I have been itching to have this conversation for a while now, on why branding matters. We deal with this a lot at Artraction. Clients often come in wanting a logo and website, but from a simple 5-minute conversation it is clear they haven’t given much thought into the purpose of their new logo, website or the necessity of a solid brand strategy. I always try to explain to my clients seeking service providers, to solely design a logo or website without a strategy in place is like being terribly ill and resorting to over the counter solutions at a pharmacy, versus seeing a specialised doctor who takes you through a thorough diagnosis following after to deal with the illness according to that information (assuming we all value our health, right).
Let’s start with defining what a brand is?
Quoted from Brian Lischer on defining what a brand is, “A brand is the way a company, organisation, or individual is perceived by those who experience it. More than simply a name, term, design, or symbol, a brand is the recognizable feeling a product or business evokes”. And branding is the act of shaping that perception & experience.
Why invest in branding?
Branding is a well-ordered process used to build awareness and strengthen customer loyalty. It requires commitment from the top-level and a willingness to get your hands dirty. Branding is about snatching every moment to express why people should choose your brand over another. The return on investment in regards to branding extends over the existence of the brand, you attract preferred customers, talent and you may also command premium pricing. Trust is formed over your brand, the sales process is much are easier, and you build community of loyal customers. While there are a multiple of benefits these are just to name a few.
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So having had enough of these cases, we developed our own system which helps clients build the foundation of their brands. This assists the brand with many things such as finding their voice, their purpose, competitors, positioning and how to maintain itself through clear guidelines.
We usually begin our process with Discovery by engaging in a deep dive exercise, where the aim is to understand (more importantly for the client to understand) the essence of their brand. I have found that clients often come in with big picture ideas of what their brand is and what it stands for. The idea is often big, vague and misdirected. Following the deep dive process we narrow everything down, in so that the client has a better and clearer understanding of their brand & business.
While not all businesses at the start-up phase can afford to hire an agency for full stack branding, they should at least invest in a discovery session. The most important thing about any journey is being thoughtful of a few things; where are you going? Why is it important? Who is this kind of thing meant for? And that’s what discovery helps with. We’re able to put all of that into perspective, so you may visualize and create a strong purposeful connection with the business.
Understanding how important it is to invest in branding is parallel to business success in a world where customers are ever more attentive to it. If you knew you were building the next Amazon, knowing what you do now, how much would you invest in branding?