“If Coca-Cola were to lose all of its production-related assets in a disaster, the company would survive. By contrast, if all consumers were to have a sudden lapse of memory and forget everything related to Coca-Cola, the company would go out of business.” – Coca-Cola Executive
If that doesn’t illustrate the power that great business branding can have, we’re not sure what will.
But that’s Coca-Cola, isn’t it? What can brilliant branding do for your company, even if you aren’t a juggernaut like that, and how can you make the most of it?
First of all, what is branding?
Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com, knows a thing or two when it comes to business, and his take on branding is “…what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” And from Investopedia, “A brand is more than a name – it is the sum total of a consumer’s experiences with a recognisable product – and it is powerful.”
Very simply, branding is what your company does to make people feel how you want them to feel about it. It’s so much more than just your logo and some nice colours on your website. Your branding affects everything about your business, from your internal print collateral, like branded letterheads, compliment slips and internal forms, to your staff uniforms, and from your external branding collateral, like building signage, vehicle graphics, flags and banners to display stands, tablecloths and other items for events.
Why do you need a brand?
There are thousands of companies in the UK that do what you do. While that could sound depressing, if you get your branding right, it really won’t matter, because excellent branding is how you stand out from all those competitors. It’s how you ‘find your tribe’, as they say, and find those customers who can’t wait to work with you. It’s how you engage with potential clients, add value, and draw them in to want to spend money with you.
Showing off your differences
Nobody wants to be seen as yet another plumber, or yet another house builder. Every business wants to stand out. You’re not a commodity, or interchangeable. You’re unique, and your businesses branding is one of the things that can put that across to prospective customers.
Branding that’s well designed and produced can create engagement with your customers, and even get them to form an emotional attachment to you. Remember EDF Energy’s character, Zingy, the dancing blob? He was so popular that people were writing in to EDF to ask if they could buy one. He was cute, bopped along to great music, and made people feel good. They got attached to him, and by association, to EDF. No other energy company could match that.
Adding more to your bottom line
You only have to look at the fashion world and all that designer gear to know that the right label can add a whole lot of value. Would you pay £2000 for a pair of Fred Smith’s shoes that you’d never heard of? Probably not. But if shoes were your thing, you might well pay that for a pair of Christian Louboutins.
And it’s the same in general business. Exceptional branding can add to your profits as people are much more willing to pay that bit extra for a well-branded item than they are for something that’s… well, not.
Make connections and building communities
A brand that brings that emotional reaction to its audience can connect deeply with people, and build a community around your business. If you can get to that point, a crowd of raving fans who wouldn’t think of going anywhere else is entirely possible. Not only that, but they’re likely to be highly engaged, and very keen to tell you what they’d like from you, giving you new product and service ideas, too.
Once you’ve established your brand, one of the main ways you can make the most of it is to be consistent with its use everywhere your business operates. So many companies have branding manuals because it really does matter how their brand is used, and in what colours and proportions.
Going back to Coca-Cola, imagine a copy of their famous curly script if it was suddenly blue, or slanted left instead of right. While anyone would notice the colour change, perhaps only graphic designers would really notice the wrong slant, but what would happen is that anyone else who saw that incorrect logo would feel that something was wrong. They’d feel uncomfortable, even if they didn’t know why, and it would affect how they felt about the company.
Consistency really matters.
To make the most of your branding, everything should be consistent all across your company, presenting the same look, feel and message, and all delivered with impeccable quality to reflect the professionalism of your company.
For beautifully printed brand collateral & materials, from business flags and business banners to vehicle graphics, browse our website, or give us a call on 0800 083 0260.