Why Exactly is Branding so Important?

Why Exactly is Branding So Important?

To customers on the lookout for what you’re selling; how you appear, what you say and the way you say it, all add up to a perceived value that they’ll weigh up in their head in comparison to your direct competitors. However, gone are the days where branding was simply an aesthetic pursuit, and it is now much more than a visual exercise.

 

For example, what is it exactly you want your product to stand for? What do you want it to say? How do you want customers to perceive your company? Potential customers can get at a glance all of this information and more to make a split decision on whether or not your product is for them. As Tom Goodwin states, “brands are essentially patterns of familiarity, meaning, fondness, and reassurance that exist in the minds of people”.

Love at First Sight

 

As the saying goes, “you only get to make one first impression”, and it is an invaluable one in terms of whether or not you make a sale and attract new customers to your service.

Keep in mind that branding is for the outsider, the customer, who does not know what you know about the product. It has to speak to the skill, care, and quality you know went into the product but they have to absorb at a glance. If you have a particular target audience, it needs to reflect their values and interests as much as it shows off your product.

For every bottle of gin there are another fifty looking to take your customers, for every pair of trainers there are ten other brands looking for that money too. This means you’ve got to appeal, and you’re constantly competing for your customers’ interest. Your brand is what makes you appealing. If the branding is to a high standard, and reflects the message of your product effectively, then customers will tend to assume the product itself is made to the same standard. In a world of instant access and endless choice, it is being able to stand out via your brand that helps get you the sale over your competitors.

Your Branding Journey

 

However, the journey to reaching this ‘high standard’ is not as simple as you may think. Firstly, the branding needs to be in tune with what sets the product apart and the message it’s trying to portray to customers. It is essential to get to the heart of what difference the product is going to make to people, and the tone it seeks to project to potential customers.

Sometimes this can mean going deeper and more intricate than some people realise you can be with a product, because anything can convey a message. Effective branding simply aims to let the customer see the energy and purpose that brought the product to life in the first place.

 

Once the message that lies at the heart of the product is found, a natural progression through the branding and later design process can begin. This holds true for any product as some of our past work shows, from gin bottles to revolutionary apps for the construction and utilities industry. They all start from the vital place of what it is exactly that makes you as a company or product special.

It is this unifying aspect of branding that means it can be a lightning rod for the desires, future plans, ethos, and message behind a company that employees and customers can rally around. As such, a well defined brand can not only guide advertising and marketing but also engage and align employees with everyone working towards a common goal and idea. Ultimately, employees are no different from customers,  They want a story. They want to know what they do and why they do it. They want to know what’s expected of them by both customers and their leadership. All of this can be helped by effective branding.

In an ideal world, your brand will change how people perceive your brand, drive new business, and increase brand value – but it can have the opposite effect if done incorrectly. Take for example GAP. In 2010 they attempted a rebrand at an estimated cost of $100m as they felt they were in need of modernisation and were suffering from “brand fatigue”. However, the new branding lasted just six days before public outcry forced a reversion. This saga highlighted an often missed aspect of branding which is the emotional connection it makes to your customers. As a classic, the old GAP branding is still in use today for this very reason.

 

After all, the branding of a product is all about the connection to the consumer, what catches their attention, and what sets you apart from your rivals. The ability to realise a branding solution that works not only for you, but effectively projects the message you are trying to convey is what makes a product ultimately a success. When the branding of a product is in harmony with the message behind the company, ethos and atmosphere it seeks to create, great things are possible. Just ask some of our happy customers!