Have you ever used a Kleenex, Band-Aid or some Vaseline? The branding for these products has been so successful, the names define the products to consumers. Think about it. How often do people refer to tissues, bandages or petroleum jelly? Other than name recognition, why do companies spend so much time, effort and money developing their brand?
Strong branding is essential to business prosperity on a number of levels. A carefully planned, creative and well-executed brand strategy can:
1. Differentiate your business from competitors.
When competing with similar products a strong, recognizable brand can be the determining factor in consumer buying decisions. Demonstrate how your product uniquely meets the consumer’s needs.
2. Establish a positive reputation.
Develop a narrative that invokes confidence and a willingness to trust your products and services. Craft messages that communicate company values and reach people on an emotional level.
3. Solidify customer loyalty.
Once consumers relate your products or services to positive feelings, they are more likely to choose your brand over a competitor with similar offerings. (When traveling, my husband has a default fast-food restaurant he prefers because he perceives them as the most tasty and consistent – largely due to their great brand messaging!)
4. Help business growth.
The successful branding of a product often leads to greater demand and increased production. Branding success also brings opportunities to introduce new products. Consumers are much more likely to embrace a new widget from a trusted brand than from an unknown entity in the marketplace.
5. Be a bulwark in tough times.
All businesses experience public relations issues whether it’s a product recall, labor crisis, or supply shortage. Businesses with strong, trusted brands can weather these storms when other businesses might not. People are willing to accept an occasional misstep from a brand that has served them well in the past and who they feel a close connection to. In this highly competitive world, establishing yourself as quality, the caring brand gives you a strong foundation on which to build customer loyalty, crucial to lasting success.