What is branding all about and why is it important?
Branding is quite simply who you are and what you do for your customers and employees.
Isn’t that just some touchy-feely jargon to get me to spend my marketing dollars on it, only to wonder months later what I got for the money I spent?
Nope; it really matters. Who you say you are and who you actually are must be in alignment or your customers and employees will be confused or frustrated.
What (and how) you communicate to others is vital to convincing them to do business with you. Over and over we see client websites, brochures, etc. that talk about features (and even benefits) of their products and services, but what is often missing is the emotional appeal.
People make emotional choices to purchase and rationalize that decision afterward.
Did you notice that subtle difference? I didn’t say people make rational decisions, yet most of us write copy and use imagery and video that speaks to the rational part of our brain.
So why do we do this? Quite simply...it’s easier and takes less time to do.
But if we take the extra time to step into our potential customer’s shoes, what emotional triggers would we identify that our company solves for them?
“Before & After” Website Example Adding Emotional Appeal
Take a look at these before and after website page transformations; the emotional difference in the “after examples” is clear, right?
From “Delivering Optimized Product Realization Solutions”
To: “We’ll help you create products that build a better world.”
Home Page “After”:
The same is true on the careers section…
From: “Why Work for Plexus”
To: Join our team. Build the future.
Careers Page: “Before and After”
So how did that translate into business results? Two months after the new site launch, these were their website stats:
- Users were up by 2.93%
- Pageviews were up 14.42%
- Average session duration was up 17.56%
- Bounce rate was down by 2.85%...which is a positive thing
Now, let’s look at 2 other reasons why you shouldn’t ignore branding:
- Done well, branding forces a company to be focused since you can’t really (and shouldn’t try) to be all things to all people. Narrowing down your positioning to a laser focus helps you say no to things so you can say yes to other more important items.
- Branding engages and aligns employees with delivering your brand. Plus, it will attract new talent that fits with your new sharpened paradigm.
But remember “A promise is only good if it’s kept.” So aligning your team, not just defining your brand, is crucial. You most definitely do not want to define your brand one way while your people are delivering on it in another. At that point, you are inviting your brand to be consistently vague with no focus at all.
So be forewarned...refining your brand is worth doing. But only do it if you are going to hold your team accountable to follow through on it every day.
For more on why branding is important, check out Imaginasium’s article 8 Key Reasons Why Branding Is Important & 1 Why It Isn’t
Miles Anthony Smith, a digital marketer, delights in delivering solid content for people hungry for answers to their most vexing questions or challenges.