Branding has always been important to the success of any business, large or small. Your brand is your first impression, what people connect your business with, and what people say about you when you are not in the room. It is so important that people have a positive attitude about you and your business, and branding is a key piece of that.
As we head into 2021 and the world begins to emerge from the pandemic, having an established brand might be more important than ever.
Let’s look at the different ways branding will be vital to the success of your business in the new year.
You Need it to Build Trust
As the world begins to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses everywhere are going to have to work hard to rebuild trust with their audiences. It is not that businesses did anything wrong. It’s that there are many businesses who had to limit what they could do or how they could help. Other businesses had to change completely. You also have brand new businesses that started during the pandemic.
2021 will represent a rebirth for many businesses and industries. If you are a new business or one that is not able to interact with your target audience in the way that you would have pre-pandemic, then you will need your brand to build trust. Consumers are going to lean more on recommendations and positive reviews to make purchasing decisions, so you want your brand to be one that people believe they can trust and that will deliver on promises made.
It Helps Shapes Your Vision Internally
A well-defined brand helps your team develop a vision and identity. A perfect example of this is Southwest Airlines. Southwest Airlines’ philosophy of affordable flights and meeting customers expectations has become somewhat legendary because it is what many attribute to its prolonged success. Even during times when other airlines have struggled, Southwest has been able to remain successful because of their philosophy but mostly because their exceptional branding helps people feel they can trustworthy.
Their philosophy became a part of their brand, which then shaped every decision they made as an organization. This was felt in every department and executed at every level. From the CEO to the brand new employee, everyone understood what was expected of them and was able to live up to those expectations.
Imagine having the same thing for your business in the new year!
It Influences Your Marketing
If your branding shapes your vision internally, then it most definitely will have an influence on your marketing. Your messaging will reflect the vision that you are promoting within your business.
Because you have established who you are and what you stand for internally, you can now share that with the outside world—namely your target audience. This will help you shape your customers’ expectations so they know exactly what they can expect when they visit your business or call you for your services.
It Helps You Stand Out
Your brand helps you stand out from the crowd. Think of Nike, McDonald’s, and Apple. As you read those company names you can probably see their logos and colors or hear their taglines or jingles.
More importantly, you can spot those brands amongst a group of brands who are less established. While most small- and medium-sized companies will not reach the heights of Nike, McDonald’s or Apple, we are sure you can think of businesses local to your area that have brands that help them stand out from the crowd.
It Helps You Attract the Best
A great thing about having a good and well-established brand is that you attract the best of both employees and customers. For employees, the opportunity to work at a business with high name recognition and a good reputation can be invaluable. This means you will get the cream of the crop when it comes to hiring.
For customers, it is established that consumers will pay more when they believe they are purchasing from a brand name with a good reputation. Think of Apple. When a new iPhone comes out, flocks of people stand in line for hours to get one, regardless of the cost. This has to do with the reputation and brand equity of the company.
It Helps Build Value in Your Company
What a strong and established brand ultimately does is it builds value in your company. Your brand helps you establish trust, motivate and guide your team, create your messaging, stand out from your competitors, and attract the best in both customers and employees.
The stronger and more established your brand is, the more valuable your company will be. If you are having trouble envisioning this, think of Instagram. Instagram was founded in 2010, sold for one billion dollars in 2012, and is now worth over one hundred billion dollars. There is a lot that goes into that valuation, but a significant part is Instagram’s branding.
In the last year, the world has changed in ways that many could not have imagined. It is hard to imagine what changes may occur in the next twelve months. One of the best things you can do is establish your brand so, as the world comes out of this pandemic, you are able to greet your prospective customers and let them know who you are and what they can expect from you.