BBF 28 | Why Branding Is Necessary

People neglect the concept of branding and why branding is necessary for growth. But don’t be fooled! You can’t estimate the drawing power of a company whose branding is strong and effective, especially compared to businesses that can’t be bothered. Gerry Foster breaks down the necessity of branding in any business. Don’t rest on your laurels! Building your company from the ground up is admirable work, but it doesn’t end there. Branding makes sure you have customers that come to you, so let Gerry show you why you can’t neglect it.

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I Don’t Need Branding!

I met a young woman who owned her business. She had attended a workshop I conducted on Big Branding at a Business Growth Conference. She asked me to follow-up with her the following week to talk about her company. When we spoke by phone, she told me about what she did. I told her what I did. She went on to tell me that she has been providing financial services for many years. She firmly says to me, “I don’t need branding.” I asked, “Why do you say that?” She said, “I let my work stand for itself. What I need to work on is my marketing. Besides, I already have a logo. What I need are more clients.” I peeked at her website while we’re talking. I calmly say to her, “A brand is much more than a logo. I see that you have a logo. The problem is that a logo doesn’t tell the whole story of the value you offer to your clients. What you need is a full, complete brand that includes your logo.”

Success is about who best separates themselves or their company from the competition by standing out. Click To Tweet

This incident got me thinking about all the reasons I’ve heard over the years about why owners often say, “I don’t need branding.” Things like, “Branding is only for big companies who sell products. Branding is too expensive. Branding and advertising are the same thing. Branding takes up too much time. Brands are the evil empires like something out of Star Wars or an Avengers movie.” All these branders want to do is trick us into buying stuff. All they want to do is somehow manipulate us to buy something. Other excuses I hear are things like, “Only products can be branded, not services because those are intangible. Since they’re invisible to the naked eye, how in the world can anything intangible, anything that you cannot see, taste, touch or smell can be branded? Besides, I’ve got a website plus a logo. What else would I possibly need? As far as I’m concerned, my branding is done. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.”

BBF 28 | Why Branding Is Necessary

Why Branding Is Necessary: Branding has evolved over the centuries: from farmers claiming their property to companies claiming that their products are better than others.

I hear stuff like, “If my product is great or my services are terrific, I’m consistent and satisfying my customer, what else matters? Word of mouth and referrals would take me to the promised land where there is milk, honey and profits. Besides, I don’t have any money to spend on branding, so I’d rather take the little money I have and spend it on marketing. I’d rather take my money and spend it on social media, Facebook ads, Instagram videos and postings, LinkedIn stuff and tweet. Besides, if I spend money on branding, I can’t measure it. There’s little to no return on investment. I can measure marketing, but how in the world can I measure branding?” I’m giving you a little bit of what I’ve heard over the years from so many owners. Branding has existed for a long time. In the beginning, the word “brand” meant to burn and it referred to the practice of branding cattle and livestock, which dates back more than 4,000 years when even people are branded.

A strong brand generates great brand awareness and recognition, and remains ingrained in their customers' hearts and brains. Click To Tweet

Branding has evolved over the centuries from farmers claiming their property to artisans claiming credit for their work to factories claiming their products to companies claiming that their products were better than others. If you go from the dawn when branding started to let’s say the 20th century to the digital age that we live in, the fact of the matter is that it’s harder than ever for any business to stand out in a very crowded, noisy and turbulent global online marketplace. Success is about who has the biggest advertising budget. No, it’s not about that. Success is no longer about who has the biggest ad budget, the most recognizable logo or the stronger sales pitch. It’s about who best separates themselves or their company from the competition by standing out and making the greatest emotional connections with their target audience and creates a lasting and memorable impression in the minds of potential customers.

BBF 28 | Why Branding Is Necessary

Why Branding Is Necessary: Success is no longer about who has the biggest ad budget, the most recognizable logo, or the stronger sales pitch.

We live in a brand-conscious world. It comes down to your ability to craft a favorable impression and shape consumer perception so that you are the brand of choice. People prefer to do business with brands. We love our brands. It’s the world that we live in. Think Apple, McDonald’s, Coca Cola, Starbucks, FedEx. The list goes on and on. If I circle back to the woman who said she didn’t need any branding, I also pointed out to her that financial services is what you provide, but that isn’t what you should be selling. I explained to her that a brand is a promise. I said, “It’s the promise of an undeniable, incredible experience for your customer.” That experience must be expressed as an idea that truly sets you apart from the rest of the crowd, your competition. I said to her, it becomes what’s called your core differentiator. It’s what you want to be associated with your brand name. In essence, it’s stating how you’re different in what you sell. You must let people know that you’re not like the rest of the crowd by telling people that you are offering something that you sell that they should be paying attention to.

Dove sells fresh, beautiful skin. They’re not just selling a bar of soap. Volvo sells safety, not automobiles. Southwest sells cheap airfares, not air travel. Charmin sells irresistible softness, not bath tissue. Apple sells cool and simplicity. They’re not selling computers. FedEx sells absolutely reliable, not overnight mail delivery. Harley Davidson sells the freedom to ride. They’re not selling motorcycles. Nike sells belief, not athletic gear. Airbnb sells, belong anywhere. Warby Parker sells designer eyewear at revolutionary prices. Dollar Shave Club sells high-quality razor blades delivered to your front door for a few bucks a month. Martha Stewart built her empire by selling the core perfection. Tony Robbins sells life on your own terms.

Do you see where I’m going with this? What it comes down to is simply this, you either choose to market and sell a product, a service, a company yourself, or even a nonprofit or you choose to market and sell a brand. If you choose to market and sell a brand, which I assume you have decided to do or else you wouldn’t even be reading any of my blogs, you go down a certain way path. That path is one that’s designed for you to create, have and maintain a world-class brand. It’s a strong brand with all the key components that generate great brand awareness and recognition that leads to trust and the customer receiving unrivaled value from you, which remains ingrained in their heart and their brain. Above all, it results in their love and appreciation of you, which turns into loyalty for your brand that will stand the test of time. Until next time, take care.

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