Branding is a word that is often thrown around but what does it actually mean for a business? Your brand strategy is everything that a company is trying to communicate to the outside world, especially the consumers or other businesses that you are trying to target.
In the long term, it ultimately decides what your business goals will be and how you will reach them. This will impact practically every other area of keeping a company afloat, whether it be your recruitment strategy or expense procedure. But most importantly, your brand strategy is tied into - and indeed driven by - the needs, pain points, and motivations of the consumers you are trying to target.
But why should you bother? Surely if you have a good product or service, branding is obsolete?
Whether your marketing strategy is B2B or B2C, broadly speaking more established brands perform better during times of uncertainty. In the current challenging geopolitical landscape, companies are looking for ways they can weather the uncertainty and having strong branding is one of the best.
However, even if you're not watching out for the next recession or whether there's a trade war on the horizon, providing consistency is always a good thing. Consistency drives brand loyalty and ultimately ensures consumers pick you when it comes to making a purchase.
Building a brand from the ground up can be a massive challenge and one of the most difficult obstacles to navigate is proving authenticity to your audience. People are now affected more than ever by the standards and ethics a company holds itself to. Branding is one of the most important resources a company can use to show its consumers what it cares about and how it will communicate that.
Your marketing and brand strategy should identify ways to present your company as one that is concerned about and prioritizes its own authenticity in a way that consumers will respond well to.
Sideline the competition
Branding is a fantastic way to set a company aside from its competition. This is particularly valuable if your industry has been hit by scandal or just some bad PR. A business can use its branding to communicate to its audience why it's different from the others and how it achieves this.
Even if a company isn't unique, a brand strategy can be used to champion what it is that the business does differently from everyone else. Why should consumers go to you over the industry leader? Building your brand to answer this question will allow even small businesses to flourish.