What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Nike? You’re probably thinking of reasonably-priced, quality footwear. What about Prada and Ferrari? Chances are you’re thinking of high-end, luxury products. The first thought that you have when you think about those companies or any company is a result of that company’s brand. Branding can either elevate or kill a company, so it’s something that every business should be aware of and something every business should strive to master.
What Is Branding?
Put simply, branding is a company’s intentional efforts to establish itself in the minds of its customers as relevant, reliable, and respectable. The funny thing about a brand is that it isn’t entirely in the hands of the company, unlike branding. Without positive branding from a company, customers may let a company know what their brand is based on their experience with the company.
It Gives Customers Insight Into How the Company Sees Itself
Even though companies can’t entirely control their brand image, they can help customers see what they’re striving to be. Let’s say you’re an automobile manufacturer with a 150,000-mile powertrain warranty. Even if the car doesn’t make it 150,000 miles without a powertrain issue, the branding lets customers know that the company expects it to.
Customers can be pretty forgiving if they see that a company is working to correct issues that are wrong or is willing to work with them to make an issue right. The main thing is that the company is giving the customer insight into the company’s vision.
It Gives Customers an Idea About What to Expect from the Company
Branding is also important because it gives customers an idea about what to expect from a business, even if the customer isn’t really sure about the product. For example, maybe you know of a restaurant that claims to have tasty, inexpensive burgers, but you’ve never been there. Still, the restaurant’s positive branding as a good place for a quality, cheap burger has gotten people in the door.
Branding can also be about presentation. Someone who’s never stepped foot in a Prada store or who’s never even heard of the company will know that it’s about luxury and exclusivity from the design and appearance of the storefront. Storefront branding can speak volumes about a brick-and-mortar business.
It Gives New Businesses a Chance to Compete
If you’re a new fashion business you might have a difficult time competing with the big boys when it comes to branding. But everyone has to start somewhere, and good branding is your ticket to the ball. You can start out with something as simple as personalized labels from Wunderlabel that you affix to well-made clothing that makes a statement. Provide excellent customer service and you’re on your way to positive branding.
It should be noted that just as branding can be positive it can also be negative. You want to make sure that you’re providing the best possible product and experience for your customers so that your brand image remains favorable.
It Helps Employees Know What’s Expected of Them
Branding also gives employees an unwritten manual on how they’re expected to function in their job, interact with other employees, and treat customers. An employee working for a company known for its quality and great customer service knows automatically that they should bend over backward to satisfy the customer.
On the other hand, if the company’s brand image is negative this might leave an employee wondering just how far she can go to correct an issue. Negative branding can even affect the morale of a workplace and relationships between employees, as no one likes being aboard a sinking ship.
Branding is something that can make or break a business, so it’s vitally important that businesses are aware of it and create positive branding. Positive branding is important because it gives the customer insight into the company’s vision, clues the customer in on what to expect, gives new businesses a chance to compete, and boosts company morale. Businesses ignore the importance of it at their own peril.
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