Why is branding so important and is it just for the big leagues?
Branding is just as important to small businesses as it is to huge globally recognised companies. In fact, most become so huge because of their branding.
For every product, system or design there’s often a multitude of similar ones available on the market. In a world where your offering can be copied and launched in a matter of weeks, brand is more often than not the only thing that differentiates you from your competitor. It’s the only thing that can’t be copied, it’s the only thing you truly own.
Most people think of branding as just a logo and a snazzy colour scheme on the website. But that’s just the beginning. Your brand influences the way your customer sees you. Your brand should speak to them before you actually speak to them. It’s not only embedded into websites and adverts, it’s engrained into employees, social media, email…even in the way you answer the phone.
With all of the ways for people to consume their media, consistency is key. You need to be memorable and avoid getting lost in the sea of companies sending emails and promoting social media posts. People prefer to do business with companies that they feel familiar with because they feel at ease when confronted with familiarity – regardless of whether they’re seeing the same tone, the same underlying message, whether they’re browsing the website, seeing a social media post or reading an email.
Does ‘brand loyalty’ exist?
Just take a look at the Apple/Android divide. Each has it’s loyal, dedicated customers that year on year upgrade to the latest smartphone from their preferred brand – often regardless of which is actually the better device at the time! Brand loyalty is very real…do you prefer Nike or Adidas? Heinz or HP? Pepsi or Coca Cola?
If you think of the advertising for most of the brands above, the focus shifts from the taste/look/quality of the product to the lifestyle and attitude it offers the consumer – ‘Just do it’, ‘Beanz Meanz Heinz’ and ‘Diet Coke Break’… they focus on your potential success, your family unity and the potential romantic outcome of choosing a certain brand over another.
Discussing the shifting focus of advertising, WDA’s managing director, Lee Waterhouse previously wrote:
“Suddenly the focus was taken OFF the product and its features and benefits and onto how a brand made you feel inside and how others viewed you. One of my favourite ad campaigns of all time is considered the first of this ilk. Created by my hero Sir John Hegarty for Levis rebellious Black Label jeans, this ad was the very first Levis advert NOT to feature the product – revolutionary at the time. Instead this was about a lifestyle statement, the copy boldly declaring ‘When the World Zigs, Zag’. (You can read Lee’s original article here.)
Don’t just talk the talk…
So, brand discussions should not only cover how you want things to appear, but how you want to be. This isn’t just applicable to those big globals. Small business are now more than ever, able to build their brand and stand apart from the crowd in a way that has ever been possible before. This is solely down to the digital era we’re in.
Gone are the days of only having billboards or TV and radio adverts! The power of social media and consumers having access to a wealth of information at their finger tips with smartphones and other mobile devices has meant that even the smallest of companies with the right digital strategy can have an excellent presence at a fraction of the cost.
WDA are not only experts in branding and design, they can also help with a full package of digital marketing, web design, social media, email marketing and much much more! Get in touch to find out how we can help today!