Did you know that effective branding has 2.86 times more impact than operational efficiency on bottom line profit? That’s according to research by PA Consulting. Your brand has the power to differentiate you from your competitors, win business and build customer loyalty.
The potential benefits of a strong brand are vast and include:
- Greater revenues and market share
- The ability charge a premium in saturated markets
- A stronger relationship with customers
- More leverage over partners and suppliers
- The ability to attract and retain high quality employees
- Leverage for expansion into new product areas
- Wider future growth opportunities
However, there are many myths about branding and how to use it to best effect. Let’s bust three common ones.
MYTH 1 – A brand is just a logo
No it’s not – it’s the entire experience customers have when working with your company. FedEx has an iconic logo. But if it stops being a fast courier company the logo isn’t going to help it retain customers.
A brand is about making sure every interaction – from the usability of your website to the feel of your brochure to the quality of your customer service – reflects your values and communicates your key messages.
MYTH 2 – My brand is what I sell
What you sell is certainly part of your brand, but it’s not the whole. Think of Apple. It started out as a computer company and built up a strong following. But it was much more than just a computer manufacturer, because it moved seamlessly into MP3 players and smartphones.
Apple was able to succeed in those new product categories because the brand was wasn’t just about computers – it embodied a lifestyle and a design philosophy.
Most companies aren’t Apple, but the principle is the same. An effective brand needs to tap into your purpose as a company and why people should listen to you in the first place. It needs to cover your promise to customers and what makes you better than your competitors.
MYTH 3 – Brands don’t have a personality
Yes they do. There is an emotional aspect to every purchase, whether it’s a holiday or machine component. Yes customers need to know the details of what you offer. But they also need to feel a connection with your company if they’re going to part with their money. Your brand’s personality helps make that emotional connection, which makes prospects more likely to buy from you and existing customers to continue the relationship.