Some Objective Branding Benefits
I strongly believe branding is the most important thing you can do for your business. I do, however, realize that my saying that can seem disingenuous. Because, you know, I do the whole branding thing. It’s okay. I get it. I can be pretty skeptical, myself.
Anyway, to write on the benefits of branding, I figured I’d turn to that great search engine in Mountain View, California: Google.
I made this as objective as I could, so every author of every article was researched in an attempt to keep out anyone who makes most of their money by branding. Though I’ll be adding some comments and quips along the way. Because “Hey…it’s me.” -Han Solo
And now, it’s time to try my first Google search. For this post, at least:
“What are the benefits of branding?”
Oddly enough, this one turned up primarily articles from branding companies, so they’re mostly no good. I did, after all, say I wanted to keep this as objective as possible.
There was one article that caught my eye, though: What Are the Advantages of Branding to Consumers and Producers? by Saritha Pujari.
It’s not even really an article. It’s just a couple of lists detailing exactly what the title implies. And, more importantly, it’s objective.
I agree with 7/8 of the list. The part I don’t agree with, “the quality of branded product undoubtedly is better,” is because of brands like Budweiser. Tell me you prefer Budweiser to Dragon’s Milk, and we may not be able to be friends anymore. Now, had the author said, “the quality of branded product undoubtedly is more consistent,” we would’ve been in agreeance.
That typed, because I’m not happy with just one objective result, let’s try a different Google search:
“Why is branding important?”
Now we’re talking!
The article Understanding Branding Importance in Marketing Your Business, by Michael Cohn, has one misfire, at least to us, when he makes the argument that branding and positioning aren’t the same thing. “…you can position yourself at different times in different markets as different things.” That’s how you please shareholders, not how you build a killer brand. A strong, gutsy brand is one product / service for one target market. And because of this, we feel strongly that brand strategy and positioning are, indeed, the same thing.
That’s not, however, to take away from the rest of his article. In fact the rest of it’s gold! He talks about benefits such as being remembered, gaining customer loyalty, becoming well-known, and the fact that customers pay for image. It’s really a great read! My favorite part comes near the end of the article, where he’s discussing promoting your brand and displaying stability. “Changing your brand, and all that’s involved with it, including colors, slogans, logos, and tag lines, doesn’t support an image of reliability and longevity.”
You have no idea how crazy this drives me when a major company makes inexplicable changes for the sake of, well, change. Although it does fill me with confidence that we can help someone overthrow said company.
And now, for my final Google search. For this post, at least:
“Why is branding important to consumers?”
I chose that search for two reasons:
1. Every entrepreneur wants to bring in more consumers.
2. Because mighty Google suggested it.
The Power of Aligning Consumers with Your Brand, by John H. Fleming, Dan Witters, and Amy Adkins, makes its argument through Gallup research. As the title suggests, the authors talk a lot about “brand alignment.” Here’s a paragraph from the article:
“Creating brand alignment is powerful and meaningful in a way that traditional methods of attracting and retaining customers — like marketing and advertising — are not. Gallup research reveals that when consumers are aligned with a brand, they give it twice as much share of wallet as those who are not aligned with that same brand. It can be difficult for consumers to fully trust in a brand and align themselves with it, but when they do, they reward it generously.”
We always promote authenticity, because without it, no one will trust you or your brand. And the above paragraph shows that’s something everyone needs to understand. Because everyone loves “twice as much share of wallet.” Too many brands fail because the entrepreneur tries to be something he or she isn’t. Which, of course, is why I cry myself to sleep at night.
Speaking of trust, the article concludes by saying, “A brand is more than a logo or tagline. Though advertising and marketing initiatives are important, they must be in line with how an organization actually delivers its products and services. Even the most creative and innovative brand strategy is bound to fail if the company cannot execute on it. Brand alignment builds trust – and trust is a necessary precursor to any company’s long-term success.”
I’m sensing a pattern, here. That pattern is that the major benefit of a brand is trust. And, as we read earlier, trust equals “twice as much share of wallet.” And far be it for me to throw down with that particular benefit.
Holy crap! Dave’s almost done typing!
Now that you understand some major benefits of branding, you should probably start making it happen for yourself. If you’re in the Ann Arbor / Ypsilanti, Michigan area, contact us to set up a time to chat. If you’re not, find someone in your area who specializes in branding, and get a hold of them. Seriously, it’s time for you to get branded and kick some ass!
And then maybe have a Dragon’s Milk to celebrate.
Stay gutsy, gang!