'Your brand is the single most important investment you can make in your business.'
– Steve Forbes, Editor-in-Chief
At 360 Growth Partners, we spend a lot of time talking about how a brand is much more than a name, logo or colour palette. A lot of hard work and financial investment goes into building a strong, unique, and authentic brand. Which is why creating a brand requires significant investment on many levels. So why should you do it?
Purpose driven brands outperform the market
One of the first things we work on with clients is uncovering their sense of purpose. The reason they exist beyond profit. In the words of Simon Sinek ‘people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it’ and defining your ‘why’ will help you inspire belief in your brand both internally and externally.
When we operate from our purpose we are more driven, passionate, innovative and we tend to connect with our audiences and our people on a deeper level. So, our advice is start working on your why, inspire those around you to believe in you, and then do exactly what you say you will by living your purpose in everything you do.
Stand out from the crowd to be noticed
The most crucial part of the branding process is finding your unique position and then owning it. Far too many brands look around them, at their competition, and then follow. Being bold and doing things differently will help your brand to stand out in a crowded space, get recognition and be memorable.
Purpose and differentiation are the foundations on which great brands are built. So start asking yourself ‘What makes us unique and why should our audiences believe in us and buy from us?’ then start building your unique identity. Let this then guide what you say, how you behave, the promises you make to your customers and how you show up every day.
Define your offering
How you define yourself helps your audience to understand exactly what you do and more importantly what you can do for them. It clarifies the value that they will get in return for engaging with you, so they know what they will get in return for their time and money. When you define what you do and how you do it you are making a commitment so that they know how you will show up for them. In return for making and keeping your promises; your audiences, fans, and advocates will show up for you, again and again.
Build loyalty & trust
Building a brand is about tapping into likeminded individuals who want to belong to a group or community. It’s about finding people who identify with what you are doing and what that says about them. A brand can be worn like a badge and some are even tattooed onto people’s bodies or shaven into haircuts!
People can adopt brands for a lifetime, or for a certain period of their life – depending on what they stand for and how it affects them. If you are authentic, genuine and consistent in everything you say and do you will be rewarded with loyalty and trust.
Perception is everything!
In the words of Richard Branson ‘Your brand is only as good as your reputation’. The reality is that brands are worth as much as their image projects, or as much as people are prepared to pay for them. Branded products or services sell more and at a higher price. We know this every time we visit the supermarket and pick up the ‘Heinz’ instead of the supermarkets own brand. Consumers are consistently aligning themselves with brands that make them feel good, therefore, making them worth more.
When did you last pay over the odds for a pair of shoes, nice top, sportswear or even tin of baked beans?
Attract & retain best employees
Last but by no means least, any business is only as good as it’s people. How do most people go about looking for a new job? They tend to do some research: on Google, LinkedIn, Glass Door, they check out the company’s website etc. Depending on how attractive your brand looks under scrutiny will affect its ability to attract and retain the best employees.
Investing in creating an employer brand has proven to make all the difference. According to Hubspot a good employer brand can reduce turnover rates by up to 28%. Research done by Papirfly.com shows that 75% of active job seekers are likely to apply to a job if the employer actively manages its employer brand.
In this day and age, it is all out there on the web – the good, the bad and the ugly, so it is imperative to lead from the front and tell the narrative of your brand from the inside out. It will all get out anyway!
In summary, the reason why your brand is the single most important investment you can make in your business is because ultimately brands can influence and change behaviour.
It really is that simple.