Effective branding requires hard work but the payoff is enormous
When introducing yourself at a business networking event, what do you say? In other words, what is your professional brand? If you want to move forward professionally, you must clearly convey the unique synergy of passion, principle, and competence that sets you apart from others.
In the same way, you need to define your organization’s brand identity, its personality, if you will, before investing in advertising or marketing. Studies show that companies are unlikely to achieve a Return on Investment (ROI) without first establishing a brand identity. By contrast, brands that convey a coherent, positive image over time establish powerful, emotionally-charged loyalties among their customers.
Think of all the things that set your products/services apart. What qualities link your vision/mission to product/service quality and customer satisfaction? This is your brand essence or DNA. Be aware that there’s more to the equation than your logo, website aesthetic, and product design characteristics. In fact, any means by which potential customers come into contact with your organization (e.g., advertising, packaging, stationery) is a touchpoint that can affect perceptions of the quality and reliability of your brand.
Reasons for establishing and refining a viable business brand include –
- Reduced advertising expenditure when one advertising campaign can be used for several products or services;
- Faster product or service acceptance when potential buyers are already familiar with the brand name; and
- The growing body of research supporting the value of branding initiatives. For example, according to Reputations Corporation, a Vancouver-based consultancy group, “72 percent of consumers say reputation influences their buying decisions; 80 percent of employees will accept less pay to work with a company with an excellent reputation; while another 89 percent say reputation is a tiebreaker between equal products.”
Effective branding requires hard work but the payoff is enormous. It emphatically is not a gimmick or passing fancy.