What return on investment does branding offer, if anything?
Years of experience have left me in no doubt that a good brand is essential for business performance -- it’s the one thing that most organisations can change to make themselves more successful.
But the biggest obstacle is that most people don’t really understand what a brand is – there are too many misconceptions about branding, its value and the return on investment a good brand provides.
Here are three of the most common misconceptions.
Misconception number 1: “Branding is overrated”.
Many of the business owners or managers I speak to tell me that branding isn’t as important as delivering a good quality product or service at a fair price.
In a perfectly logical world this would make sense. But the research tells us that people make buying decisions based on gut reaction (in other words, buying decisions are based on emotions, not logic).
A good brand is the key to triggering a positive emotional reaction and feelings of attachment in your customers and prospects.
Providing a good product or service at the right price is a given – you need to do that just to be in the game. Winning the game comes down to the gut reaction your customers have towards you, which is where your brand comes into play
Misconception number 2: “We already have a logo”.
This may be so, but your logo is not your brand. Your logo alone will only have a very minor influence on the emotional reaction of your customers.
As an important element of your brand, your logo must naturally be professional, creative, engaging and unique – it must accurately reflect the personality and culture of your organisation.
Branding is influenced by multiple elements, including what you say and how you say it, your web presence, the colours you use, how your staff interact with people, the look of your premises – branding is the sum total of experiences that any one person has with your business, its products, its service and its people.
3. Misconception number 3: “We just don’t have the budget right now”.
Perhaps one of the reasons you don’t have the budget right now is because your branding (or lack of) is costing your business.
Branding is the foundation upon which your business and its success are built. A weak foundation is always going to leave you scrambling.
If you limit your branding, you are limiting your sales, your reputation, your aspirations and your turnover because they are all fuelled – positively or negatively – by your brand.
We all do business with people we know and like. If your brand doesn’t leave customers feeling like they know you or like you, well then…
Branding will have an effect on everyone who comes into contact with your brand.
This effect will often determine if that person will do business with you, refer your services, enhance your reputation, recommend you or simply do repeat business with you.
There is simply no bigger priority for your business.