What are the advantages of branding? It’s a fair question.
We’re always talking about branding, but what are the real advantages of branding a business?
Away from having a good looking, attractive brand, that sells well to your customers, there are a whole of other advantages to branding your business properly.
As a bit of a primer to this article, check out our Ultimate Guide to Small Business Branding, which will guide you through a lot of the key terms and branding ideas to consider for your business.
If you want to create the next Apple, or Nike, but you don’t understand the competitive advantages of branding, or even how good branding can work for your business, then this is the post for you.
Branding Builds Recognition and Loyalty
The first two things a strong business brand should do is work to build brand recognition and customer loyalty.
Consistent and considered use of the same graphic elements, wording, photography, and advertising, will work together to form your brand identity.
If people see your brand in the wild, and it’s consistent in it’s visual approach and delivery, your building up brand recognition.
Consistency is a vital ingredient when trying to use branding to your advantage. It’s no good having an advert in Men’s Fitness, that looks completely different to the advert in GQ magazine. Then, when the customers visit your website, they’re greeted with something different again.
Consistency helps build brand recognition, which is one of the biggest advantages to successful business branding.
Strong Branding Helps Communicate
One of the main things that a strong brand helps you do, is communicate. Communicate your vision, mission, and ideas.
But it also helps communicate;
When I started Canny, I knew where I wanted to be in a few years time. So I decided to not use “Tony Hardy” as my design name. I started off with Canny Creative.
I wanted to communicate size. I didn’t want people to think it was just one guy working out of his bedroom in his underpants. Which it was, for a little while.
But the plan was always to grow, so I used my brand to communicate size. And it worked!
Branding can also help communicate quality. Let’s look at pizza as an example. Because, who doesn’t like looking at pizza?
Dominos and Pizza Hut are two of the most successful pizza chains in the world. They stand out from a sea of other pizza companies, because of their strong branding and marketing efforts, which make them known for quality pizza.
Here’s a real story about an experience I had with Dominos;
When we went out to Tokyo to visit Shodai, Adrienne was struggling with the food choices. Being a vegetarian, and not understanding the language, the food was becoming an increasing challenge.
On the fourth day of struggling to find food she could eat, we gave up, and navigated through the Japanese Dominos website to get her a plain cheese pizza.
We went with Dominos, because we knew they wouldn’t let us down. Turns out Dominos is the same the world over. The taste was great, and the experience was great too.
However, I do still get Japanese Dominos pizza newsletters every week. Normally a Tuesday. I’m guessing they do Two For Tuesday too!
Experience and Reliability
After the Dominos story, I don’t think we need to say much more about experience and reliability.
Branding can help communicate your company’s experience and reliability. Dominos in Japan won business off us, because of the strength of their brand.
We knew they wouldn’t let us down.
Building Recognition Helps to Build Brand Loyalty
When people recognise your brand, they begin to trust you, and become loyal to you.
People use McDonalds because they recognise the golden arches. When they’re driving home late at night, and pass the big M at the side of the road, they know they can get a decent enough coffee or hot snack from there.
The McDonalds logo is actually quite powerful. At times, it can evoke the smell and taste of their fries. That’s strong branding!
Building Brand Recognition and Loyalty Helps Increase Your Bottom Line
Turning your customers into loyal fans of your brand can also help increase your bottom line.
You recognise the golden arches, you decide to stop for a coffee and an apple pie.
You’re in a new town and see Starbucks’ famed siren logo. You know they can get a half decent cup of coffee from there.
As a byproduct of brand recognition and brand loyalty, you’re making gains on your bottom line.
All of these micro-sales and interactions happening around the world is what makes the big brands as successful as they are.
Strong Branding Allows for Scaling Your Brand with Multiple Products
Imagine this. Starbucks announce a new range of donuts. They’re going to go really well with their coffee.
You’re going to give them a try. Because you’ve come to know and love the coffee, so the donuts can’t be bad, right?
McDonalds went from being fast food and fries, to the McCafe type restaurant that does half decent coffee and bakery products.
A strong brand allows you to scale your brand, and change direction or pivot when required.
