Every business has a name. But not all of them have a ‘brand’.

‘Branding is the process by which companies distinguish their product offering from the competition.’ – Jobber (1998)

Apple, Facebook, John Lewis, Coca-Cola… all of these names bring not just a logo to mind, but also what these businesses stand for.

5 marketing trends to look out for in 2018

A brand is not just a visual style but also values, tone of voice, purpose, and attitudes – all of which combine to make customers feel a certain way about a business.

Here are 5 benefits that branding can have on your business:

1) To stand out against competitors

If you’re in a highly competitive industry, your brand is what gives you the edge over all others. It helps customers to differentiate you from the competition.

Repetition is key to building recognition. Having a consistent brand that is reflected throughout your entire business, including on your website and social media channels, helps it to become recognisable. The more recognition your brand receives, the more it will grow and the easier it will become to win more customers – and tempt them away from your competitors.

2) To create a positive image of your business

No matter what your business does, you’ll have ideas about your ‘ideal’ customer and how you want your business to be perceived. Even if you haven’t got these ideas down on paper, they are the beginnings of a brand.

Taking some time to put the same care and attention towards your brand image that you give every day to your business, shows your customers that you care about portraying professionalism and credibility.

Businesses with strong brand identities are often thought of as large and well-established. It’s this subtle suggestion of quality that makes it easier for customers to put their trust in your brand.

3) It makes it easier to promote your business, products and services

A strong brand identity allows you to integrate your marketing activities and create consistent communications. This helps to build recognition, saves you time on your marketing, and reinforces your message.

As your brand becomes more established, it becomes easier for you to introduce and sell new products and services. People are already familiar with your brand and know what to expect from it, so it takes far less investment to win their business.

4) It helps to build customer loyalty

Brand-building is an on-going activity which helps to strengthen relationships with existing customers, reminding them of your presence.

A customer can become loyal to your brand because you share the same values. Values can be rational – such as price or quality; or emotional – such as shared moral values, or feelings of prestige or aspiration by being associated with your brand.

Customers who have strong loyalty to a brand are not only more likely to make future purchases, but will also recommend your brand to others. There are two huge benefits to this. Firstly, it costs far less to retain an existing customer than win a new one. Secondly, word-of-mouth recommendations – or ‘social proof’ – are one of the most influential (and free) marketing tools.

5) You may be able to charge a price premium

Customers want to buy from brands that they know and trust. If they’re already engaged with your brand it makes it easier to win their business and to communicate the value of your premium pricing. Think of the iPhone for instance – despite the countless range of other, cheaper phones on the market Apple has a tribe of loyal followers who would never dream of choosing another brand.

You don’t need to be a global brand like Apple to take advantage of premium pricing, however. Once your brand is established, recognised and embraced by your customers, you may be able to charge premium prices – as long as you can communicate why customers should choose you over cheaper competition.

Would you like to turn your business into a brandContact us to find out how we can help.