THE VALUE OF A STRONG BRAND
By Steve Shreve
According to Statista.com, there are nearly 223 million smartphones in the U.S., and Digital Trends reports that almost 45% are iPhones, with Samsung phones a distant second at 28%. All makes and models of smartphones have nearly identical features, hardware and functionality, so why is Apple the leader? Branding.
When someone buys an iPhone, they are not simply buying a phone — they are buying into Apple’s image of imagination, design, innovation, simplicity and excellence. These associations create an emotional attachment and loyal customers, which lead directly to sales. This is the value of branding.
What is a Brand?
A brand is a promise about your services, your expertise, your personality and your vision. It is much more than a logo, typeface, colors and design. Your brand incorporates the language you use to present yourself and your corporate culture. All these elements combine to make your brand distinct and meaningful to your audience.
A brand provides a set of assets that makes you recognizable to your audience and conveys a unique identity and value proposition. It directly influences how your customers perceive your company — it tells them who you are and what they can expect. The strategic implementation of design, online presence and marketing efforts helps to develop awareness and brand associations in people’s minds.
What is the Power of a Brand?
Your brand is one of the key ways to set yourself apart from your competition. Today’s business environment is filled with intense competition, increased customer demand and tight budgets. A brand can be the key component in influencing your target market to select you over your competition.
A strong brand benefits your organization in a multitude of ways. It:
- Improves recognition in the marketplace
- Communicates your message clearly
- Demonstrates quality
- Connects emotionally with potential and existing clients
- Motivates customers to buy
- Generates new clients
- Creates loyalty
- Supports marketing efforts
A brand informs marketing strategy, and your marketing identifies and motivates clients. Advertising campaigns, promotions, conferences, social media posts and marketing materials reinforce your brand and, ultimately, drive sales.
How Do You Build Brand Equity?
Since the advent of the internet and social media, there are more media channels than ever to reach your audience. To build brand equity, you need to consistently remind clients of your unique ability to meet their needs. If you are not constantly pushing out your brand, other companies will fill that gap.
One simple way to build brand equity us to keep your website and social media accounts up-to-date and to frequently post new content. Another way is to educate your employees about how to speak about and apply your brand. Everyone in an organization should be reinforcing your brand at every point of contact with your audience.
In the end, your clients are the ones who will advance your brand’s reputation and elevate it within their network of business contacts. Maintaining a strong brand helps them to engage with you and support you by spreading your brand message.
Building your brand is an ongoing process. The strongest brands are continually evolving based on audience reaction and feedback.