Often times when discussing creative needs with clients, common misconceptions about branding come into play.
It is vital that you understand the importance, value, and return associated with a solid brand, or you’re never going to tap the power of branding and its full potential. Here is a list of the Top 6 misconceptions when it comes to branding.
Misconception #1: Brand is a logo
Yes, logos are a significant part of the Brand Identity, and can say a lot about the character of a company and its offering. But a brand is more complex than a logo, it is the perception in the mind of the consumer, it is the personality and values of a company, and it is a gut feeling.
“I’ve already got a brand, I did the logo myself”…Good for you! But a logo is not a brand.
…You should be concerned if all you have is a logo. It’s rare that you can encompass all aspects of your brand into your logo, so you want to make sure you are utilizing other branding elements to support and carry your brand message. Your brand is formulated by the many interactions consumers have with your communications, staff, products and services. Therefore, your brand must project consistently in every aspect of your marketing, PR, and all other touch points.
Misconception #2: Brands are only successful with a big advertising budget.
You might have thought you were limited in your efforts to build your brand because you
can’t afford TV commercials and billboards, but think again. Not only is advertising ineffective without a strong brand foundation, there is far more value in the messaging and its consistency. Brands are not successful by a big marketing budget.
“We just don’t have the marketing budget right now.”
…You have your priorities reversed.
…Your brand strategy and branding initiatives shouldn’t be dependent on your marketing – your marketing should be dependent on your overall brand strategy
Misconception #3: Brands are there to influence consumers
Small businesses grow because of relationship building and consistency. Your product or service is only part of the brand, and it’s not the only reason why customers choose you. It’s really about who you are as a person, a corporation, or a team. Trust and transparency is an integral part of your brand’s success and it’s what will influence customers to become loyal.
When you and your brand are functioning as an energized and cohesive unit, focused on the brand promise and values, you will see a significant shift in your customer and their purchase habits. Building your brand from the inside out will ensure you the greatest returns when your brand reaches the outside.
Misconception #4: Brands are the responsibility of the marketing department
If a brand is not understood and revisited by all members of the organization, brand’s can often create false promises. Products and services must deliver on their brand promise, and it’s the role of every staff member to deliver the message consistently.
It’s the company’s responsibility to educate employees of the brand and make sure they have the tools to protect and enhance a brand’s strength. Delivering on the brand’s promises requires the involvement of virtually every employee in all areas of the organization, even those who have no direct customer contact.
Misconception #5: Consumers don’t really care what the brand looks like
Some industries are less glamorous than others, and some business owners may claim that they don’t need to work on the brand because their market doesn’t really care. Well, audiences are much more intuitive than many business owners perceive. No matter what brand the consumer is buying, they still desire products and services that they are attracted to and that they can connect with.
A brand is an expression of the company, so if the company makes quality products and the brand doesn’t convey the same level of quality, there will be an inevitable lack of confidence.
Misconception #6: Professional Branding services are only for large businesses
Creative design studio’s come in all shapes and sizes, and regardless of scale, smaller companies should not be intimidated by approaching a larger branding agency. Design agencies may offer a sliding scale of services that still fits within your budget. They may also be open to gaining experience in a new industry or building on a specific part of their portfolio.
On the flip side, larger companies should not rule out smaller agencies who also offer quality work and may even have a faster turn around time due to a more flexible business model. The most important thing to remember is that branding is a vital investment in the long-term success of your business, and it should be developed with a strategic and professional design agency.
When you understand that your brand is made up of all of the touch points your stakeholders experience both on the inside and out, you’ll see that doing all the things you do every day consistently with an understanding of your brand will efficiently build what people think of you.