Many smaller companies place little importance on branding because they think that branding is about boasting a company’s status or trying to portray a certain image to sway the public’s opinion favorably. The truth of the matter is that branding goes beyond just a public face. Done right, branding can help you communicate a clear message not only to your audience, but also to stakeholders and employees.
Branding inspires loyalty, establish credibility, and engage your customers and makes product or service desirable.
To understand why branding matters, it’s best to learn from real-world examples. One of the most well-known brands in the insurance industry is GEICO.
Some people may think their branding is all about their gecko mascot. In reality, GEICO’s message “15 minutes can save you 15 percent or more on car insurance” is the most important part of their branding campaign. Their mascot is simply used to lower the consumer’s defenses and use personality to deliver a message on a dull topic.
Branding can also be used to create customer loyalty. Starbucks does this very well. Their goal is to create loyalty by delivering a consistent experience. Additionally, they make their employees (partners as Starbucks call them,) fill great about being part of the movement.
Starbucks customers know that when they walk in the store, they can expect quality coffee in a casual setting delivered by the friendly staff. They can expect the convenience of being able to use the store’s free Wi-Fi and feel comfortable knowing that they can grab a seat and spend a couple of hours in the coffee shop without any interruptions. As we have seen in recent years many people even work from the Starbuck stores, using it as a vent form a daily routine or getting away from a home office and spending the time surrounded by people. It’s all about comfort and filling welcome. Tonality and voice on their blog or their youtube videos reflect just that.
Finally, branding can be used to engage your customers. On their blog, Sharpie highlights the artwork that their customers have created using their Sharpie pens. They also hold art contests to see which of their customers can create the best piece of Sharpie art.
This is a brilliant way to engage their customers, giving them a lot of fun and excitement, and also highlights their product in a unique way. Making the brand cool and current.
As you can see, branding does matter. The truth is that the brand strategy can be used with substance and more importantly, result in an engaged audience. It can help you communicate the unique beliefs of your company, develop buzz for your company, and help solidify the company’s position in the marketplace. We, as consumers relate to the brands that share our beliefs, and that is reason #1, why we LOVE them.