Building a product is good but building an experience is even better.
People don’t just buy products. They buy experiences. They want to go from their current place to the desired one, and if your product helps you do that, you’re in the race.
To win the race, you need a special weapon that turns your business or company into a superpower. It’s called Branding.
Branding is the distinct identity of your business. It is what separates you from the crowd. If there are a lot of fish in the sea, why catch yours? Branding is your why.
Think of Starbucks- It’s not about making the best coffee in the world but providing an experience. The experience of chilling with friends or family or working by yourself beside a cup of coffee.
It turns your company into a person.
It brings life into it.
It forms a culture.
People will always pay for how you make them feel, and branding is at the center of emotions.
Okay, so you have a brief idea about Branding. It’s time to dive deep into how it helps your business for real.
1 Branding helps you build a personality
Your business may seem like an intangible asset but, there’s more to it than what just meets the eye. People want to buy from organizations that feel like them, talk like them, and think like them. Branding helps you give a personality to your business which makes it more humanly.
Try to think of the brand Apple as a person. What would be the picture inside your head?
A minimalist person who is simple and sophisticated but extremely smart? or maybe something along a similar tangent. That’s what branding does for your business.
They create innovative products and present them in a way that’s irresistible to buy. That’s their identity.
Now, this identity is not just because of your imagination. It’s also because of the personality that the brand has created for itself. It’s because of the
- Simple design & Copy.
- Clutter-free store experience.
- Bloat-free software.
- Well-manufactured products.
I’m sure you’d agree with me on this, and you can come up with your own versions.
2 Branding retains your customer
Sales may seem like a short process but, retaining customers is not. When you brand your business, people come back for more because of how they felt.
You cannot ignore the quality of your product to become a better brand. It’s a prerequisite but not the endgame.
The branding experience means what happened before, during, and after purchasing your product or service.
Think of- Apple fans that do not use any other tech products because they are locked into the ecosystem. The ecosystem seems like a tech thing but, it actually is a part of apple’s brand values.
Providing exceptional experience with end-to-end control over the product.
3 Branding helps you charge what you’re worth
Branding is what helps you form an image in the customer’s mind. It helps charge premium prices but, it should never feel like it’s expensive.
The key is to increase the value quotient to 2x-3x of the cost, so the customers feel like they’re always getting more for less. (which they absolutely should)
There are customers out there waiting to spend money to buy what you offer. The only challenge is the way you position it in the market.
For Eg: Apple never lists discounted products on their own site. They run great deals and offers but never discounted prices.
The reason is deep-rooted in branding. Apple’s position in the market is a premium consumer tech brand.
To live up to that identity, it’s better to provide value with an offer rather than undermining quality with a discount.
It does not mean that Apple products are never on discounts. It’s just that you won’t get that from the Apple store. It’s a controversial move but, for a brand as big as Apple, it’s worth the risk.
Disclaimer: Do not try these stunts without proper guidance. What works for them does not necessarily work for you. So, chill.
4 Branding helps your business stand out in a crowded market
There are probably a gazillion businesses in the world today. Until you have a distinct identity to go with your product or service, you’re as lost as when you started.
Branding is what will save your business from being like just any other business. If you want to stand out from the crowd, communicate how unique your product is from everything else.
For Eg: Red Bull is a company that makes energy drinks.
Is that all?
It’s a phenomenal example of Marketing & Branding in action. The basic ideology behind the brand is culture and adventure.
It focuses on sports and adventure events to promote its offerings. What it helps to do is build a perception in the minds of consumers.
Red Bull = Adventure & Culture.
They’ve planted this idea in the customer’s mind by building a brand. It’s no wonder it’s one of the most popular energy drinks out there that has very little to do with how it tastes.
5 Branding makes quitting your company harder for employees
If you think that branding is just about logos, colors, or design, think again.
If branding has anything to do with experience, it starts with company culture. The mindset of their employees while working for that brand.
The culture at your company says a lot about your branding because word spreads fast.
Branding ensures a strong set of values that spread throughout the company. Employees stick to your brand because of how they’re treated. Good or bad depends on your company culture but, either way, when the word gets out, it affects your brand.
The better your company culture and identity, the more people line up to work for you. As simple as that.
Here are some of them:
- Google offers free meals to its employees.
- Zappos offers $2000 to anyone who does not feel like continuing with the brand after training. Look at the confidence!
- Netflix does not care about working hours. Just the work done.
Read more here.
6 Branding makes it easy to launch new products
Once you establish a strong brand presence, it becomes easy for people to trust you with new products. You have already planted an image into the minds of your customers and, they perceive you in a certain way.
Now you can bring new products into your arsenal without the risk of being a complete failure.
There’s a principle called length implies strength. It works so well with branding. Once you’ve built that brand, that trust, people will not think twice about trying your new product.
Steve Jobs introduced the iPad and, it was something never seen before. Some tablets had already failed and, iPad could’ve been one of them. It didn’t, because of two things:
- The brand positioning
- The trust in Apple
Those are the only two reasons I can think of and, to read more, check out the link above.
7 Branding increases word of mouth marketing
Word of mouth marketing is the best form of marketing. I’ll not believe otherwise even if God tells me so. (chill, he won’t.)
When you build a brand and invest time and effort into branding it right, people will notice and talk. It means that the word will spread and, the more positive they feel about you, the more your brand will become the talk of the town.
If that’s not free advertising, I don’t know what is.
Did you buy your first ever big brand product (iPhone or a pair of Jordans) because of an ad?
You probably bought it because you heard about it from someone.
You wanted to test it for yourself and, it just clicked.
That’s what branding can do.
That’s an end to this teeny-tiny branding masterclass. The next steps will help you start branding in a more actionable way.
If you’re a one-person show, then it makes sense to build a personal brand.
If you’re a small business, craft a unique identity for yourself with more than just visuals. Build an experience, a community that loves what you do.
You can ask me how here.
For Building a personal brand:
- Start exploring and consuming content in your niche.
- Create content consistently with a frequency you feel is comfortable.
- Reach out to people and network with them on social media or offline.
- Build a community off social media by building your email list and providing tons of value for free. Stress on the word “free.”
- Start monetizing your community with the help of consultations or digital products.
For building a brand for small businesses:
- Figure out your long-term vision and mission.
- Build a brand design with a color palette, logos, and a good experience on the website. Make it tangible.
- Figure out your brand voice. Is it casual, conversational, formal, or a mix of both? Start with using the language your customers use. Hire a copywriter or brand strategist to help you figure that out.
- Build a company culture based on your team values and start documenting that on social media.
- Be consistent in your brand communication across all touchpoints.
If you have a product in hand to get into business, the next plan is to build a brand. Marketing, growth, and sales can take care of themselves once you hit it right with branding.
Being the best in the business is not necessarily about a superior product but a superior brand.
What are your favorite brands and, why?
Let me know in the comments below.