Every business owner dreams of having a powerhouse brand that dominates its market space. However, it takes time to build your brand identity, not just in your market space but among your target audience.
Why? Because strong brands are built on trust, credibility, and authenticity. They are built over time through consistent messaging, quality products and services, and customer service.
Your customers are ultimately what will enhance your brand’s reputation and elevate you in the public eye. It’s why consumers choose to buy from certain companies over others, so you need strong branding for them to engage and share values with. In return, your customers will reward you by spreading the word to other potential customers and increasing your brand loyalty.
Now, let’s look at the benefits of strong branding.
What are the benefits of a strong brand?
There are endless advantages to building and maintaining a strong branding strategy. Here are five of the major benefits of brand success you can expect to see when you have a strong brand:
1. Customer recognition.
A strong brand works to build customer recognition. Customer recognition is important because customers remember brands they like. So, when a customer is shopping for a particular product or looking for a certain company to perform a service, they recognize your company during their search.
But does this actually help make your brand stronger? The numbers say yes, consumers are far more likely to choose a brand that they recognize over something unfamiliar, even if they don’t know a great deal about your company at the time. They may not know much about your business, but they do know how to identify a good brand. So, make sure your logo stands out and makes people want to buy your products or services.
In addition to building the foundations of your brand reputation, customer recognition also helps customers begin to feel comfortable with your brand. When customers remember you, they start to feel like they already know you. If this feeling grows and their experience with your company is a positive one, they will be far more likely to buy from you once, then again, and again, and finally recommend you to others.
2. Competitive edge in the market.
A competitive edge is what differentiates your brand in the marketplace. When customers recognize and back your brand, it gives your company an advantage over your less easily identifiable competitors. The more recognition you receive and the greater your brand awareness, the more competitive you will be with other well-known brands.
How do you employ strong branding practices to gain a competitive edge in the market? Start thinking of your brand as a powerful tool. You can use it to help people identify your products and services as the ones that will meet their needs. You can also use it to give them a sense of belonging to a group of like-minded individuals who share common values and beliefs.
Oftentimes, we discover the most effective strategies when we listen to what the market tells us and start getting creative with our tools and resources, using them in ways we did not initially intend. For example, did you know that bubble wrap was initially intended to be sold as textured wallpaper? Didn’t think so! But that’s a perfect example of using what the market tells you to gain a competitive edge.
In addition, consumers often associate certain brands with particular attributes, such as quality, reliability, safety, and trustworthiness. Apple is all about lifestyle, imagination, innovation. Coca-Cola? Bubbly, palatable, refreshing. If you can create a powerful, multisensory brand experience for your consumers, they will not soon forget about you. Make sure to incorporate your best brand attributes into all your messaging materials. This will build a loyal following of fans who choose your brand over the other guys, i.e., your competitive edge.
3. Easy introduction of new products.
When you already have a strong brand and loyal customers, it is often easier and less expensive to introduce new products or test them out before you further invest in them. If you have a loyal brand following, your customers will already be interested in your new products and even anticipate them being released.
The best way to introduce new products is to create a buzz around them. This could mean creating a viral video, launching a social media campaign, or simply releasing a teaser trailer. Once people start talking about your product, word spreads quickly and you may find yourself with a lot of interest in your new product. With a strong brand, that buzz happens organically and immediately.
Think, for a moment, about the effect a strong brand can have on a new product launch. Remember the Taylor Swift Eras Tour Ticketmaster snafu? The behemoth ticket broker had to cancel ticket sales for the event because they “received 3.5 billion system requests that day, four times its previous peak. Two million tickets were sold on Tuesday alone.” That’s right, the mega popstar has built such a strong brand and loyal following that she literally broke the Internet. Talk about brand authority! Your followers may not be as fanatical as Taylor’s “Swifties,” but they can be just as loyal if you play your cards right.
4. Customer loyalty and shared values.
Customer loyalty is a powerful force. Recognition and “buzz” help elevate a brand, while the strong ones know how to build upon this momentum to achieve an even greater following. Brand loyalty often lasts a lifetime and even transfers to future generations, so don’t overlook this crucial step when building a brand for the long run.
Customers are also attracted to brands with which they share a common set of values. When you build a strong brand, you need to convey these values appropriately to build an emotional connection with customers. This is also an effective method for determining your target market if you are struggling with that. Not sure who your ideal customer is? Share your company values loud and clear for the whole world to hear, and when you begin to see who your message resonates with, you will learn who your target audience is.
Brands that create loyal customers will always outperform those who don’t. In fact, research shows that 75% of American consumers say they’re more likely to be loyal to brands that understand them on a personal level. This is why companies spend so much time and money on creating a positive brand experience (because they know it will pay dividends eventually). On the flip side, a study conducted by Microsoft showed that 61% of global consumers have cut ties with a brand over poor customer service. These two statistics should tell you all you need to know: make sure you are investing enough resources into elevating your brand experience for your customers.
5. Enhanced credibility and ease of purchase.
Why are brands important? They enhance your credibility with customers, your industry, and the marketplace as a whole. As you build your brand’s credibility, you also build recognition, loyalty, and competitiveness. We want to buy from companies we like, know, and trust. If your brand is credible, you’re far more likely to get the sale.
Everything goes hand-in-hand, and you’ll find that your credibility has a direct connection to customers’ ease of purchase. Make sure that your product or service meets the needs of your target audience and lives up to what’s promised. As a result, your increased credibility will lead to more sales and more positive reviews. This, in turn, will make completing the buying journey much easier for customers who can feel good about making a purchase from a credible brand that people have nothing but nice things to say about.
Now that we have looked at a few benefits of a strong brand, think about your own company:
- How do you think customers and/or clients view you?
- How much do you need to explain what you do to them?
- Do your employees know who your company is and what they stand for?
If you have challenges answering any of these questions, it is something to think about. It also might be a good to time to start to research this more for yourself. Here is a link to download our free Brand Strategy Toolkit. It’s a great resource to start to organize your thoughts on your company. Try it today so you can start to engage your customers with the benefits of a strong brand.
About Millennium Agency
Millennium Agency is a national, award-winning, digital, creative, content/PR, and video marketing firm. With offices in Boston and New Hampshire, our team unites creative branding and data analytics to accelerate our clients’ growth, while combining our clients’ vision with our marketing expertise to increase sales opportunities and drive brand success. From video advertising and web design to social media and PR, Millennium can guide your marketing efforts every step of the way. Contact the professionals at Millennium Agency to learn more!
Linda Fanaras is the President and Founder of Millennium Agency (www.mill.agency) located in Manchester, NH, and Boston. She can be reached at 877-873-7445 or firstname.lastname@example.org.