What is a brand, and why is it important?
The American Marketing Association defines a brand as “A name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.”
Branding makes your business stand out from the crowd; your company’s brand is its identity. It is the emotional connection that customers associate with your company; it’s the way they feel, the experience they expect to have, and the unique qualities that differentiate your company’s identity from others in your industry. Making consumers choose your company over others.
If I asked you about over the counter pain relievers, what brands come to mind? Is it Advil, Tylenol, or Aleve? How about if I asked you about a pain reliever for women, would you think about Midol? It might surprise you to know that Midol is a pain reliever for both men and women, just like Advil, Tylenol, or Aleve, but what differentiates Midol from other pain relievers? The answer is the brand. Midol is a brand of over-the-counter pain reliever, but they are marketed as a pain-reliever for menstrual symptoms. Therefore, consumers identify Midol as a pain-reliever distinctly made for women. Midol has found a way to differentiate its brand from that of its competitors, and they are a great example of why branding is so important.
Branding is essential because, at the end of the day, brand always wins. It is how consumers make decisions every day, sometimes without even noticing it! Strong brands make an emotional connection with their customers; this is what keeps customers coming back for more.
Ask yourself the following questions to start building a brand that accurately conveys the way you want your company to resonate with consumers
- What is our “product” offering?
- What are we promoting beyond the “product” itself?
- What is it about our “product” or “services” that our customers are really looking for?
- How do the features and benefits of what we offer differ from other companies?
- What unique value do we present that differentiates our “product” from other similar “products” or “services”?
A brand is more than the promotional materials. It is the story behind the brand; take a step back and define your brand’s personality and its values, create a way to share details about your company’s foundation. Build your brand from the history of how it became a company and on the customer’s perception of your company. In doing this, you will be telling your story and engaging with consumers emotionally on a deeper level.
Once you answer the above five questions, you should have a better understanding of your brand and what makes it unique. This will assist you in the development of a strong brand that creates an emotional connection with its customers. Developing a strong brand can be hard, but luckily, you don’t have to do it alone!