In the modern era, branding plays a critical role in any organisation. A brand is a business tool that can help an organisation in building a customer base and attain its targets. A brand, if rightly portrayed, has the ability to influence people into buying a particular product or a set of products. If an organisation is able to build the right kind of recognizable brand that connects with its consumers, they will buy its products, even if competitors are offering better products or cheaper ones. A brand connected consumer not only buys products but also ensures that he or she spreads awareness about the brand. This, in turn, helps in building a large base of customers and in establishing the products in the mainstream. Therefore, it is critical for organisations to understand why investment in brand building is critical. This article enlists six major reasons why companies need to invest in building a more recognizable brand in the market.
The logo, your presence online with your website and social media, and how your customer experiences all of this is what encompasses your brand. The brand experience goes beyond great graphic design; your company should be living and breathing it! Let’s take a look at the reasons your company brand should be elevated:
#1 Building a Brand Helps in Customer Retention
Whenever a company invests in building a recognisable brand, it does so with the ultimate aim of achieving returns. Marketing researchers studied the impact of branding in the age of social media and concluded that it is vital for companies to build iconic brands by means of cultural innovation. Rather than promoting a product, if the company invests in marketing an ideology, it can be of great help in building a brand. If the customers are connected with a brand, they are more likely to buy products and services, even if they are more expensive than others.
Such a relationship-based model with the customers can help the company in retaining its ideal customers and in reducing churn levels. Let’s take Jack Daniels as an example. The company invested in building a brand ideology around masculinity and sophistication. The campaign became a big hit in the US,and the company quickly became a coveted whiskey brand amongst men.
Jack Daniels utilised the storytelling strategy to gain a foothold in the US market and carved out an identity for the brand. By investing in a niche strategy, the company has reaped rich rewards. Brand recognition has been at the forefront of its success story around the world.
A great company brand gives employees and company staff motivation to work harder. A brand strategy has to be clear and organised and should help your staff to have direction in their roles so they can meet the goals of the company.
#2 A Strong Brand Withstands the Market Fluctuations
Research shows that in this era of globalisation, it is critical that brands maintain a strong resistance towards potential market headwinds. It is evident that the most successful brands in the world have managed to establish a deep-rooted presence in their key markets, by adopting a strategy that creates a premium image. Such an image is helpful in overcoming the challenges of the home market as well as in attracting overseas consumers. It is evident that companies need to protect brand assets and also provide consistent performances in terms of the consumer experience. Furthermore, each market has its own set of local challenges, which can be overcome only by investing in the right branding strategy. A recognisable brand can help any company in achieving this. For example, the world’s biggest soft drinks brands such as Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper, and Pepsi even managed to beat the global recession of 2008.
This was made possible by maintaining a strong brand presence. All three companies even continued paying dividends despite the global downturn.
Your brand tells your company’s story. You need your customers to be able to have an experience that they can rave about but that also tells your story as a business. This includes everything, from the way you answer the phones to the visual elements of your company.
#3 A Powerful Brand Name Can Enhance Credibility
The credibility of a brand can play a critical role in any company. By investing in building a credible brand of products or services, any company can reap the rewards in the long run. For instance, brand credibility is a key consideration for the international airline market in Taiwan. In a study of the international passengers at the Taoyuan International Airport during 2014, it was shown that branding plays a dual role in the minds of consumers when it comes to choosing an airline. Firstly, a credible brand signals a more convenient decision for the consumers and secondly, it can act as a relationship marketing tool. If a brand has high credibility and is easy to recognise, it becomes more likely that a consumer will choose that brand over the other if given a choice.
As shown in the figure, brand credibility can help the consumers in becoming more committed to a brand, thereby helping companies in creating a purchase intention. Such a cycle helps the company in achieving higher revenues.Brands which are recognisable are more likely to be committed to.
#4 An Established Brand Name Can Provide a Competitive Edge
Investments in the appropriate branding techniques can provide companies with a competitive advantage in the medium-term. An established brand can be the difference between boom and bust.Often, consumers seek the intangible benefits associated with a product in addition to the obvious tangible benefits. It is therefore pertinent for companies to focus on building arecognisable brand that emphasises on these intangibles as well. Brand can also add value to a product or service, right from the moment it is launched. Further, it differentiates the product or service from all the other alternatives available in the market. By achieving this differentiation, any company can reap the rewards in terms of long-term customer associations.
Thus, intangible benefits such as prestige and image help any product in positioning itself as unique and carving a niche in the market.
#5 A Strong Brand Helps in Building Expansion Strategies
In terms of entering new markets and launching new products, a company can benefit from having a strong brand. According to marketing specialists, an organisation which has a strong brand value can easily look to expand into new segments and markets. Since the brand is unique and recognisable, it gives the marketers an opportunity to release new products quickly. Further, the efficiency of any such new launches is also enhanced. The process of “Brand Extension” can give a company more command over the market. It is also much easier to attain consumer confidence in new products. A successful brand can easily be re-marketed to promote other products at lower per unit costs. This is a distinct advantage in today’s saturated global marketplace.
As an example, the figure below indicates the strategy used by FedEx to launch new services in the global market.
Once their FedEx brand had a strong presence, the company launched newer services such as FedEx Office and FedEx Express. These services helped the company in tapping new markets and establishing itself in the minds of the consumers. However, when making international expansion, companies need to be aware of local peculiarities and cultural differences. This will affect brand strategy as well. What works in one country may not be as effective in another market. In this case, your business might consider rebranding as a solution.
A brand that is strong will give your business value that’s beyond the logo. Your company needs to be worth more than what you can handle physically, it’s about the experience you can give your customers that they can rave about.
#6 Branding Helps in Long-Term Cost Savings
Building a reputed brand can help a company in achieving long-term cost savings. Although the initial branding process requires investment, the longer-term benefits can far outweigh the overlay costs involved. This is because once a brand has a superior presence; its products can be priced as per the whims of the company. Also, strategies such as product bundling and cross-selling are easier to implement for the brands which are recognisable. Let’s take the example of the airline industry. In the case of low-cost airlines as well as premium airlines, long-term cost savings have been realised once a strong brand presence has been created in the market. Furthermore, it is worth rebranding products, even at a high cost. For example, some of the biggest brands in the world such as Pepsi and BP have rebranded themselves in order to craft an identity. In most cases, this investment has led to long-term cost savings and market share gains. The figure below shows rebranding costs incurred by some of the world’s major companies.
Strong brand identities generate referrals. People will always recommend a good company and with most brands being worn, eaten and drunk, it’s easy to tell people about the brand they wear. Think about the power of Instagram and other social media sites: Coca-Cola gave their bottles names, and everyone was clamouring for one! That’s great branding that sells itself.
To sum up, companies around the world need to understand the importance of investing in a branding strategy in order to record sustainable growth. A strong brand presence would not only ensure that the company is able to retain and grow its customer base, but it will also allow the company to tackle market turbulence. Furthermore, brands which are easily recognisable often lead to long-term returns, both in the tangible and intangible forms. Finally, investments in branding can result in opening up a pathway for the company to expand into new markets, but international expansion will be successful only if cultural differences are taken into account in developing a successful brand strategy.
Your company brand should be built on your idea and it should be something that your staff can work on and drive for. You have to believe in your brand and know that you can deliver on your brand promises. Don’t be fooled by a simple logo – it’s so much more than that.
Anna Clarke is the owner of online writing company 15 Writers. She is a successful entrepreneur with over 20 years’ experience in both freelancing and academic writing industries, specialising in Business, Economics, Finance, Marketing and Management.