How good branding can help your business grow
Have you ever wondered how Nike became a world-wide brand, or how Apple has such loyal customers, or how McDonalds always seems to have a line in the drive thru, even when people know how unhealthy it is?? It's because they got a few things amazingly right.
Those things are branding, positioning and connecting to the right customers.
You may be also thinking of "that" person in your industry that seems to always be on point. Her instagram stories are all so aligned with what she says on her posts and what she says on her blog, and her color palette is the same throughout, and her photography style is all the same, etc. It's because she has created a brand and is taking advantage of it to grow her business and create consistency and connection.
I get the question all the time of "how is branding going to help me grow my business?" and my answer is always, "how is it not??"
When your messaging, aesthetics and style are all consistent, people start to notice and connect your look with who you are. In advertising there is a Rule of Seven, which says "that a prospect needs to see or hear your marketing message at least seven times before they take action and buy from you."
For those of us that need a refresh on what a brand is compared to a logo, remember this: a logo is how people recognize your company, a brand is how they remember it.
A brand in short is everything you use to make an experience for your customer. It is every touchpoint you have with your customer and your brand ultimately ends up being one of the main reasons why your customer purchases something from you over another.
Seth Godin puts it like this:
A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. If the consumer (whether it’s a business, a buyer, a voter or a donor) doesn’t pay a premium, make a selection or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that consumer.
And what's beautiful about branding is that you can create and plan for that set of expectations, stories, memories and experience ahead of time so that you will know how it's going to act, who you are going to reach, and what it's going to look like. How awesome is that?!
So here are four ways that branding can help grow your business:
1. Branding creates a consistent, recognizable look for your business
When you have consistency in your look, messaging and style, your viewers can start to recognize you after the seven times they see your ads, insta posts, facebook marketing, signage or physical marketing pieces and start forming an opinion about you and your business. Consistency also takes away uncertainty and leads to trust in our customers minds. Therefore when you are consistent about your messaging and look, you start building that trust with your customers that leads them to purchase from you.
Ever wonder how apple got their "loyal to the grave" customers (me being one of them)? Because they created a product that everyone could use, but their branding was for people who would appreciate the minimal, sleek products, well thought out packaging (those apple boxes air-tight boxes make me so happy), great customer experience, and elevated price point.
2. Branding connects to your target audience
When you create a brand, you aren't just talking about your logo, color scheme and typography. You're planning your overall style, the way you come across and how you want to feel to your customers. You are also connecting with their style, way of life and beliefs/values. When you do that, you create customers who understand you and need what you are selling in their lives.
When real trust and connection is made that's when your customers start telling their friends and family about you and spreading the word.
3. Branding helps you grow past a certain price point or target audience
I've had several clients come to me for a "rebrand" because their past logo and design got them started, but locked them into a specific target audience or more importantly a specific price point that they wanted to break out of.
What's tricky about branding, and why you should use a professional, is that your growth needs to play a factor in the planning for your brand. Sometimes your branding can lock you into a specific price point that makes it hard to push past once you've hit the ceiling. Many of my clients had the skills, expertise and professionalism to reach further and grow past a specific point, but because their branding was communicating a certain way, they were stuck and couldn't seem to attract the premium price point that they felt they deserved.
If you do it right, branding should grow with your business and your goals to a certain extent, which allows you the freedom to grow and evolve as your skills grow.
4. Branding boosts morale and confidence in taking risks and achieving your goals
I just finished a brand project with a client who had amazing photography skills, but because her logo was downloaded off of etsy when she first started, it was too cutesy and put her in the cheaper price point. She wanted to be taken seriously and be able to price for what she deserved based on her skills. The week after we launched her new feminine but professional brand, she booked a handful of her target market clients and was published in a magazine.
Her new branding was not only consistent and trustworthy to her dream client, it gave her the confidence and pride to put herself out there and share who she was. She took more styled shoot invitations, wrote more blogposts, shared her rebrand experience and her mission as a business owner.
Sometimes the thing that business owners need to take risks and achieve the goals that they've been sitting on is branding that finally reflects their skills, work and dreams. I've seen it time and time again with my clients. Their new branding gives them the confidence and pride to send their images in, reach out to that potential client, say yes to that meeting or just shout from the rooftops about their new look, because they feel like they finally have the tools to grow!
So if you're thinking today that you aren't experiencing these four things, maybe it's time to take a look at your branding and reevaluate. I would be happy to do a complimentary consultation to talk through your current branding and what the potential and possibilities look like for your business.