You’ve likely heard the buzz about branding and why it is the foundation of any thriving business or organization. But you may also be a small business owner or a “one-man-band” marketing director who thinks branding is just something “big companies (with big budgets)” undertake and is not worth neither the time nor the expense. We – politely – disagree, and here is why.
Why is branding essential to your business?
The fact is that your brand is how you make a memorable impression on your customers or potential clients and what differentiates you from your competitors. It also allows your customers and clients to know what to expect from your company and helps to build your credibility and representation within your industry or community. And, keep in mind, branding can change how people perceive your company, it can drive new business, and increase brand value – but it can also do the opposite if done wrongly or not at all.
Is branding just your logo?
No. A true representation of who you are as a business and how you wish to be perceived, your brand goes far beyond just your visual identity. It may seem like it consists only of elements such as logos and colors, but your brand is actually the entire identity of your business. Your brand gives you personality.
Don’t get us wrong, you need a logo and fonts and colors for your branding, but it should not stop from there. Your brand is a total impact and value you provide to your customers. From your visual identity to the tone of voice to the overall customer experience, your brand is everything.
According to Lisa Moore, MJ2 Digital Marketing Strategist, “Branding helps you to find your target customers and makes it easier for your customers to share and refer your business to others.” She goes on to say that it isn’t just about talking to the right audience, but talking to them, “with the right message at the right time with the right vehicle.”
How do you define your brand?
There is a structured process to branding, one where you must first identify who or what you want to be to your stakeholders, customers, and potential clients. Your goal is to create your brand strategy to position yourself accordingly, and then constantly manage everything that influences your positioning. Sounds simple, right?
At MJ2 Marketing, we understand that each of our clients is unique – with unique personalities, opportunities, and goals – so our approach to branding begins with a Discovery Process that then feeds into the development of creative assets, tone of voice, and an executable strategy. Through interviews and discovery, we are able to interpret your business and core values and then develop a new logo, brand messaging and tagline, and update your overall digital marketing to help create an omnichannel experience.
The best branding exercises don’t mean anything unless you do something with them. Once discovery is done, it is time to translate all that you have learned about yourself from key stakeholders, demographic research, and competitor analysis into assets for your brand.
This includes visual identity, content, updated website, social media, and paid advertising. And don’t forget it also needs to translate into actions in terms of the services you provide, the customer support, human resources within your company, and the overall experience of both your employees and clients.
Tell me again why branding is important?
Branding has always been a vital part of business, but it may be more important now than ever before as the explosion of social media. Consumers are exposed to new brands every day online and it can be tough to stand out. To do this, you need to invest in developing a strong brand that will get and keep people’s attention.
- Create Brand Awareness – Someone might see your brand for only a moment, but if it sticks out in a positive way, there’s a good chance they won’t forget it. Even if this person isn’t ready to use your products or services just yet, you will be top of mind when it comes time to make a buying decision.
- Build Trust – Branding also helps you show potential customers that you’re an established, credible business. The bottom line is that branding is not an expense, it is an investment. An investment in your business to improve itself, and potential customers will recognize that you put in the work to create your brand.
- Develop a Relationship – In many ways, you can appeal to people’s emotions through branding and make them feel more connected to your company. Branding allows you to build relationships with your audience, which can eventually turn them into loyal customers.
- Motivate Employees – When an employee works for a strongly branded company and truly stands behind the brand, they will be more satisfied with their job and have a higher degree of pride in the work that they do. Working for a brand that is reputable and held in high regard amongst the public makes working for that company more enjoyable and fulfilling.
What if I need help?
Well, we might know someone … the MJ2 Team understands that many clients are focused on their tasks at hand and operations. That’s why we think it is important to guide you through a process that allows you to take a step back and think about how branding and strategic storytelling can augment your sales and growth.
From strategy to execution, our team of blended resources can either supplement your marketing efforts or act as a full-functioning extension of your business to get the job done.