Many of our clients ask for help with their branding without really knowing what a brand should accomplish for them.
To set it straight, a brand is more than just a logo and other visual marks. It is your truth. It’s how customers perceive your organizational identity and reputation across all platforms.
It’s important to understand that whatever customers experience from your brand helps build trust in your business. Hence, all forms of communication—not just visual—are key in reinforcing this trust and making your brand top-of-mind with your customers.
Your brand helps your audiences to easily understand your message and share it with others.
Here are some definitions of branding that we really love:
“Branding is the immediate and visceral reaction you have to any product or service, and what you believe it communicates about you as an individual to others.” – Jon Gieselman
“A brand is both a tangible mark and, at its best, a powerful emotional connection with the consumer.” – James Speros
“Branding is the sensory presentation and reinforcement of everything a brand promises to deliver.” – Ken Carbone
“Branding is the definition, communication, and management of a compelling truth.” – Scott Lerman
BEHOLD! The power of a strong brand.
In a study done by McKinsey & Company, strong brands outperformed weak brands by 20%.
The feeling of trust in your brand influences the B2B buyer’s decision to choose your product or service over another. B2B companies often face long buying cycles where lead nurturing becomes a tedious phase. But branding helps in that it directs initial impressions of your company and communicates your true value, helping customers understand how your product or service applies to them.
Even when customers resort to heuristic methods to shorten their journey, your brand helps to drive them through the sales funnel. How? Effective branding creates a mental association that customers use to catalog their impression of your company.
This makes brand management strategies important if you want your company to triumph over challenges such as a hyper-competitive market and even economic uncertainties.
SIMPLY PUT: Branding equals positioning!
What happens when you fail to deliver a consistent brand experience?
Consistent customer experiences and marketing messages drive positive sentiment. Furthermore, brands that fulfill their promises create trust. But consistency can break down when your company is focused on developing tactics instead of building a brand aligned with your vision, mission, and core values.
Inconsistent branding sabotages your business by reducing sales from new and repeat customers who are unhappy about their experience. As a result, growth goals and desired outcomes do not happen as fast as you would like.
Brand inconsistency generally leads to:
- Brand confusion
- Erosion of trust
- Poor customer experience
Check your brand for these common inconsistencies:
1. Inconsistency in Visual Communication
Inconsistency in visual communication is one of the most common mistakes in brand management. Your logo, images, color scheme, and typography should create instant recognition for your customers. However, inconsistency in your visual style makes it hard for them to trust the authenticity of your communication. It’s also a distraction from the core message. The style elements chosen in your branding should all convey a unified emotion, vision, and personality.
2. Inconsistency in Voice
How do you sound to customers? Fun? Business-casual? Buttoned-up? Calm? Brand discrepancies can be caused by the lack of a single brand voice. This happens when your company’s content is created by different individuals who may have different, and sometimes conflicting, styles. An inconsistent voice is a missed opportunity to resonate with your customers. The tone you use to communicate your message can help your company rise above the noise. To win the brand war, you need to maintain a unified voice whether in your social media channels, website, blog, or emails. This creates a stronger and clearer brand reputation, which then reinforces your unique value.
3. Inconsistency in Conveying Brand Values
One of the most overlooked areas in brand management is how business owners and employees bring their company values to the world. With the rise of social networks, people now have the power to engage in social selling and help build a reputation for the brands they represent. The problem is that different stories and activities could present the wrong values on behalf of your company. This blunder affects branding for the long term, especially if it involves major customer touch points. It is important to identify the true values that your company stands for and to determine whether they are aligned with your overall vision.This does not mean to say that everything has to be identical moving forward. A great way to start is by developing a set of brand guidelines that you and your employees can apply everywhere. Purchasing is, more often than not, an emotional decision. Consistency helps create a perception of quality—a unique value that builds your company and attracts more customers!
Social Media Today has listed the key benefits of brand consistency here:
- Helps you to differentiate your business, making you stand out in your customers’ minds
- Gives your business a personality and an identity that people can relate to
- Effectively delivers and reinforces your key messaging
- Meeting customer expectations helps to drive authority and trust in your business
- Drives customer loyalty and brand evangelism
Remember, branding sets the stage for future sales! If you’re looking for a branding expert, we can help. Blender has lengthy experience in setting up B2B companies for success by helping them build their own brand personality and voice.
Schedule a 20-minute call with Dacia Coffey to discuss your goals and challenges and how branding can propel your growth. Onward and upward!