“Branding is limitless…”
This is quote aspect I completely agree on when it comes to branding your business. I had a discussion with close friends of mine about how most new up and coming business owners aren’t aware how big branding can be for their business. Many come to believe that branding is about a nice fancy logo or having a name that is relevant to what service they will be doing, but there is more to it that just that; that’s the minor half.
So what exactly is branding? Let’s put it into simple terms: branding is the value that the customer makes of it within that service or product. It’s what determines if they become loyal to a business and continuously use them. It can be very vital to a business if it grows fast or doesn’t grow at all.
What’s in the minds of a particular customer that follows a business often? The marketing has left the room, but branding is what stays behind and follows through in the thoughts of customers. Many large corporations I know spend large amounts of money to get across customers head that their branding is one thing while customers on the other hand think that business is another.
When we are used to something being the same, we are often are in auto-pilot mode. I finished reading a great book by Phil Barden titled “Decoded: The Science behind Why We Shop”.
In the book it gives out many scientific studies about what goes on in our brains when we shop. A vast majority of why we shop is due to a products brand. We carry ourselves automatically knowing what we want, where to find it, and how to properly distinguish it from other products. The way of a products shape, size, color, we can easily recognize with no problems at all because it’s been implemented in our brain that we can picture it even without looking at it physically.
If a well known product decides to do a complete makeover, it has a large chance of bringing that product’s brand to the ground. Loyalists of that product will question what is that product? They will stop what they’re doing and question themselves should they keep continuing using a certain product/business or is it best to try something different so that can find that comfort they had previously. It’s one of the things I look at that automatically can kill a product quick. The strategy to implement is by doing very minor changes and studying if there are any changes in mood with loyalists of that product.
Another intriguing question that the author asks are if emotions play a large part of branding? The correct answer would be no but we get carried away with it that as being loyal, we start to form emotions through time. We shouldn’t form strong emotions either way because business is not a living thing, humans have emotions towards living things, and quite frankly business doesn’t live but we make it live.
So what can we do to implement branding in our business?
One book I would highly recommend is by Scott McKee titled “Power Branding”. He gives out powerful insights on how small valued things can turn out be widely beneficial for the brand of the business.
A great example would be the way Nordstrom handles their customer service. Many of their following know that they have remarkable service, it’s unbeatable. They go out of their way to bring value to you in the simplest form. It stands out from other retail stores and loyalist quickly have in mind what they represent.
To get more deeper into how we can implement branding into our business. Let’s think of Starbucks. When we walk in what’s the first thing we see, hear, or smell?
In my mind when I walk into a Starbucks, I first smell that fresh coffee aroma in the air. My mind gets to a state of being happy ready to sip on some coffee. I am then followed by the view of the environment. I see a calm, laid-back atmosphere where people sit down, enjoy their coffee and either talk with friends or work on their computers. To me, they don’t need advertising. There is no need for it because the thought has already been implemented in my head of knowing where to go when I want to sit back and get coffee on a warm afternoon.
Most startups need to understand that to exceed that growth fast, a good branding strategy has to take place.
Concluding this post, what branding strategies have you implement in your business? Or what do you think can be implemented that can help grow your business to a new level? When you think of a certain product, what is it that makes you think of that product, and what can you learn from it to get inside the minds of other customers?
I know that everyone has their definition of branding, in my opinion the brand is a story. When the customer buys the product they could be acting on the story behind the product, think for instance Nike which is associated with the story of victory. I am developing my personal brand based around a story.
Thanks for commenting Alex, and yes that is a great way to think of branding as well.