporate branding agency allows you the freedom to carry on running your business, with them working round you so you don’t lose any time or energy. A great marketing agency will take the time to consult with you. Putting you at the centre of the campaign will ensure the right corporate brand from the start making sure you make the most from your image. Invest the time it takes to create the right company brand, one that you’re proud of, one that you want to promote. Creating a solid, effective brand is much easier when people are motivated and excited by it – and you need to lead the rest.
There is a great relationship waiting between you and your chosen corporate branding agency. If you have any more questions, especially if you live in Calgary, call us. We’d love to help.