One of the reasons that branding is such a minefield for businesses is that there are so many branding myths out there. So we thought it would be good to try to dispel some of these, to help you understand how to build a powerful brand for your business.
Myth #1: A brand is just a logo
This is probably the biggest misconception about branding. A logo is a visual representation of your company, but your brand is everything to do with your company, such as:
- Who you are
- What you stand for
- The products and services you offer
- The way your staff interacts with customers
- What your customers think about you
- Your position in the market
- Your goals & values
- Your internal culture
- Your personality and promise to customers
Everyone and everything associated with your company should work towards the same common goals and all communications between your company and its customers should deliver consistent messages. This is the way that a brand truly becomes memorable and builds brand loyalty.
Myth #2: Branding is just for the big boys.
Many people believe branding is expensive and not worth the time or money for a small business. But they are mistaken for thinking it is not as important…all businesses start out as small entities and a good brand helps them to grow.
The word ‘branding’ is perhaps what confuses people, so based on the above point that covers what branding actually is, small businesses are encouraged to think about reputation and creating a good impression, as that is essentially what branding is.
And you don’t need a big budget to create a brand. Simply spend some time to sit down and think who you are, who your customers are and how you can offer them what them want in a way that suits you both.
Myth #3: “I don’t need a brand”
Branding is not optional. If you think you don’t need a brand, or don’t have a brand, well actually, you already have one.
Again, this comes back to the misconception that your brand is your logo. But even if you have no logo, no website, no business cards…you still have a brand, because your brand is what your customers think about you and your products or services, and what they tell their friends.
Your customers will build an impression of your company by the way you answer the phone, the way you interact in person and even by your company name. All of these things build your brand. You can either just let people think what they want to think, or you can try to control it by creating brand messages that your customers can relate to.
Myth #4: Your brand is determined by you/your company
This statement is only partly a myth, because, yes, you decide what messages to put out to your customers, but a major part of your brand is what your customers think.
Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon once said:
“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room”
No matter what your brand represents and no matter how much control you have over your brand as a company, you can never predict what people will say or think. And that is why you can only do so much as to define your brand. An individual will always have their own opinion on your brand and perceptions can change all the time.
As a business, you don’t own your brand…you just look after it.
Myth #5: Branding and marketing are the same
This one is simple…branding is who you are, marketing is what you do.
Your brand is who you are, what you do, your personality and your values.
Marketing is what you do to get your messages to your customers.
Your brand should be in place before any marketing is carried out…but it is your brand that will be left in a person’s mind, long after the marketing communication has left.
If any of the above myths have left you feeling confused about your brand and you’d like some advice, please contact us to see what we can do to help.
Until next time,