Why a strong brand is important for your business success. This episode explains the role a strong brand has on your business success, the main traits of strong brands and gives you some ideas on what you can do to strengthen and build your brand.
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What categorizes a strong brand. Well, it’s not size. There’s a lot of businesses out there that are large businesses that have weak brands. And on the converse, there are a lot of smaller businesses that are far more niche that have really strong brands for their particular segment.
So size, isn’t a key indicator when it comes to, if you have a strong brand or not. Now, obviously a lot of the larger businesses, corporations do have strong brands and that’s why they’re so big. One of the reasons why they’re so big, But there are also a lot of markets where you have a lot of competing businesses and all of their brands are quite weak.
And the reason if you had somebody come in there as a disruptor and maybe take over and had a stronger brand, they can really capitalize in that market. And equally some of those brands could benefit from a stronger, more unified brand. It would only help them in what they’re trying to achieve. So size, isn’t an indicator of a strong brand necessarily.
But there are a few things that all strong brands have in common. And I’m going to give you a list of these right now.
Number one, simplicity. So I’m not necessarily talking about design or how the product is made, but simplicity in how the audience can understand what that brand. Is does and stands for.
So one of the biggest challenges when launching a new brand or product ,service is articulating to your audience, what that brand stands for, what it means to them, what problem it solves and how it can take them to their aspirational identity. Where are they going to go after interacting with your brand. Strong brands, do this simply and without confusion.
Number two confidence. So strong brands, ooze confidence, and we’re not talking about arrogance or bold claims they can’t back up. What we’re talking about here is a confidence, an unwavering stance in what that brand stands for and how it can help their audience. So no outlandish claims, just a sense of confidence and strength and belief and what their brand is and what it stands for.
Number three, authenticity, strong brands are authentic and genuine, and they stay true to what they believe their open books, when it comes to their audience, they are not afraid to put themselves out there to open up the company and the brand to scrutiny.
And also just showing that side, there’s a bit more personal, a bit more friendly and has that connection with the audience. Social media has really accelerated this and given us these tools like Instagram stories or Facebook stories, where you can do short snippets behind the scenes content that really helps your audience to see behind the curtain.
And all it’s gone on to do is strengthen the bond between audience and brand and given the audience a window into a bit more of a trusted relationship. So we buy from. Who we trust and the more you can express yourself authentically and try and connect with your audience and be open the, the better relationship you’ll have.
Number four, they’re unified. So we have a methodology at Elements, Brand Management that we call the unified brand. And there is actually a link in the description to our guide, which will help you to rid your brand of an identity crisis. It will give you some more pointers and tips on a unified brand and how you can build yours, but strong brands.
Categorically have this unified brand, they’re aligned through the four main brand layers, right from the internal brand to the external brand. And that strength comes from that unity and that ability to flow from the internal brand to the external brand so that there is not any inconsistency. There’s not any misalignment. The audience is getting what you’re trying to send out as a brand. And. The unified brand is crucial for building a strong brand.
Five they offer something more. Strong brands offer something far more engaging with the audience than weaker brands do. They invite you into a story they give you an aspirational identity that you’re trying to, they’re trying to help you reach. They solve your problem for you, and they invite you into a community, a tribe. That you can become part of with values that are similar to yours, joining likeminded people, and they give you a reason to share this brand with others.
And it’s adding that extra layer, adding that something more, and it can be through things like customer service, just an excellent customer service experience. You know, like you look at Zappos or Nordstrom, these brands. Ooze customer service and that all about that. That’s their kind of key differentiator.
That’s the thing that they stand behind in the market. So it could be through something like that. It could be through offering more in the products within features or benefits. It could be an attribute that you’re trying to take hold of in the market. Let’s say Volvo with safety or Adidas with creativity.
Or vans with individualism, these things are they’re offering something more. They’re offering a shared identity with their audience, shared values, sense of community and connection. And today more than ever, we crave connection. You know, we’re all online. We are all on social media, we’re all away from things, you know, we crave that sort of genuine emotion, that genuine connection.
And a lot of the stronger brands out there are realizing this and they are telling stories and they’re inviting their audience into a story that makes them feel part of something. And part of the journey that’s going to take them somewhere different.
How does a strong brand help your business be more successful?
