It has never been easier to start a business and acquire the perception of a well-established organisation, without having to spend a small fortune.
For those of you who are starting out, this can be seen as a good thing. Your service or product could be the next “big thing” and you want to swiftly position it in front of your audience before the competition, without having to grovel to the bank manager or venture capitalist.
Web design, e-commerce platforms and online marketing continue to be incredibly cost effective ways for your organisation to be visible to the world, especially when compared to traditional start-up costs. No re-mortgaging your home to gain the funding to open a shop or office and buy stock, just employ a creative design agency to bring your idea to life. Simple. What this means of course is that greater numbers of entrepreneurs are more inclined to make that leap of faith and “do it on their own”. This is a good thing, right?
Well, due to the increase of seemingly reputable and competent organisations fighting for your audience’s time or money, it surely makes it harder to stand out. That is why good branding has become increasingly important for fostering recognition. Without creating a well thought out and considered brand strategy you are jeopardising your organisation’s future success.
What does good branding do?
Good branding makes you stand out from the competition. If you have created a brand that is relevant to your audience, they will feel more inclined to buy your product or service and engage with your organisation. This will encourage brand loyalty, which in turn, will increase brand recognition. By being recognisable, your audience is more likely to perceive you to be trustworthy and will more likely buy your latest product or service.
The spark that ignited your idea should be the source from which you build your brand. In other words, make sure your brand is representative of what truly makes your organisation tick. You need to consider what your organisation does, what you hope to achieve and what makes you stand out from the competition. Furthermore, don’t lose sight of the passion that drove you to make the plunge in the first place. As part of the branding process, you’ll need to conduct some serious soul searching to ensure you uncover your uniqueness. By doing so you’ll create a brand that is representative of your organisation, product or service.
A good brand must create a connection with the audience. It must be relevant to them, otherwise they won’t buy into your message or engage with you. You must discover and learn who they are, where they are and what their values are. It is essential to understand who makes up your audience prior to creating a branding strategy, otherwise you’ll be blind to where to deliver your message. Unless you are releasing a product with mass appeal, it is no good trying to appeal to everybody. Don’t dilute your message by attempting to appeal to all, instead learn and understand who your audience is and create a brand that they can relate to.
A successful brand will maintain consistency throughout all areas of the organisation. Good branding is so much more than a pretty logo. It is essential that every facet of your organisation is permeated by the essence of your unique and relevant brand. You must ensure that authenticity can be translated throughout the organisation and that all staff members are in tune with what the brand represents. If your staff correctly represent the brand, your audience are more likely to buy your services and/or support your organisation.
Time is money, so wrap it up!
I cannot stress enough the importance of good branding, especially in a world where our attention is being sought by an ever increasing array of methods. You have to ensure that you don’t waste the opportunity of communicating your identity through your brand, otherwise you’ll risk distancing those who have the greatest need for your product or service.