A brand is literally what people say about your business when you’re not in the room.
These days we all hear about this or that brand and how a particular brand is better than the other. Like for example, is McDonald’s better than Burger King, or vice versa. What this teaches us as marketers and consumers are that for a company to be recognized, they must first and foremost have a strong brand. To have a strong brand, the messaging must be recognizable and consistent. Brands shouldn’t only provide products but also provide meaning.
The fact of the matter is, a strong brand is the heart of any companies’ success.
Whether we’ve seen on social media or marketing agencies, many of us agree that a strong brand is of the essence, but what can it really do for your company? And what exactly is a brand?
We often hear this the word “branding” from young, hip startup companies. If you’ve ever come across a small group of young entrepreneurs at a coffee shop and overheard their conversation, there’s a high likelihood of you hearing the word “brand.”
Are there really real benefits to branding? Will it boost your online presence or increase storefront traffic? All these are great, legitimate questions for any business that aspires to bet ahead of its competition.
Before we dive into what the benefits of having a strong brand are, let’s first define what a brand is. So, what constitutes a brand?
It’s like that old saying, “different strokes for different folks.” While there is no one exact definition of what a brand is because different people will give you their own definition of what branding means to them. To some, it’s what font and colors they choose for their company. To others, it’s their company’s philosophy and work culture.
But an overarching definition by the American Marketing Association is that a brand is “a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.” A brand then is an intersection of these elements:
- Design style(e.g. logo, colors, typography, and packaging)
- Marketing strategies
- Storefront and customer service
- Website and social media presence
- Product quality and pricing
- Company philosophy and culture
- Taglines and slogans
Strong brands don’t always need to be expensive, but it sure does need a lot of ingenuity, patience, and creativity.
Here are six major benefits you can expect with a strong brand:
This means consumers are shopping online or at the mall and they see your logo, colors, or typography, they will hear themselves saying, “Wait, I know that brand.” They will recognize you wherever they may see your brand. That builds trust, and consumers choose brands they recognize.
Improved credibility and ease of purchase
When establishing your credibility, you also build up your brand recognition and loyalty. It’s the perfect one-two punch because credibility correlates to consumers' ease of purchase. They will purchase from brands they know and trust. A credible brand is more likely to get the sale.
Lower price sensitivity
Having a strong brand gives you the power to raise prices because many consumers will have the mentality of “I need this brand, no matter what.” The classic example is how shoe heads, no matter how pricey Jordan’s get, they still have the urge to buy a pair, or two. That’s because they’ve established themselves as a great brand. Great sells better than good.
Easy introduction of new products
With a strong brand and loyal consumers, it’s easier to test or present new products before selling them to a wider audience. A loyal following will most likely be more willing to pay for new products.
Your unique brand separates you from the hundreds of competitors out there. When consumers know, recognize, and support you as a brand, it becomes a kind of word of mouth marketing with your consumers as your brand ambassadors. The more you are recognized by the general public, the more you raise your competitive edge.
Customer loyalty and shared values
Consumers connect better to brands that have the same or similar values as them. When you develop a strong brand, convey your values to build an emotional rapport with consumers. Their loyalty to your brand can transfer to future generations.