The Spice Girls may have sung it, but these days it’s your customers that want to know “who do you think you are”. Customers are becoming more involved with their purchases and your brand can have a big impact on their decisions – so it’s essential to get it right. With markets becoming increasingly crowded and competitive, it’s fundamental you have a strong brand strategy in place to help your business cut through the noise and stand out from your competitors, and here are 5 reasons why:
- Brand recognition
- Customer loyalty
If you had to buy a product you knew nothing about, would you choose to save £10 and go with an unknown brand, or pay the extra to get the product from a brand you were familiar with? For most, the familiar brand would win, as it’s what we know and trust. It offers us a sense of security. Strong branding makes your business recognisable to the consumer, which in turn builds confidence and trust and for your business and sets you apart from the competition.
Having a loyal customer base not only provides security for your brand in terms of creating a predictable sales and profit stream, but also means you will have to spend less on your marketing – and there are two reasons for this. Firstly, it’s simply cheaper to nurture existing customers than attract new ones, and secondly, if a customer is loyal, it’s more than likely that they are really satisfied with your offering: and what do you do when you like something? You recommend it.
Word-of-mouth marketing is invaluable for your brand, as people are much more likely to trust the word of their friend or family member than a business that is promoting their own product or service. Furthermore, if you have a really loyal customer base, it reduces price sensitivity and the risk of them switching to one of your competitors simply because they have undercut you.
I’ve already mentioned that having a strong brand can help lower price sensitivity, but it also means you can charge more for your offering (within a reasonable amount, of course). If you were asked to pay £280 for a pair of trainers, you would probably think ‘no way, that’s way too expensive’, however if you were then told they were Balenciaga trainers, it suddenly seems like a bargain. This is all to do with perceived quality and credibility. When someone purchases something from a well-established brand, they are paying for more than just the product; they are paying for the brand name and the level of trust and quality they associate with that. Essentially, consumers are willing to pay more for the security that comes with purchasing from an established brand.
If you have a strong brand, this will not only increase your credibility with your customers, but also within the industry in which you operate. In his book ‘Building Strong Brands’, David Aaker argues that if your branding is strong, this will encourage consumers to trust and respect your business more, because after all, you wouldn’t invest your money in something that you didn’t believe in.
I’ve already mentioned this briefly in the introduction, but having a strong brand is what can really set your business apart from your competitors. If your brand is recognisable and has strong values and a powerful story, you are already a step ahead of your competitors. You are showing your customers how you are different and why they should purchase from you.
Overall, it’s clear to see that branding can have a big impact on your business (and I haven’t even covered all of the benefits). If you’re interested in learning more about branding and the services we can offer to help your business, check out ‘brand identity’ on our services page here. Remember, you are more than just your logo.