Brand Loyalty Allows You to Charge a Premium
There’s only one brand we need to mention in this game. That’s Apple.
There phones are double the price of their competitors. Their computers are double the price of their competitors. Everything about them is “premium” – yet most people Apple product in their lives.
Why? Because their customers are fiercely loyal. Me included.
I got an iPhone 3 when they came out, and I’ve never changed since. I bought my first Macbook in college, and I’ve never looked back.
Having a strong brand allows you to charge a premium. But you need to make sure you get the product right too! Let’s not mention the Apple Homepod.
A Strong Brand Helps with Recruitment and Retention
The next advantage of branding your business properly, is that it can help you with the recruitment and staff retention process.
Taking the focus from external sales, to internal company happiness, branding can help you get things right, across the board.
Your brand can make people think;
- There are a good brand to work for
- Things are done a certain way here
- I align with this brand’s mission, and want to work here
- I’ll enjoy working here
- and so on…
Every fancied a job as an Apple Genius? Well, they’re not the easiest jobs to come by.
Fancy working at Google? Of course you do! Who doesn’t want to work for a beautifully insane company with slides in their office.
A strong brand that communicates it mission, values, and personality can help recruit and attract the right new employees.
According to a recent LinkedIn study, a strong brand receives 2.5x the applicants per job post. Another study by CareerArc found that 75% of job seekers consider an employer’s brand before even applying for a job.
Your brand isn’t just for your customers, it can effect the internals of your business too.
Your Brand Strategy Document
Your brand strategy document gives you a key strategy that you can relate all brand and business decisions back to.
This document can help form the shape of your company. It tells people what you’re all about, and reminds you, when you get caught up in the day to day running of the business.
The advantage of having a brand strategy document clearly outlined can’t be overstated.
Having it to hand gives you something to refer to, refer your employees to, and serves as an important reminder as to what you set out to do at the start.
It can also be used to help take your company into the future. A good brand strategy document should outline where you’re looking to go next.
And it should grow organically with your business! When you reach goal one, what happens next?
Having a brand strategy outlined is a massive competitive branding advantage. You know exactly where you’re headed, and that can put you leagues ahead of the competition.
Your Brand Identity Guideline Document
The visual element of branding is always the part that people want to discuss the most.
Your brand identity guideline document should outline how your brand identity looks, and how it should be visually represented in certain situations.
It can be used as an easy handover document when moving between agencies, or when having ads created in-house by someone else’s advertising department and so on.
Your brand identity guideline is the lifeblood of your brand’s visual style. And you should protect it with fire.
This is the key piece in the puzzle when it comes to building brand recognition. Your guideline should be used to consistently ensure your brand is represented visually, in the right way.
These two documents combined are enough on their own to sell the advantages of branding for your business. They form the backbone of any successful business brand.
A Strong Brand Allows for an Easy Exit
This is one of the most overlooked advantages of branding.
If you have a strong business brand, you’re making it easy for when you want to exit your company.
A strong, attractive, money making business brand will make it a lot easier to sell when that day comes.
People don’t want to invest in things that they then have to spend ages putting right. If your brand is already on the right track, you’re eliminating on extra headache for prospective new owners.
Combine this with the brand recognition and loyalty that you’ve amassed as you’ve grown, your business is starting to look like a very saleable asset.
Now, obviously you need to ensure your business is doing well too, and you’ve not wrapped your business brand up inside your personal brand.
But once you’ve got all of that in place, your branding can be advantageous when it comes to exiting.
Conclusion: What Are The Advantages of Branding?
People buy into brands. Whether that’s customers, investors, or prospective new owners.
The first thing anyone is going to do when hearing about your brand is check out your website or social channels. Then, they’re going to judge you.
What does the brand look like? Can I support them? Do I like what they stand for?
We live in a brand aware world. If you don’t have a strong brand, you’re not benefiting from the advantages of branding.
Take stock of how your business is represented right now and ask yourself “do I have a brand that I’m proud of?” If the answer is no, you know what to do.
What do you think? Is your business seeing the advantages of branding? Let us know in the comments below!