Did you miss our latest webinar on The Value of Branding? Check out our recap below, or watch the video included at the bottom of this post!
Think about the last time you went to a restaurant and were asked what you wanted to drink. You may have asked for a soda or a pop… unless you’re in Georgia, where everything is Coke. That’s an example of the power of branding. People don’t just know or recognize your logo or products; they ask for them by name. However, that’s only a small part of the value of good branding.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s recap what a brand actually is. A brand is more than a logo, tagline, and color scheme. A brand is the manifestation of a business or organization’s beliefs shown through its products and services, experiences, and interactions. It’s how the audience connects to the business or organization and what they think and feel as they experience the brand first hand.
Branding is what differentiates you from the competition. When branding is done right, it brings in loyal customers that come to you day after day, week after week, and year after year. This relationship is what allows you to charge more for your products and services than your competition. Having loyal customers and the ability to charge more for your products and services offer great value to your business and brand, but that’s only scratching the surface. If you dig a little deeper, you’ll discover that good branding can position you as a familiar and trustworthy brand people love doing business with.
“A brand’s value is merely the sum total of how much extra people will pay, or how often they choose, the expectations, memories, stories and relationships of one brand over the alternatives.” – Seth Godin
There are lots of articles out there about the value of your brand; you can easily do a Google search and find them. We want to look at this from a different perspective and don’t want to just focus on the monetary value of your brand. We want to look at the value of your brand as it is perceived from the people who encounter it. Today we are going to focus on the perspectives of the customer, owner, and employee
The Customer’s Perspective: If the value is not felt at the customer level, you are in trouble because you’ll begin to lose customers and miss opportunities to reach new ones. That’s why it is extremely important to consider the customer’s perspective as you establish your brand so you can form strong relationships that will positively impact the value of your brand.
- Consumers trust companies that have invested in their brand. This trust adds value to your brand because you don’t have to keep winning customers over once trust has been established.
- They also trust companies that are consistent in their branding and messaging. Inconsistency can create doubt and confusion in your clients and can break down their trust in you, but the familiarity of a business with a consistent brand will keep them coming back to you over and over.
- With only seconds to connect and grasp a customer’s attention, it’s even more important to remain consistent so you build a recognizable and familiar brand. Over time, the familiarity of your brand creates a sense of ownership in your customers, and you can’t beat that kind of loyalty when you’re building your brand.
Consider these examples. Your brand is your company’s uniform, and a uniformed look makes you more familiar and trustworthy to your customers. For instance, bankers are usually dressed in suits and that’s what you’ve come to expect. You wouldn’t feel the same way about a banker if they showed up in their gym clothes. Similarly, McDonald’s is a welcome sign when traveling because you know the burger will taste about the same as it does at home, and the restrooms will probably be clean.
The Owner’s Perspective: Branding offers tremendous value to business owners. There is a definite monetary value for owners, but a solid brand offers so much more to a company’s leadership. Consider the following:
- Good branding increases the value of the company. Solid branding can also helps make the business scalable by allowing you to charge a premium for your products or services.
- Branding also helps make business decisions easier because owners have a clear vision of who you are AND who you are not. It also gives those in leadership positions a direction in which to lead and makes saying “yes” and “no” more streamlined because you know whether or not the opportunity will add value to the brand. It also helps in terms of scalability because you have a shared vision of the brand and can grow the whole culture.
- Good branding differentiates you from the competition as well as build brand ambassadors that help spread the word about how great you are.
Many brands have set themselves apart through celebrity endorsements, such as Old Spice with Terry Crews, American Express with Tina Fey, and countless others. Having that celebrity status helps no doubt, but when you have easy message and story to tell, people will start sharing it, and that can add exponential value to your brand because you’re not having to pay for all of your advertising.
The Employee’s Perspective: This is probably the most overlooked aspect when people talk about the value of branding, but the employee’s perspective of the brand can be a make or break point in the success of that brand.
- Consistent direction and messaging from leadership gives employees a focused direction in which to follow. This perspective and by-in is what will make your brand scalable.
- Good branding also creates a sense of belonging for employees. When your employees feel that they belong, they’ll likely be happier and more motivated to provide the quality products or services your customers come to you for.
- Another way branding adds value for employees can be found in how it helps set a new employee’s expectations of the culture of the work environment. For some companies, their branding tells new employees that this is a fun and creative place to work with a more casual environment, while the branding of other companies may set a more serious tone and approach to the work they do.
Chick-fil-A is a great example, especially for employee direction. Like other fast food chains, they hire lots of teenagers but pay attention to the authority and support you get as a customer the next time you walk into your local Chick-fil-A compared to other companies. It’s ingrained in their brand, and their brand in regards to their staff is more than just a logo, uniform, and for some, the cow costume. It’s an attitude as well. This kind of direction definitely improves the customer experience.
To bring it all together, value in a brand is far more than the monetary standing when you start to look at the different players in the game. Branding takes all the parts between a transaction into account to create experiences that stick with people and build relationships that add incredible value to your brand, business, and the experiences that people want to talk about.