Branding Matters, even for small companies

Brand matters. In a world where it seems everyone is using Google to find the cheapest price, and everything appears to be transactional instead of relational, companies are too quick to dismiss investments in their Brand. This may gain some short-term sales, but it sacrifices the long-term potential of the company.

Rather than focus so much on the next cost per click, or the next transaction, take time and invest resource to develop the brand.

With a stronger brand comes higher average orders, more repeat business, and lower resistance from potential new customers. While a deep dive into branding can take a lot of time, there is something every company can do now.

First, understand who you are and be certain all your employees know. Seems simple, but if left unstated, not clear, your company will try to be all things to all people. Instead, be sure of where your Brand stands in the market. Do your employees and your advertising reflect that position. Once you’ve defined your Brand, what are the attributes that should be common in your advertising and in your employees’ interactions with customers? If these aren’t defined, you’ll likely have confused employees and a confusing message.

Second, be consistent in your imagery. This is not just about the logo. It’s about the colors, types of images, consistent layouts. When someone sees your ad, or your website, or your building, would they think of your company even without the logo? If not, you’re not consistent enough.

Third, your brand is about how people feel about your company; are your employees embracing that? Just as imagery is important to the visual, interaction is important to the experience. Are all your employees demonstrating the same traits? It’s not just about “being nice.” Is your Brand feel about compassion, enthusiasm, thoughtfulness, creativity? The experience of your customers should reflect this every time they interact with an employee.

Starting the path to developing a strong Brand first requires that you define the Brand and be consistent with how people experience it. Then, when you spend more on advertising, it will resonate with customers and “stick” over the long haul.

Not everyone is a Brand Marketer. If you need help, consider using a branding agency to help define and communicate your brand.

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