Branding is a buzzword in all industries, not just printing.
“Your brand is the single most important investment you can make in your business.”
– Steve Forbes
For most small businesses, the importance of a good, consistent brand gets lost to the tyranny of the urgent. But, when you come to consider the benefits of a brand, such as increased credibility, the appearance of being well-established, and improved stability, you’ll quickly come to realize that your brand should be very near the top of your priority list.
Here are several reasons why branding is important for your print business.
Your brand is all about one thing: being recognized.
Imagine walking through the aisles of your local grocery. Can you picture how many different brands are in front of your eyes at any given moment? Each one of those companies is vying for your attention and looking for ways to stand apart from everyone else in that vast brand sea.
To build better brand recognition, focus on these things:
At first glance, recognition and reputation may appear like the same thing, but they’re not.
Although you may recognize a brand, that doesn’t mean that the brand has a good reputation. Think of companies like United, CenturyLink, and Wells Fargo that all made the “America’s Top 20 Most-Hated Companies List” because of damaging customer service decisions that were made.
When it comes to reputation and branding, here’s where it’s important to remember that your brand is more than your logo or your quality designed business cards and letterhead. Instead, your brand (and its good or bad reputation) is formed through a customer’s series of experiences with your company.
Your brand is the whole of all information about your product, service, or organization.
Your target audience buys from brands they trust.
Let’s go back to the grocery store example. When you go to pick out chips, you’re probably used to seeing brands you know and already trust will be good. (Can anyone say nacho cheese flavored Doritos?) When you look at Valu-Rite or DollarBrand nacho cheese chips right next to the familiar Doritos brand why do you not pick those? After all, more than likely they’re cheaper, and they’re still nacho cheese flavored chips, right?
It’s because you don’t buy something you don’t trust, and neither do your customers.
When your customers continue to receive positive experience after positive experience with your brand, you build a trust that has more buying power than even the most expensive marketing plan.
Your customers and prospects should be having the same experience with your brand whether they’re on your Facebook page, your website, or in your shop and face to face with you.
Take the time to ensure that every possible touchpoint your customers have with you is the same across all channels. Below are some things to review, but keep in mind, your brand goes beyond your logo and image. Is the digital version of you matching up with the in-person version of you? If not, look for ways to narrow that gap, so every interaction with your brand is a positive one.
For brand consistency, review your:
Run every interaction through a simple question, “Does this align with our brand?” Use this question for logo design, sure, but also use this question for your customer service experience. For example, does waiting until the fifth ring to answer the phone align with your brand? This one simple question can have a fantastic impact on your overall brand consistency.
Branding is often used synonymously with marketing, but they are not one in the same.
While branding consists mostly of your brand’s personality, or in other words, who it is and what it stands for, marketing is the vehicle that delivers that personality to the world.
Here are some other ways that branding and marketing differ:
|Branding is why||Marketing is how|
|Branding defines trajectory||Marketing defines tactics|
|Branding is strategic — vision, strategy, execution and evolution||Marketing is tactical — traditional, digital and unconventional|
|Branding drives reputation||Marketing drives leads and sales|
|Branding is the reason someone buys||Marketing is the reason someone thought of buying|
|Brading creates value||Marketing extracts value|
|Branding builds loyalty||Marketing builds familiarity|
|Branding is the being||Marketing is the doing|
The benefits of focusing on your brand don’t stop here.
When you use your brand to educate your consumers, differentiate yourself from your competition, and offer value, you’ll have the kind of brand that stands the test of time.