There is so much misinformation or the lack of enough information about branding, that makes young businesses and SMEs overlook its importance. How did modern branding (or brand management) come about in the first place? In the 1950s, consumer packaged goods companies like Procter and Gamble, General Foods and Unilever developed the discipline of brand management, or marketing as we know it today, when they noticed the quality levels of products being offered by competitors around them improve. This required an understanding of the target consumer and what we call a “branded proposition” that offered not only functional but also emotional value.(https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/10/how-brands-were-born-a-brief-history-of-modern-marketing/246012/).So what exactly is Branding? Simply put, Branding is the promise you make to your customer. As simple as that sounds, the concept could make or break your business. Your Brand Promise tells your customer what he can expect from your products, services, ideas or business. This then brings about the perception that your customer or prospect has about your Brand (we’ll discuss this in another chat). If his perception does not measure up with your brand promise, your business may suffer a nervous breakdown. I’ll explain.Brand Promise examples from some global brands:
- Nike’s brand promise is: “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world.”
- Marriott: “Quiet luxury. Crafted experiences. Intuitive service.”
- Starbucks: “To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”
- BMW: “The Ultimate Driving Machine.”
- **Shoprite: “**Low prices you can trust, always.”
Branding is a concept that takes time, money and commitment from the executives of the business, to the employees; and even the associates and vendors of the company. This is because they play a major role in keeping the brand promise. It’s one thing to make a promise and it’s another thing to keep the promise. One major reason why brands fail is when there is a compromise … somewhere.Brands are both a strategic and financial asset of a business. A few years ago, coca cola’s market value was about $175 billion; and one asset in particular made up about $75 billion of that. It’s not the secret recipe, it is the brand.So how is branding important to your business? Here are ten reasons below:
- Branding builds value for your business (or product, service, idea, etc). Brands create status and esteem in the mind of customers, prospects, industry leaders, the media and financial markets.
- It helps earn trust. People associate higher quality to branded products.
- It differentiates your offering from that of your competitors. Branding will give your product the life and identity that distinguishes it from others.
- It improves recognition. Logos, colours, design help your brand to be easily recognisable and stand out of the crowd, noise or in the supermarket shelf.
- It supports your marketing efforts. Helps define the mediums and channels to reach your target audience with your product.
- It helps increase revenue. A great brand will sustain referrals and word of mouth advertising.
- It helps you hire the right workforce for your business. You will more easily recruit the most talented and passionate people.
- it boost employee morale. Companies with great brands have relatively low employee turnover.
- It engenders customer loyalty and this is the value of your company. Value can grow if you continue to invest in the Brand
- Brands can help you set higher prices for your products because people associate quality to branded products. They are willing to pay more for a branded product than for a generic version, even if both are identical and offer the same thing.
Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.In essence, what you should be doing at this time, is adopting this marketing concept – branding; so that once you step out with a strong presence. Trust me, you need this..