Ok, so we explained why you should have branding in our last post. Now, let’s look at what Branding is:
- Branding is the building of trust with employees, customers and stakeholders.
- In marketing terms, the definition of branding is the sum total of a company’s value, including products, services, people, advertising, positioning and culture.
- Brands give potential clients a firm idea of what they are buying before they buy it, making the purchasing decision easier.
- Customers trust strong brands because they know what to expect.
- The term ‘brand’ should not be confused with Brand Identity or Corporate Identity. Brand Identity is an element of the brand experience and we’ll talk about brand identity below.
- A Brand is a way to tell a story, your company’s story
But, brands aren’t just for big companies. They can make smaller businesses stand out from the crowd, particularly if you operate in a competitive market. We need to trust the people we do business with after all.
The benefits of branding and why should small businesses bother with it?
- The most important reason is that it can help increase your sales. This means that when you need to increase your prices (because you are a small company, and there are only so many hours in the day) then your target audience will be accepting of your price increase. Think about it like this – if your company is built upon a solid brand base, you can build up to the next stage successfully without losing the trust of your customers.
- Branding also encourages confidence and trust in your product/service – If you do experience a one-off issue with a product or service, your customers would be more likely to understand, if your brand ethos proves that you’ll do what it takes to resolve the problem.
- Branding also develops the uniqueness of your product.
OK, so what makes up a brand?
Well, as I’ve mentioned above, your brand values.
Also, visual elements such as colours, fonts and logo (more of which in our entry: Getting Started with Branding),
Your USP: Your Unique Selling Point – What makes you stand out from your competitors? – Your USP is a summary of what you do and how you do it better or differently than others. Often, a USP can be summed up in just a few words that become a catch-phrase or strapline. Whether long or short, your USP should focus on how it benefits the customer. Here are a few well-known examples of USP strap lines:
- the best a man can get. Gillette – USP focusing on quality
- the world’s favourite airline. British Airways – USP focusing on popularity
- never knowingly undersold. John Lewis – USP focusing on price
- top dog for music. HMV – USP focusing on quality
- have it your way. Burger King – USP focusing on choice
- every little helps. Tesco – USP focusing on price
- just do it. Nike – USP focusing on a can-do attitude
- the ultimate driving machine. BMW – USP focusing on performance
- the crumbliest, flakiest chocolate Flake – USP focusing on being unique
- the mint with the hole Polo – USP focusing on being unique
If you’re able to sum up your brand values and your advantage over competitors into a strap line, why not put it on your literature and advertising and make sure everyone gets the message! This is key to what your branding is.