Often, businesses tend to skip branding when it comes to their marketing strategy and usually push it to the back of the agenda because, well, they think that branding is for Cocoa Cola and no one else.
Yet, branding is an essential part of your business. Without it, expect no one to ever buy from you (unless they are related to you.)
Most businesses get caught up in the ‘sell sell sell’ mindset from the word go and perhaps don’t truly feel confident in their own identity or their own reasons for starting the business in the first place.
Whichever it is, building a brand your business is vital and, in this article, I shall tell you why…
The Nike tick
Who do you think about when you think about a strong brand? Pepsi? Nike? Superdry, perhaps? Funny enough, as soon as someone says, for example, Cadbury’s you might not necessarily think about the rich taste of their chocolate, but I can guarantee you that the first visual you have is that deep colour purple and possibly a warm feeling inside.
That’s a strong brand. It gives you an immediate image in your mind only at the mere suggestion of the company name.
That’s why your logo or marketing visual design needs to be the creative expression of your brand (like the Nike tick.) It needs to be a consistent presence everywhere across all your marketing materials and especially social media platforms. A strong brand will only be successful when the consumer sees in their mind a clear representation coupled with an emotional connection.
A clear branding message that says it all
Branding is all about the emotional connection you have with your target market. If someone walks passed your shop and doesn’t feel the need to step in to see what you’re selling, then, you’ve left money on the table for someone else.
When a company doesn’t have a clear brand message, it is very difficult to expect new custom to buy into the business. As someone very famous once said, we buy with emotion and reason with logic later.
If your business doesn’t have a strong brand, then there is no emotional pull between you and your customer. For example, people don’t buy pizza because they want pizza, they buy it because they are hungry, and they want to satisfy that hunger, usually as fast as possible.
Why Domino’s strap line spoke to a nation
That’s why when Tom Monaghan and his brother brought what later became Dominic’s Pizza, they rocketed the sales of the failing business because they got strong on branding through the marketing message ‘delivered in 30 mins or it’s free.’ By using this message, they identified the need of the consumer – fast, hot pizza or they get it for nothing.
The fact that the pizza wasn’t the best tasting pizza in the world was kind of neither here nor there. It was that the branding and its message rang the emotional doorbell with the consumer.
In short, it is vital that your brand statement needs to do 2 things:
Address the pain of the consumer (what they suffer from) and how you are going to cure it for them (end result.)
9 essential branding questions every business needs to ask
Great branding needs to answer the following (either consciously or subconsciously) to the consumer. If they don’t they will go elsewhere to buy:
- Who you are
- Why you are doing what you’re doing
- What you stand for and why
- What your vision is and your mission
- What is your mission statement (think Dominio’s)?
- What your values are
- What your brand personality is
- What the urgency behind your business/what is it you want to change in your chosen industry.
- What your unique value proposition is.
Communicating the value
When you consider any communication, you want to make to your target audience, you need to be demonstrating the value of the product/service you are offering. Value is the most important thing you need to get across. It is this that will separate you from your competitors and essentially, win over your target market. Something that in more recent time, Poundworld have struggled with.
Final thoughts – forget the product
Remember, whatever it is you are selling/offering to the user, it is essential you take the actual products and services and push them to the back. The WHY always comes first. Communicate that fact effectively and you can sell them anything. The consumer doesn’t care about what it is exactly you are selling, they care about how you are going to make them FEEL after you’ve sold it to them.