Branding Myths Busted
A brand is one of the most important elements of a business, yet often, it’s the most undervalued and overlooked part.
Whether you’ve consciously created a brand for your business or not, it has one.
Now’s the time to ask yourself, is it the right one? And will it help you to achieve the goals you have for your business in the next 1, 5 or 10 years?
There are a huge amount of myths and preconceptions about branding. We’re going to bust the 9 most common ones in this article.
A Brand is Just a Logo
If we had £1 for every time we’ve heard the phrase, ‘a brand is just a logo’ we’d…
Well, we’d not be rich, but we’d be able to have a very good holiday that’s for sure.
Yes, your business’s logo is an important asset, but there are lots of other elements that combine to build your brand identity. From the colours and fonts you use, the style of photography, illustration and icons, your content layouts, and all the other ways your business visually represents itself – they’re all important parts of your brand identity.
A Brand is How it Looks
From our answer to the last myth, you may be thinking this. But in reality, your brand goes beyond its visual identity. True branding includes your approach to business, your ethos, your values, the way you interact with customers, staff and suppliers, your internal culture, the tone of voice your business uses, its mission, – it’s all branding and it all answers these three fundamental questions…
– Who are you?
– Why do your customers need you?
– Why should they care?
Branding is Only for Big Businesses
When you think of strong branding you’ll inevitably think of big corporate companies – Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Apple etc. So you’d be forgiven for thinking that branding is something for the big boys. But in reality that couldn’t be further from the truth.
What this actually means is that they recognise the power of good branding and how it can help them to grow their business and increase/maintain their market position, keeping them at the top.
Don’t forget, they weren’t always big companies. Their use of good branding has helped them to grow to the position they’re in today and the same can be achieved for your business too – no matter its size.
Branding is for B2C/Retail Businesses, not B2B
It doesn’t matter if you’re selling a product or a service to a general member of the public or to a big corporate entity, at the end of the day, you’re selling to a person.
It will always be a person, or a team of people, making the buying decision and part of that decision-making process always involves your brand.
Your brand helps them to understand if you are the right fit for them, if you tick their boxes and enable them to make the right choice.
A Great Product Doesn’t Need a Good Brand
In reality, you need both.
A great brand with a crap product or service isn’t going to go far as your customers will soon realise that they’ve been sold a dud and will look elsewhere.
Likewise, a great product with a poor brand isn’t going to work. You’ll struggle to get people to even look at your product or service, let alone buy it. Meaning your great product will never get the attention it deserves.
Having a great product AND a great brand means you attract your target customer, they make the purchase, discover your awesome product or service and then thanks to the brand experience they had they keep coming back and they tell others about you. Win, win!
You Determine Your Brand
This is a partial myth.
Yes, you can control and influence a huge part of your brand and brand identity. But as Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon, once said: “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room”
Based on the conversations we have about Amazon we’d say they need to work on their branding, as it’s definitely not positive. But he makes a good point.
You can only control so much, at some point people make up their own minds about your brand and sometimes it’s not what you envisaged.
This can go either way. People can see something great in your brand that you never realised was there and this gives you an opportunity to adapt and evolve your business. Other times a negative perception can is built. When this happens it’s time to take stock and work out how to overcome this.
The great news is that no matter what happens your brand isn’t set in stone, it can and will evolve and adapt over time.
Branding is the Same as Advertising
Nope. The two are connected but they’re not the same.
We’ve already covered what branding is. When it comes to advertising, this is the process of promoting your brand identity to your target customer.
Branding Isn’t a Valuable Investment
Your business’s brand is an incredibly important investment for your business. It’s an integral tool to help you engage with your target customer, secure your market position, beat your competitors, drive customer loyalty and in turn business growth.
A good brand will also make your business more attractive to investors.
And as an added bonus, if you ever decide to sell your business, having a strong brand will mean it’s more attractive to potential buyers and thus more valuable.
Branding is Expensive
Yes, and no.
Good branding isn’t cheap.
The people telling you they’ll create a brand for £100, even £1,000, aren’t creating a brand, they’re designing a logo. And more often than not, they’re not even designing a unique logo. It will be something in a generic house style, or they’ll have used an online logo generator tool and tweaked a few bits (generally colours) before sending it to you.
However, good branding also doesn’t have to break the bank. You don’t always need £00,000’s to make it happen.
When you’re thinking about investing in branding remember this. It’s much more cost-effective to start with a good brand that you can build on than have to rebrand later on when your business is bigger.
‘Coz you know what they say; ‘buy cheap, buy twice’.
Written by Lee Skellett
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