Common Misconceptions About Branding
In addition to building that revolutionary product or service, there is also the component of branding. Your company can be producing the best product in the world that can solve all of humanity’s problems, but if people don’t know that it exists, what’s the point then? Well, part of branding is about getting your brand out into the world and into the minds of the public. For more on how to do that check out our 4 tips that will skyrocket your brand awareness article.
It is about ensuring that your brand is in one of their considerations when they want to purchase something. But, there is also the other facet of it. The facet about what the public thinks when they hear the echo of your brand. In fact, in just about every case, your business must be able to answer the question of “Why should anyone come to you and not your competitors?” or just the blatant question of “Why would anybody pay you?”
Nonetheless, there are a number of branding misconceptions that often exist in small and medium-sized businesses that couldn’t be further from the truth. Needless to say, this is not ideal because branding plays a huge part in the success of your company. So taking it with just the right pinch of salt and the perfect sprinkle of personality might just be the key to unlocking that door to your company’s long-term success. And here are 3 misconceptions about branding.
“We don’t need branding because we have a great product.”
Literally, this is the least favourable route that your business can take. Here, let’s assume that you already developed a great product. You’ve got the R&D, manufacturing, and all the backend logistics perfected, and everything is exactly how you wanted it to be. But, the fact that you’ve neglected the element of branding is going to come back and bite you very soon.
Although word-of-mouth is a highly commendable and trusted method of branding, its’ reach is limited. For a large corporation that already has an established and loyal customer base, word-of-mouth serves as a bonus for them. But for small businesses with a limited number of client base, you’re only relying on a few customers to push your products for you. Not only that, it can take a really long time for it to be successful, most likely longer than the time your company has.
Imagine this. You walk into the drugstore wanting to buy toothpaste. Which one are you most likely going to pick? The one which is apparently super good but nobody has heard of or the one that shows how white their customers’ teeth are and everybody is familiar? Well, for most humans, they would go for the latter! Malcolm Gladwell emphasized that buyers make most of their decisions based on stored memories, images, and feelings. In other words, those white teeth that you saw in the advertisements are actually embedded in the brain and are actively impacting your choices. In short, it doesn’t matter how good your toothpaste is or even if that toothpaste can make a person smarter, humans gravitate towards the one that they are most familiar with.
“Branding is just another marketing project”
Some may think that branding is just a gimmick to get customers to purchase your products and once the project is over, that branding doesn’t exist anymore. This couldn’t be further from the truth. And if you know someone like this, please just tell them that Procter and Gamble sold a dozen of their brands for over $12 billion in 2015. Just the name, nothing else. That’s how much the branding is worth.
Studies have shown that strong brands allow companies to exponentially maximize their ROI, increase their profit margin, and even be the go-to brand for customers during economic crises. On the surface, it is the reason why one would choose to buy an iPhone over Samsung or Huawei. The reason why some may choose to purchase a Mercedes Benz over Toyota. It sets the tone and image of your company. Not just that, but it will also simplify some of your marketing decisions in the long-term.
An effective branding strategy is about connecting the values of your brand with the values of your customers. The “why” matters. Think of it as an emotional promise or an appealing personality. This strategy always starts and ends with the target customer. What do your customers feel when they use your product? In doing so, your customers will think of your brand as a human rather than a giant corporation that intimidates them. And the result will undoubtedly be a much more loyal group of customers.
“Branding is just bleeding money”
You know what, that is actually true. Branding does not directly translate to higher revenue. But, the silver lining here is that over time, and if your branding strategy works, you’re going to convert more and more customers to buy your products instead of what somebody else is offering.
Truth be told, the effects of branding and how it really is impacting your business is hard to quantify. But thorough branding brings professionalism and consistency to all aspects of your business, which will make your business more appealing to both clientele and investors. It is like painting a map for the long-term goals of your company. A blueprint to follow. And whenever any project does not fit into that map, you can know immediately that it serves no purpose.
Additionally, some may complain that it is too expensive. Unfortunately, that is the truth for the short-term, but for the long-term, it is a sound investment that will pay off over time. Yes, it is true that big companies do spend a lot of money on branding, like slapping the Swoosh logo everywhere they go, but the good news is that it doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive. It is not so much about the money as it is for consistency and being different from your competitors. Both of which are attainable even on a budget. Thus giving us no excuse not to nail down our branding strategy.
Never underestimate the importance of branding.
A solid and well-thought-out branding strategy is so much more than a promotion. If done right, your target audience will always think about your brand as soon as they hear a word that is loosely correlated to your brand. Tell your target audience more about your brand, help them understand who your brand is, and connect with them. Above all, if your customer describes your brand exactly how you would describe it, that is the epitome of a branding strategy.
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