By now I’m sure you’ve heard that our economy is a bit on the sluggish side. Some say we are on the verge of a recession, while others assume it has already begun. For businesses it is an anxious time that often leads to price reductions and short-term solutions. The problem with this philosophy is that it can also lead to their brand’s long-term demise.
Effective branding can help get a business through a slowed economy, as well as help it emerge as a category leader.
This is true for branding giants like Nike and Budweiser, as well as local and regional businesses.
The simple truth is branding builds value, and value builds brand loyalty and brand advocacy. The key to discovering and then establishing your value is to first define your point of differentiation. This is where great brands are made. Car dealers, health clubs, public golf courses, homebuilders, local banks, colleges, architects, law firms, widget manufacturers, you name it -- everyone has a unique essence just waiting to be discovered.
Once discovered, it is vital that all touchpoints associated with your business or organization reflect this difference at all times. We like to call this your “promise.” It connects you with your consumer, building both trust and confidence. A strong brand influences consumer behavior over time. With consistency branding can:
* Increases customer usage. Companies enjoy higher sales because more consumers choose a company’s brand over the competition, and their brand leads consumers to try and grow loyal to other of the company’s brands.
* Lessens the likelihood that consumers will migrate to competitor brands.
* Reduces a company’s marketing and sales expenditures. The more loyal a brand’s consumers are, the less a company needs to spend to maintain market share or sales momentum.
Proper branding delivers future revenue for lower effort and cost. It improves new product sales within a brand family and builds long-term customer relationships. Branding efforts, however, must be supported by the business or these benefits will fail to hold up over time. If the consumer becomes disenchanted or dissatisfied with a brand due to poor customer service, unreliable product quality, or other changes that reduce the value to the consumer, the power of the brand will fade.
The Russo Group