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The importance of a good branding strategy for your business

20th December 2017 Print

Branding remains one of the most important strands of a company’s marketing strategy. Your brand may be the first interaction that a customer has with your business and if you get it wrong, it could also be the last. However, a good brand cannot simply be cobbled together on a whim, it takes careful planning and a strategic vision. 

More than just a logo

When people think about what a company brand actually is, they usually talk about names, logos and designs, but a business brand is more than just a visual symbol. It should also convey something about a company’s identity. Depending on the reaction it provokes from customers and members and staff, it can give organisations a clear purpose. 

When designing a brand, businesses should not start by asking, “What would look good?” Instead, they should ask, “What sort of message am I trying to convey?” Your brand should give customers some idea regarding what sort of company you are. This includes the messages you put out into the world and where you choose to advertise, as well as your name and logo. Practically every interaction you have with your customers will contribute to your brand in some way, so it’s important to take them seriously. 

It can create a competitive advantage

A good brand can give a business a serious competitive advantage. If you have a brand that is associated with good customer service or high-quality products, then the pull that you will exert on consumers will be much greater than a new player on the market. 

The right brand strategy can also align your business with particular values that make you more attractive to consumers. Perhaps you are cultivating a reputation for supporting charitable causes? Or maybe you have a progressive attitude to your employees’ working hours. Whatever your brand says about you, it could help steer consumers away from one of your rivals.

It creates loyalty

A solid brand is also a great way of creating strong customer loyalty. Just take Coca-Cola, for example. When shoppers enter the fizzy drinks aisle of a supermarket, many of them will not even consider opting for an alternative brand. Through its iconic design, it has become engrained in the consumer consciousness. 

Even if you do not have the marketing budget of a huge multinational company like Coca-Cola, there’s still a number of ways that you can create a more lasting connection with consumers. Using branded merchandise creates a tangible link between business and customer, for example. This could be via a promotional giveaway or even something as simple as personalised keyrings for your brand.

A damaged brand is hard to shake off

Another reason why an effective branding strategy is so important is that when things go wrong for your brand, it can cause long-lasting damage. If you make a misstep with your external communications or make a faux-pas with your customer interactions, you can quickly find that you have a toxic brand on your hands. Even if you make the necessary improvements, customers can be unforgiving. The best approach, therefore, is to prevent your brand from becoming damaged in the first place, and that means putting a clear strategy in place right from the very beginning.