Have you ever noticed how so many major corporations produce commercials that focus more on their brand name rather than an actual product? At first, this might lead to some head-scratching—after all, isn’t the product what they’re selling?
Yes and no.
The reason you see so many of these branding efforts is because a recognizable brand with a following is an incredibly valuable asset. Consumers who trust and recognize a brand tend to stick with it and recommend the brand to their friends and family. Even in the digital age and highly competitive industries, word of mouth is still one of the most elusive-yet-powerful marketing channels available to any business owner.
If your organization hasn’t yet established a solid brand following, here’s a few reasons why you should start today:
#5 Your Customers Will Become Your Tribe
If you’ve heard of the concept of a “tribe” in business lingo, then you know that this refers to the behavior of your most loyal customers. This demographic are the ones which are most fiercely loyal and who will sing your praises to anyone who will listen—but without a strong brand identity, this won’t be possible. One of the main purposes of a brand identity is to answer the questions “who are you?” and, perhaps more importantly, “why are you better than the other guy?” Once you have a following, your tribe will answer these questions for you happily.
A good way of looking at it is how sports teams operate. Sports fans are incredibly loyal to their teams of choice. They wear team logos, discuss news about the sport, and follow their team’s games religiously—to the point of saying things like “we won.” Sports teams trade players and change administrations and coaches relatively frequently. As one stand up comedian put it, “you’re cheering for a jersey.” This is the power of a loyal brand following, and this kind of fervent dedication is possible for your business too.
#4 Customers Are More Likely to Engage With You Positively
Have you ever struggled with getting positive reviews or good word of mouth? Do your customers never send you referrals? A strong brand presence can inspire your customers to interact and engage with you more positively. Remember, your brand followers will be your strongest advocates, so when someone needs a recommendation for the kind of product or service you provide, they’ll be the ones out there providing you with “free” advertising.
A good way to gauge how strongly your customers feel about your brand is through a customer survey. If you don’t get positive results from the survey—or worse, few results at all—odds are you need to focus on explaining to your customer who you are and why they should choose to work with your brand—and only your brand.
#3 A Strong Brand Image Isn’t Just Good for Your Customers…
…It’s also good for your employees. When you have a strong brand image, your employees will likely feel more inspired about the work they’re doing. Feeling as though they’re part of something “bigger” and that they’re impacting some kind of positive change in the world—even if it’s just making the best hamburgers in town—can affect they way they think about their work in a relatively dramatic way.
When an employee is proud of the brand they help to create, they’re more likely to behave in such a way that promotes the success of the brand. As a result, you’ll have happier customers—and perhaps new customers too, since your employees will also provide a word of mouth advertising. And why wouldn’t they? They’re proud of where they work.
A strong brand image can inspire employees to stay with your company longer, and this can help to alleviate the high turnover rate that many businesses suffer from. If an employee knows that the brand they’re working for has a strong future—and possibilities for upward mobility in their own career paths—the likelihood that your employees will look for “greener pastures” will be significantly reduced.
#2 Strong Branding Generates Long Term Financial Value
Even if your company never offers an IPO, having long financial value is one of the most positive aspects of good brand recognition. A strong brand can practically guarantee future business and sales—even if the economy is currently in a downturn. A strong brand can also act as leverage in the event that you need a business loan or funding. The more your focus on presenting your brand in a positive light, the better the odds are that your business will have future value, whether that’s for financial leverage, to enter a merger, or to sell it later.
You’ll also find that having a strong brand will help you find potential business partners should you ever decide that you need them. Working in joint ventures can be a major asset to any business, but without a strong, recognizable brand it can be far more difficult to find partners of this kind. A strong brand can help you get the right people on board to work with—whether they become your partners or just other businesses that you work with. Neglecting your brand image reduces trust in these kinds of situations.
#1 Strong Brands Build Trust
This is the most important reason why you should focus on building your brand recognition. A strong brand promotes trust from everyone involved. Most importantly, of course, are your customers, but your employees will also find more motivation and will be more likely to stay loyal to your business for years to come. You’ll have trust from other companies with which you do business, you’ll have trust from potential lenders, and you’ll have trust from all involved financial parties concerning the future of your business and your brand.
Strengthening your brand and developing a loyal following isn’t just about making more sales—it’s about making a strong future for your company. These are the reasons why building a strong brand identity is more about just advertising a product or service, it’s about ensuring the future of your business.