Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room. – Jeff Bezos.
A company’s brand is not its logo, website or business cards. Brand means the vision of the company. A brand represents a vision, some values, and a way of being and doing things. A successfully implemented brand becomes an essential tool for achieving a company’s business objective.
The brand in its own right, represents the global vision of a company. A well applied brand can maximize the efficiency of any company, minimizing the necessary investments and strengthening any action.
Let’s take a look at the important ways a strong brand impacts your business:
- Improves recognition – One of the major components of your brand is your logo. Think of how we instantly recognize the golden arches of McDonalds or the simple, but powerful tick of Nike. As the “face” of a company, logo design is critical because that simple graphic will be on every piece of correspondence and advertising. A professional logo design is simple enough to be memorable, but powerful enough to give the desired impression of your company.
- Creates trust – A professional appearance builds credibility and trust. People are more likely to purchase from a business that appears polished and legitimate. Emotional reactions are hardwired into our brains, and those reactions are very real influencers.
- Generates new customers – Branding enables your company to get referral business. Would it be possible for you to tell a friend about the new shoes you love if you couldn’t remember the brand? A large reason ‘brand’ is the word used for this concept is that the goal is an indelible impression. As the most profitable advertising source, word of mouth referral is only possible in a situation where your company has delivered a memorable experience with your customer.
- Creates expectations – We live in a world based on promises. Restaurants promise to provide fresh food made in clean environments. Our teachers promise to educate and protect our children during the school day. Often there are legal repercussions that bind people to fulfill these promises, but more often than not promises and vows are maintained based on the individual’s own moral and ethical code. We have an unspoken contract with the people we live and work with, that they will do what they say they’ll do. We have similar agreements with companies, products and services.
At the heart of branding is the promise that is made by the organization to the audience. The brand promise tells the audiences who you are, what you believe in, and what unique value you provide. The ability to fulfill your promises at every stage of the relationship is the defining factor for most organizations success or failure. When promises are broken the reputation of the organization is called into question, and the brand suffers. When brand promises are kept, audiences respond with loyalty and affection.
We encounter brand promises on a daily basis. The simple act of getting a soda out of a vending machine is an exercise in brand promise. The vending machine offers many drink options to choose from, but more than likely our drink selection will be based on prior experiences with a specific product. We have an expectation of an experience when we make our selection, much of which has been established through the decision-making steps of awareness, interest, desire, and satisfaction.
Interestingly, the things that influence our decision-making process have little to do with the product or service. Much of our experience with a product or service is created through the associations that we’ve made with the product through advertising, brand identity and the environment in which the product is experienced.