It gives you clarity and focus, strong brands know why they exist. They know where they’re going. They know why they’re going there. And they know the guiding principles that are going to take them there. They also know where they compete, who they compete with, how they compete and what the differentiators are.
And all this adds up to an understanding of who they are and a confidence and a strength. That comes into that. But also what that helps with is knowing where to market understanding the role they play in their audience’s life, understanding what their audience wants and understanding where their competition falls down.
And all of this adds to a more focused, clarified, strategic approach to their brand and their business.
Improves memorability. So on the back of more clarity, focus and direction, you’re going to have simpler, more concise, more atuned messaging and a more focused brand. Now this makes it far easier to remember your brand than if it was confused.
So things like ‘think different’ and j’ust do it’ two and three words, respectively that ultimately sum up that brand and what it stands for. In the simplest possible way. And you see this with the visual identity of strong brands as well. It’s, it’s simplified. That doesn’t mean it can’t be complex design, but it is aligned.
It is consistent. It doesn’t stray too far away from what the brand stands for. And this is important because your brand wants to be iconic. It wants to be memorable. And the way to create memorability is through clear, focused. Strategies and tactics, but also consistency and a reliable, consistent visual identity, voice personality, and messaging.
You build trust and loyalty. So if you improve memorability and you keep your branding consistent, you build trust and loyalty with your audience. And this is a dominant factor that you see with strong brands. We talked about confidence and authenticity earlier on as being traits of strong brands. And this is what really comes through and helps you to build this trust and loyalty.
The more confident you are, and the more you believe in your brand and yourself as a brand, but also the consistency that you show and the more memorability that you have will build this trust and loyalty and allow your audience to enter into a relationship with you a lot easier. Then, if they’re unsure, confused, or don’t have that trust in your brand.
It builds value. If you increase trust and loyalty in your brand, it increases your brand value or brand equity. And this has a lot of benefits, but the three main ones are higher pricing. So you can charge more for your product or service because it is perceived to be more valuable by your audience. You can. Increase your or your stock prices increase because of the value perceived again in your brand.
And also you can have more product extensions or more collaborations, more affiliates, more clout when it comes to sponsorship negotiations, because your brand is considered to be more valuable. Strong brands tend to accrue value over time. And if you keep that consistency and you build that trust and loyalty, then you can really. Sort of capitalize on this, this building of value over time. But if you are inconsistent or there’s a confusion with your brand, then what can happen is you can lose some of that value. So you want to maintain that trust and loyalty, and you want to stay confident and true to your brand and stick with it in a consistent way.
It helps with differentiation. So we’re going to talk about differentiation strategies in a future video. So watch out for that one. But what it does with a strong brand. And the reason it helps differentiation is less of a differentiation strategy and more as a, an individual aspect of the brand, so that the more authentic and confident you are about your brand and the more you stick by your guns, you stay consistent and you keep pushing your values and what you believe in and what you stand for.
You build a really strong brand that is. Differentiated through individualism. So what makes the brand unique, what makes it special, what it stands for, what it believes in, how it connects with its audience, what problem do you solve, how are you going to help your audience to reach that aspirational identity.
All these things come into play to make your brand completely unique and therefore differentiate this isn’t this isn’t a differentiation play. As in, it’s not about positioning and it’s not about. Owning a particular attribute in the market. Like we talked about earlier on with say Volvo and safety.
This is on top of that. So you have that already. This differentiation comes with when you see a brand that is completely aligned, completely unified is true to itself. Understand it’s identity knows where it is through the four layers. It becomes an individual brand. It becomes its own thing. That is standalone from everything else, because you can’t have a carbon copy of a brand that is authentic to itself because it always be some nuance between that and a brand even if the other brand that you’re talking about is really similar. There’s always some nuance that will, will come into play. And obviously with your differentiation strategy that we’ll talk about in a future video, that will help to make that differentiation even more individual to your brand.
All of this works to grow your business.
So the stronger your brand becomes, the more focused and more clarity you will gain, which will help you to become more memorable with your audience, which will be trust and loyalty, which then helps you to continually grow in value, which will inspire your internal team. To continually push that brand. And also it will cement your uniqueness in your audience’s eyes, all of the time in a kind of a cyclical effect to help grow your business, build the brand and just make it stronger.
To sum up. Building a strong brand is crucial today with the amount of options your audience has, you need to give them a reason to pick you.
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Have a great week. Catch up soon. Keep those brands unified.