This article is written by Tim Reid from Small Business Big Marketing – Australia’s #1 small business marketing podcast.
A brand is simply an emotional attachment. It is the sum parts of all the things you do in your business to attract customers and build a long-term relationship with them.
And here's the kicker. In the world of branding ... 1 + 1 = 3.
What I mean by that is that any one marketing activity in isolation, whilst good and very much contributing to your overall brand, is much greater than the sum of its parts when combined with everything else you do. For example, having a memorable logo is mandatory, but having a memorable logo that then translates across on to your website, stationery, uniforms and signage all of a sudden starts to have a much bigger impact.
Consistency and discipline are critical in branding. Look at what the big companies do ... The Nikes, the Apples, the Gillettes of this world. They are brand building masters. No matter what part of their brand you are in - whether it be their packaging, stores, website, events - you have the same experience.
Here's the thing - You register a business name but you build a brand. And here's 5 reasons why you should:
- You can charge more when you have a brand because people see value. They see beyond the price and for often emotional, even nonsensical reasons, want to be associated with a strong brand instead. Is there really that much difference between say, Finish Dishwashing Liquid and it's cheaper counterparts?
- In a world of sameness, brands offer a clear point-of-difference ... A competitive advantage. There's no shortage of Accountants, Plumbers, Marketing Consultants or any other service provider for that matter, so what sets the good ones apart? You guessed it, a strong brand that means something in the mind of their prospects and customers.
- Brands are memorable. If you stand for something, and any great brand does, then this can get you on your prospects' shopping list. Which, as a general rule, only ever has three brands on it for any purchase decision.
- Brands emotionally engage with their prospects - and when someone is emotionally engaged (with anything), it is much harder to sever the ties and look elsewhere.
- Brands are an asset, they're actually worth something. Did you know that Coca-Cola's balance sheet is 40% plant & equipment and 60% brand! So, if it ever came time to sell your business, you can quite rightly put a value on your brand. In fact, having one in the first place, may be the reason someone is attracted to buying your business over another one that, from a rational perspective, sells pretty much the same product or service.
What's your favourite brand and why? Be honest. I bet it's because of some emotional reason and not because it's made from a better material, or comes in a wider variety of colours or because it's faster.
I'll kick it off ... I drive a Lexus as it makes me feel successful - it's my reward for working hard, plus I'm confident that it will never let me down.
There, I've said it! So, over to you ...