If you’ve been following us for a while, you’ll know we strongly believe that branding matters. It’s not just because we work in the industry and it’s in our best interest to say so. Branding works and we’ve seen time and time again how making your business stand out with memorable branding makes all the difference to revenue and customer loyalty.
Why is branding so important?
For one thing, consumers have more choice than ever before. The market is saturated with competing businesses all vying for their slice of attention. Without branding, quite simply, you have no differentiation. It’s your brand, not your product or your service, that builds loyalty and gets your customers coming back to you time and time again. This is because people establish a relationship with the elements in your brand; they build emotional attachments to them.
Granted, if you’re offering a person-to-person service, you’ll have the added benefit of your customers establishing relationships with you or your team. Products alone can’t do this. That said, it’s still your branding that gets people interested in your services, so it’s essential regardless.
So how do you know if your brand is standing out from the crowd?
Annnddd… if you’re not sure that it is, what makes a brand stand out in the first place?
Building a brand is unquestionably an art, but there’s a science to it too. There is a proven formula to ensuring your business remains competitive in the marketplace.
To make your brand stand out it needs to be original
If your brand isn’t strongly original, people have no compelling reason to come to you over your competitors. You may catch some little fish but your bait won’t be strong enough to hook the big ones and you’ll probably find that the little ones lose interest over time. Find what truly sets you apart and ensure you communicate this through your branding.
You need to understand your target audience
If you’re not clear on who your target audience is or what it is they want, you want to get super clear, super quick. Understanding fosters connection—it makes your audience feel like you get them and help to strengthen that emotional connection that’s oh so important.
Understand what a brand actually is
While it might have been true before the technology boom, these days a brand is such much more than just a logo. It includes any point of customer interaction such as your website, business cards and social media accounts as well as the general design, chosen colours and personality of your brand—that which is portrayed through design but, most importantly, your messaging. If you’re not taking a holistic approach to building your brand, you’re not going to succeed in developing one that stands out.
Be bold or go home
Being bold doesn’t necessarily mean you’re taking risks but it does mean you’re not playing it safe. In the branding game, playing with the bumper bars up won’t get you very far. Think of boldness as experimenting with new and fresh ideas or taking a stance on a particular contemporary issue. For example, one cornerstone to your brand may be that it’s environmentally friendly and so you appeal to the value driven portion of the market (which is one of the fastest growing portions!).
What’s in a name?
A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet—but when it comes to branding, nothing could be further from the truth. A large part of what makes a brand stand out is the name. You want it to be simple, memorable and compelling. Something that sticks in people’s minds long after they’ve come across any advertising or marketing material. Essentially you want to build a brand that people recognise instantly and your name is a huge part of this.