December 2007 e-gram
A Simple, Yet Realistic Perspective on Branding
Like it or not, branding is something that effects every company. It’s a process that is defined by every transaction your company is involved in. Hence, the question isn’t “To brand, or not to brand?” The question really is “How much do you want to control the process?” If you’re like most companies, your brand can be critical to your success.
One of the most important functions that a well-perceived brand plays is that it simply makes it easier for people to do business with you. Buyers always look to justify their purchasing decisions, and having a strong brand makes it easier for them to do so. Consider these other benefits:
• Well-perceived brands command a price premium of nearly 9% over brands perceived as just average.
• Customers who become passionate believers in your brand are one of your best sales tools.
• Sales force effectiveness increases by as much as 40% when backed by strong branding and communications efforts.
Keep in mind that branding a product is considered to be much easier than branding an organization. In the case of the latter, every contact and transaction your company has with its customers is an opportunity to influence your brand. Therefore it becomes necessary for people to promote and deliver your message through a pattern of branded behaviors.
Fundamental to all of this is the understanding that your brand is not necessarily what you say, but rather, what people perceive you to say. Images, actions and words are the three primary determinants of your brand. Utilize these to consistently convey a message that is aligned with how you want to be perceived in the marketplace and you will ultimately reach your goal. Consistency is the key.
Perhaps Dannielle Blumenthal, Ph.D. summed it up best in the January 2005 issue of allaboutbranding.com by saying “Like it or not, all of us are agents of the brand of whatever organization we work for, and have a responsibility to do the best we can on its behalf, even though our knowledge, understanding and resources may be limited.”