What is a brand?
It’s the tireless host at a house party, topping up drinks and spreading the sausage roll love. And, it’s the moreish chocolate cake that knows everyone’s there mostly for the icing. And, it’s your favourite denim jacket – the one that alway gets you the most compliments.
Your brand is hard working, it holds everything together, and brings a whole lot more value than most people think.
It’s the foundation that holds up your more meaty business operations.
In concrete terms, it’s a combination of:
- Your business’s creative assets (logo, colour palette, tone of voice – and all the channels where these communicative cues feature)
- The interaction that occurs at each customer touchpoint
- The intangible perception that exists in the minds of your potential customers
There’s plenty of room to debate the finer details on what constitutes a brand – that’s best done over a pint, our shout.
The key question though is, why do we care? We’d say there are five big reasons.
1. Customer connection
It’s safe to say you’re in business for your customers.
Your brand’s personality gives your audience something solid to grasp onto. The idea is to evoke emotion, so that it sticks in the mind and creates meaningful connection.
In a world of marketing saturation, it’s messages with punch that cut through.
Connection can look like a lot of things – relatability, humour, honesty, boldness, diversity, professionalism, passion, humility, innovation, or simplicity. It all depends on your organisational context.
Ultimately, this is the baseline bedrock that is responsible for the positive ripples we mention further down this page.
2. Revenue and customer acquisition
On-point branding inevitably impacts your revenue.
It’s also one of the key reasons Executive Directors turn their heads the marketing department’s way – a strong brand means big business and turnover.
Your audience will mentally file away the details on your offering, the quality and your platform. But your brand will equally affect the likelihood and spirit behind your word-of-mouth referrals. To spread the news, they have to speak your name – consequently, one of your strongest branding elements.
Just as much as your brand’s perception can grow your sales, negative experiences and PR can also hurt your bottom line – think BP after an oil spill. To keep your brand perception in check, reputational risk assessment and mitigation needs to be a key part of your organisation’s strategic decision-making process.
3. Customer retention
Seeing as you’ve done the hard yards in attracting the right customer, you should be equally fighting to keep them.
We know that it costs less to retain an existing customer than to acquire a new one. We also know that customers with a higher lifetime value are more likely to shout about your offering, and their experience.
We know that people stick with organisations they trust, like, and understand. And, we know that branding goes a long way to communicating all of these points.
It’s why the post-purchase process is so important, and has the most potential to be powerful. Keep the conversation going with your customers – every touchpoint is an opportunity to make an impression.
4. Employee loyalty
Being human, we find purpose when we have something to work toward. When you’ve got a strong organisational fit amongst your staff, and you communicate your brand values through your everyday activities around the office, you give your team a rallying focus.
Put simply – if you live your brand, your internal network becomes your team of best advocates.
5. Long-term marketing ROI
When you spend advertising budget, you’re inadvertently building brand equity. And when you’re analysing your advertising spend’s performance, you’re looking to optimise your finite resource.
We feel strongly that there needs to be a balance between prioritising both campaign-style promotional activity and initiatives that actively build your brand alone. The better you create a solid brand foundation up front, the easier your above-the-line advertising will take hold with your target market. The more your target market stops scrolling to listen to what you have to say, the more you’ll get from your media spend.
The bottom line – a solid brand can save you bucket loads.