WHAT IS BRANDING and why is it important?
Branding is the art of actively shaping your brand so that people talk about it whether you are present or not. Through creativity, skill, and strategy, a brand can establish an identity that stands out from the competition and creates a deep and emotional bond with its market or audience.
Branding is what gives you a good image and, ultimately, a future.
It’s what determines whether you will stay in business in the long term, and it’s what determines whether your fans should boycott you or not.
In the past, large companies like Fubu, Pepsi, GAP, and even Radio Sharks have lost millions or even hundreds of millions of dollars because of branding mistakes. That is a testament to the importance of branding your business rightly.
Here are the main reasons why branding is crucial to your business.
1. Improve recognition
Think about it: What comes directly to your mind when you see an apple bite? The Apple brand, right? Now think of a gold writing on a plane. What do you see? The answer is Emirates Airlines. That’s brand recognition: the image you attach to your brand.
First off, colors play an important role in the marketing of your company. The choice of your brand colors can have an impact on the way the outside world perceives you. In fact, studies show that using a signature color can increase brand recognition by up to 80 percent. That’s why red reminds you of McDonald’s, and yellow and blue reminds you of IKEA. But branding isn’t just about logo and color. It’s also about different aspects of your brand, like your website or even your product packaging. A study done in 2019 says that it takes 0.05 seconds for a brand to make an excellent first impression. That means a few fractions of seconds for your website or poster to make an impression.
Above all, you must avoid giving the impression to your customers and prospects that your website hasn’t been touched since the 90s. Recruit an agency that offers web design and development services to give a new look to your business. After all, that new look is what will remain in the minds of consumers forever.
2. Build trust
When an average consumer buys from you, it may not be because they like you. Instead, it’s because they trust you. In fact, an Edelman survey showed that 81 percent of consumers said they needed to trust the brand to buy from it.
Branding allows you to have values that show consumers they can trust you. For example, branding pushes you to put your customers first, which puts you in a good market position. Also, people know when they are just a dollar sign to you. They also know when you want to help solve their problem.
Branding promotes values such as transparency, sustainability, social justice, fairness, etc., which today are more important to consumers than the pleasure they get from your product.
3. Support advertising
When you have good branding, customers say “wow” at the sight of your ads. But how does branding support advertising?
- Branding stimulates conversions: The world is overwhelmed by advertising. In such a world, only reputable brands have the highest conversion rates. If you love Emirates Airlines and you have dozens of travel agency ads in front of you, which one will resonate the most with you?
- Branding gives a definitive meaning to your ads: Advertising is all about marking the hearts and minds of your clients, not taking money from them. So it goes without saying that ads promoting product features won’t work as much as a more meaningful ad that talks about “what the customer gets by using the product.” Branding creates an emotional bond between you and your customers, and as a result, your ads make more sense to them.
A real-life example can explain the power of branding on advertising.
Think of a Nike or Apple commercial video. Their advertising never looks like product marketing, yet the conversion rates are enormous. Instead, you’ll see a video that addresses a social cause or appeals to the viewer’s emotion. So that every time you see a commercial video of one of these brands playing, you stop and watch it.
4. Attract and keep customers
There is a lot of competition, and you better stand out if you want to stay in business. A strong brand strategy will differentiate you from the competition by highlighting your strengths and how you function as an opinion leader in the industry.
A good branding strategy ensures that your company values, image, and message are consistent across all channels. It is good for you because consistent branding can increase sales by 33 percent.
Also, a strong brand strategy examines, meets, and anticipates your customers’ needs. By demonstrating your commitment to customer service, you will retain your existing customers and turn them into brand advocates.
5. Inspire employees
In a LinkedIn study, 56 percent of respondents said they would prefer to work for a “company that has a reputation for being a great place to work.”
In comparison, 20 percent said they would want to work for a “company that has a reputation for offering quality products and services,” and 7 percent said they would like to work for a “company that has a reputation for being prestigious.”
Clearly, people don’t just want “jobs.” They want to be part of a company that makes an impact and has a good reputation.
Branding allows you to have a good reputation not only with customers but also with investors, your employees, and the rest of the world. It makes your employees feel comfortable working for you, and it improves your employee retention rate.
Branding for longevity
Branding is not complicated like rocket science. You also have several good reasons to start working on your branding now, especially since the right branding strategy can help ensure the longevity of your business.
A good start would be to make sure that you consider all facets of your organization throughout the process. You need to consider all the details, from management to marketing, from internal communication to human resources to sales. If you leave out even the smallest detail, your brand and your customers’ experience could be affected negatively. If you need help with this, digital agencies in Dubai are well qualified to help you.
In 2017, myself and a small group of colleagues established a new branding agency where we currently focus on creating, launching and managing brands and communication across traditional and digital spaces.
Creative Director / Brand designer for Yellow Branding in Dubai, United Arab Emirates