“This will take brains not brawn”- Bagheera, The Jungle Book
Is branding necessary? Small businesses with restricted budgets, probably ask themselves this question on a regular basis. To coin a phrase, “It’s a Jungle out there.” it’s all too easy to see branding as just another business expense, that has little or no function in the growth and success of your business. Branding doesn’t need the most impressive logo or substantial budget; rather, it is more about conveying your brand story to your target market. So what’s the answer, and is branding actually necessary?
All businesses, no matter what their size, should regard their brand as a fundamental business asset. Branding adds value to your business by building up potentially positive perceptions in the minds of your target market. Good branding not only adds value to your business, it also conveys your values, ethos, and beliefs. Overall, it provides potential clients with a clearer idea of you and your business, and gives you an opportunity to tell your customer base “you can trust in me”.
Branding essentially is the nucleus of your business and acts as a manifesto from which your marketing is drawn. Branding is not just the basis of your marketing and sales activities; it is fundamental to communicating a message that embodies your values, ethos & beliefs. Good branding provides the correct tone that ultimately enables your business to tell its brand story.
Branding and Values
Without the implementation of a brand, your business may be devoid of value. Without your brand story differentiating your business from those of your competitors, is nigh on impossible. Picture Nike and Adidas for example, if you strip away the brand how do you differentiate between them? Both companies produce sportswear, targeted at men and women. But what else does that tell us about their brand stories? Nothing! The simple truth is that branding is fundamental in communicating who, and what your business is, and what it stands for.
Your story enables you to differentiate your brand from those of your competitors in the minds of your target market. This important aspect of brand that is created in the minds of the target market; indicates your brand must be well crafted and targeted to a specific customer base, implementing the desired positive perception in their minds.
Brands have so much meaning contained within them them; did you know for instance that Nike was actually the goddess of victory? Not only that, but the company’s intelligently designed brand symbol, often referred to as “the Nike tick”, is in fact an abstraction of a wing, a significant and relevant symbol for a company that markets running shoes. All of the above is relevant throughout the “just do it” campaign, which developed into a way of life for an entire generation.
In conclusion, your brand gives you an identity, an identity that extends through all touch points providing you with a neat package educating your customers on who you are, what you do, what you stand for and, most importantly, how you are different from your competitors. Each touch point must be seen as an opportunity to communicate the essence of your brand and to strengthen it in the minds of the target audience.
So, what’s your brand story?
- How do you communicate the story to your target audience?
- Has your target market changed?
- How do your customers perceive your brand?
- Could you improve on your current brand, and add to your brand story?
These are questions that you should be asking yourself on a regular basis to ensure that your brand is utilised in the best possible manner, and paying particular attention to envisioning and anticipating the future.
So don’t forget to…
Look for the brand necessities
the simple brand necessities
even with a budget that seems tight;
I mean the brand necessities
conveying who you are with ease
with just the brand necessities of life.
(With apologies to the Jungle Book)