No matter how subtle, brands are everywhere. From the typeface of the blog you’re reading right now to its tone of voice – a brand is an endless set of key identifiers that communicate a message, a mission, and – most importantly – an identity.
Whether you’re looking to start a business, review your marketing materials or perform a complete refresh, it’s hugely important for you and your team to consider how your business can showcase its purpose and core values.
This is where branding takes centre stage. A successful brand is a non-verbal communication tool that speaks for itself, demonstrating through elements such as colour, symbols, a descriptive tagline and meaningful tone of voice exactly why your business is so unique.
Not only does your brand play a fundamental part in your business’s very first impression on an individual, but it also helps to build a sense of familiarity, predictability and trust throughout each and every touchpoint of your interaction with its audience. Building trust from your audience is more important than ever right now, as due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many consumers are expecting businesses to step up and act on the values they promote.
To put it simply: brand is everything.
So, what is branding?
Branding has previously been defined as simply a business name, slogan, sign, symbol or design that distinguishes a business from its counterparts. However, branding today has become a much more complex process with a range of new factors to consider.
Memorable branding is present throughout everything your business produces – from its communication style on social media, right down to the specific shade you’re looking to use within your logo. Often, it’s controlled by a set of strict brand guidelines, which set out the rules on how to use brand elements like logo placement, font and imagery.
Your brand is your voice, this means it’s vital that it translates seamlessly between both internal and external marketing communications and is aimed at not only consumers, but your employees too.
Why invest in your brand?
It’s been shown that companies who have invested time and strategy into branding as well as in-depth market research, have been able to reap the rewards, meaning it is an investment – not an expense.
Increasing trust in the market place
Seeing a recognisable, consistent brand and becoming familiar with its core values over time builds a trusting and loyal relationship between a business and its audience. Did you know that there will be 5-7 brand interactions before a consumer remembers a brand? (Pam Moore).
A great example of brand consistency through multiple channels is Innocent Smoothies. Their tone of voice, which is informal and friendly, develops a sense of rapport with the brand. Happy customers who develop a sense of trust and loyalty with your business are the best form of brand awareness possible, so it’s important to take the time to create and stick to a brand strategy.
According to Workable, 9 out of 10 candidates would apply for a job from an employer brand that is actively maintained. Beyond improving recognition, trust and attracting consumers to your business, having a recognisable and respected brand is also a key factor in attracting talent and supporting the growth of your team.
This is where ‘employer brand’ comes into play. An essential factor to your wider business branding, employer brand is the backbone of your workplace culture and directly aids employee satisfaction. Your employer brand, which works to attract employees, will also affect reputation, staff turnover and ultimately, external sales.
Achieving a positive reputation
78% of people will look into a company’s reputation before applying for a job, according to Link Humans. By clearly demonstrating your brand’s positive ethos and mission statement through your brand and the way you interact with employees, your business’s reputation will grow. Positive social media mentions and online reviews from employees can help boost your reputation, whereas negative stories can severely impact consumer loyalty and trust.
Reputation becomes especially important during hard times like the coronavirus pandemic we are currently in. COVID-19 has led to many difficulties for employees, businesses and entire industries across the country, so providing support, staying true to your business values and providing clarity to your workforce remains more important than ever before.
Maintaining employee commitment
When an employee works for a company that takes pride in its brand, they are more likely to enjoy their job and work to the best of their ability in order to maintain this degree of pride throughout their work. Brand pride is a good reflection of the quality of the product or service you offer, as well as your company culture. In fact, TalentNow found that 50% of candidates say that they wouldn’t work for a company with a negative brand, even for more money.
Put simply, companies with a strong brand processes pay out less to keep employees on board, simply because their brand name and reputation precedes them.
Your brand should be at the very core of everything your business does. Not only this, but your business will reap rewards from consistent, effective branding that evolves with your team.
At EDGE Creative, we have over 15 years’ experience in developing successful and unique brands across a range of sectors. If you would like to discuss your brand, please call an expert on 0121 355 8092 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for an in-depth brand review with a member of our experienced team. Please visit edge-creative.com