The importance of branding

Building the right brand is one of the most important things you can do for your business and
sometimes it’s ignored until later on down the track. A brand is your businesses’ label in the
marketplace – it represents who your business is, what your business does and the values it stands for.

Some may say, “I’ve got a logo – that’s my branding sorted”, but branding is about so much more than
a logo – essentially it represents the experience your customers have when they interact with you and
your products or services and conveys your ‘promise’ to them of what to expect when they transact
with you.

For example, with Apple you know you’ll get the latest in innovative technology and super stylish
presentation, or that BMW will always deliver high quality engineering in luxurious surrounds.
Remember those names or symbols don’t stand for those qualities and attributes – after all an apple is
a fruit you put in your kids’ lunchbox! Rather, these companies have carefully crafted all elements that
represent their brand – like the logo, design, packaging, materials, communication style and service to
create this overall perception of their brand.

So, in other words your logo and brand represent the values and attributes that people associate with
your business and products. So it’s really important to do a good job when it comes to branding – as
it not only helps to give your customers a frame of reference, it’s a ‘short-hand’ description of your
business and what it stands for.

If your brand is synonymous with good quality and value for money – then everything you do; from
the ingredients you use, the packaging, service and all communication need to be of good quality, yet
competitively priced. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’re the cheapest on the block – rather you
deliver value for money that your customers are happy to pay for.

So, how do you go about creating and defining a good brand?

First you need to understand who your target customers are, what are they looking for and how they
like to be communicated to. This will help to shape the values and attributes you select to represent
your brand and guide the way you style the look, feel and experience of your brand.

All good brands have similar qualities:
  • they’re believable
  • they’re consistent
  • they encompass the qualities most important to your target customer

Simple really!

Where do you start?

It starts with you. Firstly you need to look at who your customers are and what they are looking for in
terms of your product or service area.

What are the qualities they look for when it comes to selecting a good product or service provider?

Great service? High quality? Reliability? Low prices? Latest designs?

Once you have decided on the qualities (or values and attributes) that are most important to your target
customers then you must encompass these qualities in everything you do. It’s not only your look
and feel and marketing communications – but right through your entire operation, so that your brand
permeates the whole customer experience – from advertising, to sales, billing and after sales service.
This process takes both time and commitment from the whole team – but if you do it well, it will go a
long way towards helping you attract, impress and keep your customers.

Finally, if your brand is more than seven years old you may want to look at an upgrade. It might not
have to be a complete re-do, but it is important to keep it relevent to the current market place.