Tips for Branding Success

By Chris Wadsworth

Published in The Source issue 9

Branding is important for business success. Getting it right leads to increased sales and higher value for products and services. Getting it wrong can be a business disaster.

Branding is the cornerstone of all your business communications. With successful branding your business will benefit from clearly communicating its core values and customer promises to your target audience. You will also enjoy time and cost savings when producing collateral based on an established branding structure.

Business structure vs brand structure

It is useful to remember the way you present your brand doesn’t need to reflect the legal structure of your business. An organisation that is a single legal entity may benefit by presenting different products or services as different brands. Alternatively an organisation with multiple businesses may want to promote its activities as one brand.

To decide the best approach you will need to determine the different segments of your customer base and decide if one set of values connects with them all. Even if your values are relevant for all your customers they may need to be presented differently for different markets. For example, a business that works with both commercial and consumer markets could benefit from presenting different brands to their different markets. And remember, if your business has multiple brands it may be possible for one brand to support and reinforce another.

Have a consistent approach

Potential customers usually engage with your business multiple times before they decide to purchase what you offer. Because of this a consistent approach is invaluable to make the right impression.

Every time a prospect sees any communication or marketing materials like ads, your website or a brochure, the branding should be consistent if you want to present a professional image. This approach should extend beyond visual branding to other communications too. For example, if your company is focused on innovation then offer new ways to connect like web-based live chat or SMS text technology. If you have a fun brand then make sure your phone messages and hold music are also fun. By delivering your brand consistently every time you are communicating your unique offer and approach which will build trust and promote you as a professional and reliable organisation.

Website branding

Branding should be consistent across different media. One area that often fails in this respect is website design. Web designers often have a limited focus on just website design with little knowledge of branding and other design disciplines and this results in poor branding. This is further exacerbated when websites are based on predesigned templates which severely restrict the options for the successful application of branding.

The significance of your website as a communications and marketing tool makes it particularly important to get your online branding right. When producing a website or other digital media like email newsletters it’s advisable to commission designers experienced in branding or engage a brand manager to liaise with the designers to ensure a successful outcome.

Gain brand recognition from advertising and marketing

A key benefit of branding is to build brand recognition. Branding is a long-term strategy that increases awareness and credibility of your business. This process can be accelerated with the considered application of branding to advertising and promotional materials. This approach will leverage better value from your media spend as it benefits your business long after the short-term spike in attention from advertising and promotion has passed.

Branding for business success

An investment in branding will result in more success from new business leads, better customer loyalty and increased value for your products and services. Businesses with poor branding need to spend more time and money in other areas to convince customers to procure their services.

As a long-term investment that provides time and cost savings for ongoing operations it pays to get your branding right then reap the benefits for years to come.

Posted 16 August 2011

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