If you think branding refers to what farmers do to unsuspecting cows, you’re very much mistaken.
What is a brand then?
Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, says, “your brand is what other people say about you want you’re not in the room.”
If you want people to say positive things about you behind your back, you need to have a strong brand. However, it’s not that easy. Building a brand from scratch takes time and requires consistency.
You may be thinking, “ah come on, deciding on correct logo usage and making sure my font use is consistent throughout isn’t overly important.” Well, you’re wrong!
But don’t worry, I’m going to break down 5 benefits of brand building and why it’s important to your startup:
A strong brand identity is invaluable for creating trust in your business.
Customers tend to trust brands that are familiar to them. Think of it this way, imagine you’re a child who’s buying cereal in the store.
Which cereal box looks more appealing? The store’s own brand or the one with a dinosaur swimming in a chocolate river?
The dinosaur. Every time.
In the child’s head, the chocolate dinosaur is familiar and, subconsciously, more trustworthy (it’s also pretty damn cool).
Extinct mascots aside, here are some other ways your brand can build trust among your audience:
A company that has a strong brand identity and working culture is more likely to hire new employees. And in turn, keep its current employees happy.
Reputation is everything. For example, 86% of U.S. women and 67% of U.S. men wouldn’t join a company with a bad reputation.
Furthermore, it’s becoming increasingly evident that millennials like to feel like they are working for a company whose social views and culture align with their own.
How can branding help with that?
Without sounding like ‘1984,’ informing all your employees of your brand identity and values build a perception that your employees are working towards a common good.
However, the best way to get the ball rolling here is to work on your mission and vision statement.
A mission statement describes your function, market, and competitive advantage. Whereas, a vision statement defines the way in which your product or brand distinguishes itself from the competition and how this benefits your customers.
If you need further clarification, here’s a handy image that outlines what questions you should ask yourself when crafting your mission statement:
Whatever industry you’re in, it’s hard to disagree that brand loyalty is harder to build than ever before.
You cannot blame customers for this.
The internet has allowed customers to research the best deals and make direct comparisons with ease. This is particularly a problem for eCommerce businesses. A better offer is seemingly always around the corner. Moreover, even if you offer an initial discount to new customers, it’s sometimes still not enough to guarantee returning consumers.
However, that doesn’t mean you should give up on keeping customers around. To give yourself as much of an advantage when it comes to building a loyal customer base, you need to ensure you have as strong a brand identity as possible.
The process of re-branding or building a brand has knock-on benefits for your startup. Brand building requires you to strip off all the parts of your business and take a real good look under the hood.
Anyways, enough of me pretending I know anything about cars, here are some things to look at when brand building.
In the process of deciding on these things, you need to research your competitors and your target audience. While you may already be doing this for your content or social media marketing already, it’s never a bad thing to research these two further.
As the old saying goes: “Fail to plan, plan to fail”.
A clear plan, manifesto or brand guidelines document can be invaluable to your startup and the difference between succeeding in your industry or barely getting out of first gear (OK, no more car metaphors!)
Don’t think that a single slideshow about your brand is enough. Brand building is an ongoing process. However, having that first initial blueprint can help you stay on track and remember why you do what you do.
Read our recent Publicize Manifesto for some inspiration!
So there you have it! Brand building is a relatively vague term but once you have a grasp on how to build a brand, you’ll be able to start putting some of these into fruition.
Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was anyone’s brand. Therefore, you have to remain patient and stick to your guns throughout the process. However, start today and you’ll develop a brand stronger than the colosseum.