Everyone knows that having a strong brand is important, but what exactly does it do for a company?
“Branding” seems to be something that startup companies are constantly hearing. If you’ve ever visited an entrepreneurial conference or watched a startup business video online, chances are you’ve heard the word brand hundreds of times in one hour.
So what’s the big deal about branding? What are the benefits of branding? Will having a strong brand actually set a business apart and give it an advantage against its competitors?
Any great business marketing company will tell you: yes. Having a strong brand will definitely help a business stand out and surpass the competition.
What is a “Brand”?
Everyone’s idea of branding is different. Some people think it’s simply the fonts and colors a company decides to use. But if you’ve got a real understanding of what a brand is, you know that it includes at least some of the following:
- Design Style (eg. logo, colors, typography, and packaging)
- Website and Marketing
- Social Media Presence
- Customer Service
- Environment and Company Culture
- Taglines and Slogans
- Product Quality and Pricing
- Philosophy and Overall “Personality”
Developing a strong brand doesn’t always take millions of dollars, but it does take a lot of creativity and research.
As the world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, states;
“A brand is literally what people say about your business when you’re not in the room”.
Basically everything they *think* and *feel*, which is why branding is so important.
What Makes a Strong Brand?
There are many things that make brand strong.
Uniqueness, quality, a clear message, a solid philosophy, targeted marketing, and audience awareness are just a few. Typically, what makes a brand great isn’t just one amazing thing—it’s a combination of several.
A great example is Ikea. While they’re definitely not a small startup, they perfectly exemplify a strong brand. Why? Because they’re known for their low prices, giant stores, customer experience (cheap meatballs and set-up room displays!), and blue-and-yellow colors with the blocky font.
Similarly, fans of Apple are die-hard devoted because of not just one, but several key branding factors: the sleek look. The promise of quality products and innovation. The atmosphere of the stores. The story behind it all.
When you think about companies who are so powerful that they may as well be considered religions (like Apple, Nike, Coke, Amazon), consider that they all combine many things to make their branding work. It’s not just a logo. It’s not just a tagline. It’s not even just marketing research. It’s all of that, and much more.
Even a brand that’s much less well known—for example, let’s take the Screamin’ Sicilian Pizza Company, which makes frozen pizzas—employs many branding factors that come together to create a remarkable strategy. Their website, choice of verbage, font, and packaging make them stand very far apart from their competition. They are the ‘purple cow‘ in a sea of sameness.
What are the Benefits of Branding?
So why is branding so important? What does having a strong brand actually do for a business? It’s an ever-changing climate, but here are 8 key benefits of branding:
- Customer recognition
- Customer loyalty
- Brand equity
- Attracts talent
- Allows shared values
- Gives confidence