“‘Brand’ has been with us since human time began. Millennia before marketing coined the term ‘branding,’ the how, when, and why of people ‘attaching’ to a person, product, or idea, has been nothing less than the engine of history.” – Bob Deutsch PhD, president, Brain Sells.
As a business, your brand is everything. Every entrepreneur, regardless of the size or stature of his or her business, shares a desire to be the customer’s ‘first choice’. Creating a strong brand is fundamental to making this happen.
If your product is the same as your competitor’s, how do you make yours more appealing so that the customer, despite being able to purchase the same thing of equal quality elsewhere, chooses to invest their money with you? With better branding.
It all comes down to the old branding saying that ‘better perceptions outsell better products’. Coca-Cola is the perfect example of this. In those classic blind tasting experiments that pit Pepsi against Coca-Cola, more often than not Pepsi comes out on top. Remove the blindfold and Coke has the advantage. Why? Because Coca-Cola has spent decades promoting their logo and building their brand – so much so that is has transcended cola as a drink to the point where no one even calls it cola anymore, it is simply known as Coke.
What Branding Does
We have already mentioned how branding can make you first choice in the mind of the customer, and this brings with it many benefits.
A good brand creates trust and confidence in your products and services. With this inevitably comes an increase in sales.
Millions of people buy Apple products every year because they recognise and trust the brand. The iPhone might not be the best smartphone on the market, but Apple is the best smartphone brand. People are confident that when they buy an iPhone they are getting quality goods and exceptional service.
When it comes to releasing a new product or increasing prices, you will be able to do so without losing customers because they know they can trust you to do what is best for them.
The Power of the Logo
Branding involves creating a unique name and image for your company in the mind of the consumer in order to establish a significant and differentiated presence that positions you at the top of your niche market and enables you to retain loyal customers.
Branding campaigns are fought on many levels, from the front of your store to online advertising, and it will differ in approach except for one thing: the logo.
What do you see when you think of Nike, McDonalds or Ford? The logo – that simple image that makes all famous brands instantly identifiable.
Your logo should be at the heart of your brand. It should feature anywhere and everywhere. Products, company webpages, signage, floor mats, uniforms, and even pens used by staff should be emblazoned with your logo.
Consistency is the key.
The more people become used to seeing your logo, the more they will be able to identify with your products and begin favouring what you have to offer over that of the competition.
Your logo is a silent sales representative; make it as visible as possible.
The effectiveness of a logo is evident when it comes to business signage. According to the International Sign Association (ISA), 35% of people passing by your business would not know it was there was it was not for a sign.
So signage works wonders at bringing people through the door, what’s next? Well, you have to reinforce your brand image. You can do this, of course, through the products or services that you offer, but you can also do it a little more subtly.
Custom logo mats are not just a place for a customer to wipe their feet when they come in; they are also another chance for you to subconsciously place your brand image into their minds. A sharp looking logo mat displayed boldly in the entranceway might not directly convince a customer to invest in your business, but it will work on a subliminal level to tell them that you take pride in what you do and can be trusted to put their needs first.
“Wait, a mat can really do that?” Yep. Think about it. A mat acts as a welcoming invitation and somewhere to wipe your feet so you do not slip or fall. It is helping the customer and it is doing it with your logo displayed prominently.
Branding is all about creating a consciousness, image, and awareness of your products and services. Do it well, and you’ll go a long way towards securing the long-term future of your business.