Branding seems like something everyone does now—it seems to be a minimum requirement for starting a business. But what exactly is it, and does your business need it?
Branding is not something you explicitly need to do—it is something that happens regardless. It’s the promise that your consumer feels you have made. It can happen without any effort; where the consumer forms certain impressions about you through general observation. You could compare it to personality—some people work on theirs, and others don’t. But we always end up forming an opinion about them either way.
The problem is—it is truly difficult to control that opinion. People have their own way of looking at things, and may form the wrong opinion about you or your business. This is precisely why you need professional help or self-taught knowledge about branding. Branding will help control the image up to a certain extent. A brand is a business with a defined conscience. This exercise helps the business maintain it’s brand value in times of scrutiny, as well as in good times.
A brand is a business with a defined conscience.
If this is the case, you must be wondering why certain brands seem to perform better and others don’t. There in come two main aspects: subjectivity and honesty.
Humans enjoy variety, and have specific preferences. This is one of the main reasons they can easily exercise the power of choice. A brand, with the help of communication design, user experience design, product design, etc. can try and appeal to the maximum number of consumers—because of course, that is the main goal. (Sure, there are niche segments, but that is by situation, not by design. No one desires to sell less.)
In this massive race of selling stuff, we always find that certain things work more than others. Also, certain consumers prefer certain things more than others, even if they don’t seem like the most sensible choices. So one must keep in mind that branding is not a guaranteed solution, but a way of life. If something doesn’t work, it doesn’t mean branding is useless—the strategy needs to be changed to battle subjectivity.
This is the hard one for most businesses. Whenever we meet new clients, it becomes so important to understand not only their strengths, but also their weaknesses. It is also really important to understand what the company really stands for.
Why? Because people hate hypocrisy. It is always our constant effort to show the strengths of any brand as they are. If we make fake promises to sell the product, we will probably (no, definitely) lose the consumer. We not only have to keep the consumer, but we also need consumer loyalty. Loyalty is something that you get as much as you give.
To make a brand identity, all we need to do is depict what the business really is. Anything else is fake. Sure, you want to put your best foot forward, but make sure it’s your own foot 🙂
Loyalty is something that you get as much as you give.
So the question remains: Do you need branding for your business?
Well, it depends on whether you feel your consumer really knows you well. If you are satisfied with how you sell, maybe there is no need. But if you don’t really know, and would like to find out, begin with a small survey—ask your consumers what they think of your brand. You can even hire a research firm. If you feel like your business/ service/ product isn’t perceived as it should be, there is a communication gap—and this can be filled with branding. If done sensibly, branding can’t really harm. And in most cases, it always helps.
Now, are you ready to take your brand forward? Or do you have any experiences with branding—good or bad? Share with us, because we love discussing all this 🙂