Branding. You’re either one of the few businesses doing it right, or you revere it as some mythical marketing tactic that you’ve never quite been able to master. If you fall into the latter category, it’s time to stop procrastinating and hop on the branding bandwagon. The fact of the matter is, products and services have lifecycles, but brands have staying power.
Multiple studies have shown that brand recognition is a common denominator in consumers buying decisions, especially when it’s a product or service they’re unfamiliar with. Couple that with the fact that many modern businesses don’t have brick and mortar locations, and somewhere in the neighborhood of 50% to 90% of a company’s value is now attributed to non-tangible assets and you have a very strong case for building brand awareness. In case you’re still not convinced, here are four more ways branding impacts your bottom line.
1. BRANDING IMPACTS YOUR ABILITY TO ATTRACT AND RETAIN TOP-TIER EMPLOYEES AND TALENT.
It’s no secret that top talent can help cultivate growth in your business. Attracting the right team can mean the difference between complete success and utter failure.
Today’s employees have more knowledge, information, and power at their fingertips than ever before. With so many options, it’s important that your brand is able to cut through the noise and catch the attention of top tier talent before someone else does. Company culture has become a buzzword for a reason. Employees aren’t just looking for a paycheck anymore; employees want to work for brands that share similar values and visions.
An example of branding gone completely right in attracting world class talent is Google. Who hasn’t heard about how awesome Google is to work for? Google knows who their target audience is, is clear about what they stand for, and they’re big on company culture. At the end of the day, that means Google ends up with top tier employees and interns, a very low employee turnover rate, and an extremely high-profit margin. Win, win, win.
2. BRANDING INCREASES CUSTOMER LOYALTY.
Attracting new customers and clients by implementing solid branding guidelines is important. But equally as important, if not more important, is retaining existing customers who are loyal to your company. In fact, 70% of companies’ state that it’s cheaper to retain an existing customer than attract a new one.
Branding done right not only helps you keep customers, but also turn customers into loyal, raving fans. The fact of the matter is, your existing customers can be your biggest untapped asset when it comes to increasing sales, and also reaching potential new customers. So, it stands to reason that you need to stay at the forefront of their minds to reap the benefits. Seth Godin’s book,‘Tribes’ does a fantastic deep dive into how your personal brand helps you assemble your tribe.
3. BRANDING LEADS TO DECREASED PRICE SENSITIVITY.
Research shows that consumers are willing to pay more for nationally recognized brands. Despite having similar products and services to competitors offering a discount, a surprising number of consumers are willing to pay a premium for credible, recognizable brands.
Take the Apple/iPhone/iEverything phenomenon, for example. Consumers who nickel and dime every day of their lives will gladly wait in line AND pay a premium every time a new iPhone hits the market. It’s not because there aren’t similar products available at a cheaper price. Some of them may even be of an equal (or better) quality, but thanks to Apple’s phenomenal job in the branding department, their target market is no longer sensitive to price.
4. THE RIGHT BRANDING STRATEGY LEADS TO AN INCREASED MARKET SHARE.
If you’re one of the lucky businesses that are first to get your brand solidified in your customer’s minds, then you have a distinct advantage over your competition. Being at the forefront of brand recognition in your market increases the barrier to entry for competitors who come after you.
The good news is that even if you’re not first in your industry or niche, you can still capture an increased market share by focusing on branding. You’ll have to be more aggressive in your approach, but you can become a brand that your target market takes into consideration if you focus on brand recognition and help them remember your name.
BOTTOM LINE: BRANDING = INCREASED VISIBILITY AND PROFITS
To state the obvious, you can’t build brand awareness without first creating a branding strategy that reflects your company values, missions, and vision. In order to create the brand recognition and credibility you need to improve your bottom line, you must first identify your target market and expose them to your company via multiple channels.
Evaluating the messages your logo, website, and branding guidelines send to your target audience is a good place to start. Once you’ve got those nailed down, it’s time to pinpoint the best channels for getting your brand in front of your target market. The good news is, with the accessibility provided by an always-on internet, it’s easier than ever to figure out where your target audience hangs out and how to get in front of them.
Blair NicoleBlair Nicole is the CEO & Founder of Media Moguls PR, host of the #KickassPR podcast, and Columnist at several well-known business outlets. Marketing and traveling are her passions, and she travels around the world full time with her 4-year-old son, working remotely, and speaking to business audiences of all shapes and sizes. Blair’s motto is “Kick ass, don’t kiss it!”