When we talk about “branding,” we’re talking about the message you put out into the universe. We’re talking about the thoughts that come to mind when people hear or see your organization’s name. We are talking about the perception of your organization.
Branding is really important, and yet it’s often an afterthought.
Even savvy business owners and leaders think it’s enough to create a fancy logo, slap it on everything and call it a day. But they’re wrong.
Your brand must be reflected in everything you do, from the marketing copy you create to how employees interact with customers. It requires a consistent message across the board. That consistency is vital to your success. Here’s why:
It’s how people recognize you
Think about some of the most iconic brands out there. Nike has the swoosh. McDonald’s has the golden arches. Those symbols are immediately recognizable, but that didn’t happen overnight.
You need a consistent look across all of your media. That means if a customer picks up a marketing or sales piece, checks out your website, or finds you on social media, they see the same logo, color scheme and design elements.
That recognition is your first step toward building a relationship with customers. You then must reflect your values, culture and mission in everything you write, share, produce and say to build their trust and loyalty. But it all starts with making your business recognizable.
It increases your chances of landing new clients
First impressions are everything. Most people check online when investigating whether to do business with an organization. Many won’t even consider a business that doesn’t have a website, and more and more expect businesses to be prominent on social media. It can be even worse if your website lacks in design or functionality because, unfortunately, people can doubt the professionalism and sophistication of your business if the website falls short of expectations. Additionally, when it comes to referrals, people want to vouch for organizations that are in the top tier when it comes to professionalism.
Consistent visual branding and a well-designed website show that you are successful enough to invest in the business. That’s a big deal, especially if you are in a saturated market or up against competitors with more resources – and money to throw around.
It builds internal pride and loyalty
We think this is one of the most overlooked – and perhaps undervalued – benefits of branding, but consistent branding boosts employees’ pride in the organization. They are proud to share their business cards and send people to your website. They’re excited to send a marketing email or hand over a sales pamphlet.
They know the quality of those resources makes them look more capable and professional. They’re more confident. They are willing to be advocates for your brand because they are proud of the business. You can’t put a price tag on that.