Firstly, let’s get the basics out of the way. What exactly is branding? A lot
of people are under the impression that a brand is solely the colors and the
logo that a brand primarily follows, but that’s most definitely not the truth.
A brand also includes at least some of the following:
- Design Style
- Website and Marketing
- Social Media Presence
- Customer Service
- Tone of Language
- Product Quality
- And most importantly, Personality
Developing a strong brand should be an important part of any business;
small or large and it isn’t an expensive affair, but one that takes a lot of
effort and consistency. Branding is the process by which all of the above
elements of a brand is emphasised so as to distinctively set oneself apart
from the others.
Let’s get to why you need a strong brand.
Give the right expectations
This one’s easy to understand. Let’s take the example of Apple. When one
sees the Apple logo, or is researching a product by the company, or sees
an advert, they almost immediately expect a premium product, slightly
overpriced, but with incredible attention to detail and incredible service.
Apple has spent years trying to build up this brand image at the scale that
it has, globally. Everything from the design of their packaging to the
straightforward customer support experience, the way they do their
Keynotes. They focus less on the product and more on the storytelling and
rely on the story and the emotions to sell the product.
Your business needs a strong brand because it’s important for a customer
to know what they can expect before they order a product off of your
website, before they walk into your store. Being consistent with your
design and tone of communication is key. Your business shoudn’t be
wrongly perceived as ‘too premium’ or ‘too young’, because wrong
perceptions due to inconsistent branding is a bad gunshot at your balance
To avoid causing confusion
It is a common mistake that’s been made one too many times, but a lot of
brands accidentally/unintentionally place themselves on a higher pedestal
that they are actually on and this hurts their sales and the perception that
the market has about them.
An easy example for this would be Tanishq, which is a division of Tata
Group. Tanishq is a jewellery brand in India headquartered in Bangalore.
Tata has made the mistake of over positioning the brand as a highly
premium brand hence accidentally creating the perception that Tanishq is a
premium jeweller and that can throw off a lot of people from their target
market. Tanishq, in truth, offers jewellery for all kinds of budgets and
serves all types of income groups.
The same kind of confusion can also be caused by the inconsistency in
language on digital platforms and real-life experience with the business.
Starbucks India for example is a very approachable brand in reality, in the
sense that you catch a random conversation with the waiter, the cashier
asks you how you’re doing, frequent visitors know each other’s names, and
so on. But on Starbucks India’s social media platforms, that’s not the case.
They don’t really communicate with their audience or engage in an
interaction with the comments on their post.
This kind of inconsistency can slowly hurt your brand and result in a lot of
confusion. Here we see the need for a very strong and consistent brand
across all spheres of branding.
Ultimately: To Sell
At the end of the day, branding is an investment. And it is only fair to
expect a return out of every investment. Branding can sell a product, by
merely being strong and understandable.
People fall in love with brands. They demonstrate such incredible loyalty to
some brands that it becomes close to impossible to even consider
alternative brands. This goes for products that require a high investment,
such as cars, but even for small purchases like groceries. A brand that has
a personality, and stays consistent with it will survive and thrive.