Positive brand perception builds business. Think Apple, Starbucks or any of your favourite companies and what they’ll have in common is a credible and customer-oriented brand that delivers them competitive advantage.
Whether your business is in growth, start-up phase or under pressure from competitors, investing in building your brand will help build a stronger business.
Here are five ways investing in branding pays off. Strong brands:
1. Command higher prices
How much would you pay for a cup of coffee in your local café? How much would you pay in Starbucks? Customers are willing to pay a premium for a brand they understand, and that has a meaningful difference in comparison to competitors’ offers.
2. Keep customers coming back
The more well-known your brand, the more people are likely to purchase it. Familiarity creates a preference and you are seen as a less risky choice. That translates into sales. Quite simply, when faced with a choice people tend to buy what they know.
But, it goes beyond simple brand awareness. Brands also create emotional loyalty. How often have you heard people say, “I buy that, because it’s my favourite brand”? It has even become popular parlance ‘Fanboys’. When building your brand, look at how you can create emotional connections with your customers, rather than just focusing on functional benefits. How does your brand make people feel?
3. Develop its product or service offering in new directions
A strong brand builds trust. You can use that trust to sell new products to your existing customers. Lego started out life manufacturing toys, but today the strength of their brand has allowed them to diversify into board games, stationery, theme parks, educational equipment and video games.
What products and services do your customers buy elsewhere?
4. Survive the occasional mishap
When something goes wrong, a strong brand will bounce back more quickly than its competitors. BrandFinance conducted research that compared their list of strong brands against the S&P 500. It showed that after the 2008 crash, the stronger brands bounced back much more quickly than the rest.
But, it’s not all about world-changing events. Have a strong brand, and you’ll be much more likely to be forgiven when you do have a mishap.
5. Find it easier to recruit
Research conducted by Glassdoor found candidates were 40% more likely to apply for a job if they are familiar with the company brand.
6. Build your company into a saleable asset
A company with a strong brand is much more valuable than the sum of its fixed assets – buildings, equipment and vehicles etc. That strong brand is an intangible asset that represents the trust people have in your organisation. And, like any asset that creates growth or reduces expense, it needs investment.
Developing an inspiring brand is one of the most important investments in creating a truly successful business. I have been working with brands that connect with customers for a number of years now. For more details you can contact me here.