Question: Do you have a business or a brand?

A little while ago we posted a blog about the importance of having a brand style guide. Today we take a step back and look at the benefits of having a brand, not just a business.

Let’s begin by looking at what a ‘brand’ is. We’ll take the tech giant Apple as an example (but really, any sized business can have its own brand). Apple is simply a business who started out making and selling computers. They weren’t the first to make them and they are certainly not the only business selling them today. But when you think of Apple you don’t just think of a computer manufacturer. You think of innovative products, sleek aluminum design, sitting in a café with your MacBook and speaking to an Apple ‘Genius’ in the Apple store. You’re immersed in their brand.

That’s because the brand isn’t just a business. And it goes much further than simply a logo or colour. It is the entire experience that your customer has with you. Every phone call. Every email. Every touch-point contributes to how your customer perceives you. And it is this perception, which creates your brand.

So if a brand is a perception, how can you manage or manipulate it to how you want to be seen? Well it takes a lot of planning and strategy but most importantly, you need to sell a belief rather than your product or service. Your consumer needs to connect with you emotionally. What drives you to do what you do? Why? To quote Simon Sinek’s famous TED Talk,

‘The goal is not just to sell to people who need what you have, the goal is to sell to people who believe what you believe… People don’t buy what you do they buy why you do it’.

To use the Apple example again, people don’t buy a iMac just because they need a new computer; there a lot of comparably cheaper ones on the market; they buy an iMac because Apple as a brand believes in ‘changing the status quo’ and it is this belief which is shared by Apple customers.

blog_01IMAGE CREDIT: CAP TV

A strong brand is the means to an end (the end often being increase sales). It can help to achieve this by:

Creating recognition

Whether it’s familiar packaging in a store, a logo on an invoice or the way the receptionist answers the phone, consistent branding creates recognition.

Setting you apart

Your brand makes you individual. It breaks you away from the competition. ANZ is blue, NAB is red and the Commonwealth Bank is yellow. We recognise the difference when searching for an ATM straight away.

Representing how you do business

By taking pride in your brand, it demonstrates key personality traits such as your trustfulness, and loyalty. Your brand is represented on your product or service and therefore everything you produce must achieve a level of quality surrounding it.

Keeping you focused

By setting out your brand from the start, you will have a clear focus and goal. Your business will stay on course and you can plan well into the future. It will save you time and money in the long run.

Motivating and give staff a clear direction

When a new employee starts they know what to expect. They have a good idea of how you want to be seen and how they need to interact with consumers. Employees have an added sense of pride when they work for a brand rather than just a business.

Attracting repeat customers and referrals

People have an emotional connection and love to use brands they associate with. They remember them and go back to them again and again. They tell their friends and family about them.

Telling customers what to expect

You don’t need to explain yourself, they already get it. As you walk through the store entrance you already know that Virgin Mobile is fun and youthful with great prices whist Telstra is more tailored to business and service, simply by the music playing in the background.

Adding value to your business

Your brand makes you individual. It breaks you away from the competition. ANZ is blue, NAB is red and the Commonwealth Bank is yellow. We recognise the difference when searching for an ATM straight away.

 

Ask yourself two simple questions;

  1. Does my business have a brand?
  2. Do my competitors have one?

If you haven’t already created your brand, you may get left behind. It isn’t a quick or easy process, but it is definitely a worthwhile one. If you’re felling inspired, talk to us about starting the journey today.