This quote sums up everything we believe about helping our customers grow their business.
Importantly, it doesn’t matter that you’re not Coca Cola or Apple, investing in your brand is always a smart move that will earn dividends. Moreover, it’s true for a high street solicitor or accountant as much as it for a large multi-national consumer brand.
Firstly, let’s start with outlining just a few of the benefits of developing a strong brand:
- You’ll start winning more new business and importantly, it’ll be the sort of business you want;
- Your business will be taken more seriously by other businesses, including those larger organisations you would love to have as clients;
- It becomes easier for you to grow your business the way you want to, whatever success may look like for you.
Now you know what a brand can do for you, let’s have a look at what a brand is.
Branding isn’t new, people have been branding livestock for thousands of years
Egyptian funeral monuments, some over 4,000 years old, depict branded cattle. Anyone who’s ever watched a western knows that brands have long been used by ranchers to identify the herds that wandered across a wild expanse of prairie trails that stretched across America.
Branding was originally about establishing ownership of physical property. However, over time it evolved to become a symbol of quality. Setting one herd apart from another and allowing their owners to secure a higher price when the time came to sell.
Over the years this has developed into an understanding that a brand is how your business is perceived by others. Above all, how your potential clients see you and how your customers experience doing business with you.
But sticking with the ranching analogy think of your brand as separating your business from the herd. Much more than just a logo or corporate colours, your brand is a system, made up of 3 elements that must work together to support each other in delivering business growth.
1. Brand Concept
Built around a value proposition that is your clear promise to the marketplace. Delivering the right message to the right people. Those customers you can establish a long term and mutually rewarding relationship with.
2. Brand Identity
Your brand identity is how you want to portray your business to your customers. For instance, it includes how you choose your business name, the design of your logo, the colours and shapes or graphics you use, and the type of language you use (your “tone of voice”).
3. Product / Service Experience
Your customers’ overall perception of their experience with your business or brand. All of their interactions with your brand affects their perception and their decision to keep doing business with you or not.
Why you need to think about your brand?
But what does branding mean to your bottom line? Moreover, how does it come to be seen as a business asset rather than just a cost?
Your business has a brand, even if you don’t know it. Remember, it’s how people see your business. Your brand is out there right now affecting people’s decisions on whether they want to do business with you today.
So it’s time to take ownership of your brand and begin to shape it to truly reflect the business you want to be.
Importantly, when the three elements of the brand system outlined above combine, they form a brand that:
- sets you apart from your competition making it easier for potential clients to choose you over your competition;
- provides a clear understanding of what you do and how you’re going to help solve your customer’s problems;
- creates the expectation that your product or service will deliver on.
In conclusion, an effective brand will act as the DNA for your business, guiding decisions you make and provide a framework for you and your employees to deliver success.