The Importance of Brand Identity
Companies spend as much as 30% of operating costs on marketing. Building a strong brand is well worth the money, since the brand will continue to market itself once it’s established. Here are two things to consider about the importance of brand identity.
Your Brand Tells a Story
Think about some of the strong brands in the marketplace. If you think about McDonald’s, Walmart, Ford or Betty Crocker, you can probably make a list of traits those companies have. Just by seeing the Ford logo on a car passing by, you subconsciously replay a story in your head.
Apple has done a tremendous job of establishing a brand. Apple’s powerful computers have long been popular with designers and folks in the artistic sphere. Then the company filled their stores with “Geniuses” to help consumers learn how to use Apple’s operating system. They offer in-store problem solving if your MacBook breaks. In addition to being easily accessible to the public, Apple has gained a reputation as a computer company that focuses a lot on product design. Their products look unique and their packaging is sleek and clever. Apple is not just a computer company—they’ve developed an entire culture (and a story to go with it).
You can do the same thing with your business. Create a strong logo that exemplifies your company’s personality. Utilize interior design in your store that continues that personality. Ensure that every bit of packaging and marketing materials all fit into your brand. Add in some great customer service and let enough time evolve that you start to have a history with consumers.
Solid Branding Gives You An Edge
If you can construct your marketing efforts in a way that is cohesive and promotes a specific message, your branding can give you a serious edge over your competition.
Small businesses in particular are not good at branding. Owners name the company something dull (names using initials are particularly mundane). They sketch out any old logo design, then throw together a retail store with white walls, tan carpet and white shelving. They use generic packaging. There’s little to differentiate one business over another. Those businesses spend tons of marketing dollars on advertising, but without solid branding, they’re just unfocused.
If you’ll take the time to plan out a branding message before you start designing a logo or website, you’ll have an advantage. Your customers will start to construct stories about your company, because you’ll have established a company culture and personality.
Every bit of marketing that you do is much more effective, because your brand carries a reputation of its own. Your poor competition is still trying to get customers to remember who they are by throwing away tons of marketing dollars on mundane messages that don’t connect specifically to their brand.