The value of investing in your brand

We all know the marketplace is crowded. There are countless products competing for our attention. Consumers are constantly bombarded with information about different products all the time, so why is it that people are drawn to a particular brand?

It could be down to a number of things. We might be attracted by the packaging, the ‘unique’ product features, different flavours, customer reviews, even celebrity endorsement. All of those things are important, they are factors in our decision-making process, but there’s something else that tips the balance in favour of one product over another.

‘Brand’ is one of, if not the most valuable asset for a B2C business. It’s often the primary reason consumers choose one product over another, and one of the smartest investments you can make in your business. Unless you compete on price alone, developing your brand is a hugely important part of launching a successful product.

What do we mean by brand?

There are many definitions, which can be confusing or conflicting. When talking about ‘brand’, many people typically reference the visual components which make up the brand identity, such as the logo, colour palette, typography, perhaps a distinctive photographic style — those are the more tangible elements that represent your brand visually — but ‘brand’ is really about our emotional response, it’s what we think and feel.

Your brand is not your logo, it’s your reputation. Brand is what people think and feel about your business. It’s your secret sauce; the key to differentiation in today’s super-competitive world. Your reputation is the subjective beliefs that a person holds about you, your business, your product or service. It’s tempting to think we have control over what other people believe about our brand — and that’s true to a certain degree, we can influence other peoples thinking — but your reputation is subjective.

Brand is all about perceptions, which are formed through shared experiences and interactions across all touch points. Whether it’s online, product packaging or the customer experience, every interaction with your business will help to build and define your brand. Building a strong brand that delivers a consistent consumer experience will help you to build trust and confidence, attracting more customers, who will then go on to become brand advocates and aficionados!

Why invest in your brand?

As an agency, we see so many new products coming to market where most of the budget has gone into product development and online marketing, but with little consideration for building a credible brand proposition. These businesses cut corners on the brand. If you start marketing something that isn’t ready to make a genuine impact on your market, you will struggle to gain any traction.

Whatever stage you’re at on your brand journey, brand development should always be seen as an investment in the business (not a cost). Producing a great product is simply not enough, it takes time and hard work to build a successful brand. The level of investment really depends on the stage you’re at and what you are trying to achieve, and the trick is getting the balance right. Spending too much at an early stage can easily drain your business of valuable resources needed for product development and marketing. But invest too little and you get lost in a sea of unrecognisable start-ups that struggle to grow or attract investment.

You can only make a first impression once, which can be tricky to change if you don’t get it right first time. By following this simple process, your chances of success will be far greater than pumping investment straight into marketing activities:

1. Strategy

Do the research to identify your target audience groups. It seems obvious, but data insights will help you make better decisions and develop a clear strategy for your brand. Clearly defining your brand personality and positioning will provide solid foundations for everything else.

2. Identity

The strategy informs the identity stage. All of the visual elements that represent the brand (logo, colour palette, typography) should help to develop a brand identity that will resonate with your target market. Not only that, you need to stand out from the competition, so imagery and colour are a powerful form of communication.

3. Communications

Strategic communications will make the most of your budget. Set objectives and allocate spend accordingly. Consistency is key, so always ensure that your brand assets are used consistently across all touch points; website, social channels, email marketing, product packaging, branded apparel, vehicle livery…

It’s very difficult to successfully launch anything without a platform, so read about our Brand Start-up Package or ping us a note to have a chat about your project.