It’s Your Brand
Ask pretty much any business if their brand is valuable to them and you’re virtually guaranteed an answer in the affirmative, however ask a business to put money behind it and the law of diminishing returns almost always applies.
At risk of pointing out the obvious, your brand is more than a logo or a business card, it goes way beyond that, it is every touch point your customers have with your business. And its value, irrespective of how you might feel about it, is determined by how they perceive it…
How you treat your brand carries with it a perception about how you treat your business. Unfortunately businesses have a tendency to think of brand image as an unnecessary expense and a superficial facade that adds little or no value to their bottomline. They are so caught up with the day to day grind that brand and brand image is often sidelined and neglected.
Businesses are often guilty of unwittingly devaluing their own brand, not because of what they are doing, but rather the sum total of everything they aren’t.
We get a proportional glimpse of this, because we deal with the brand value vs brand spend paradox almost daily. In our industry it is not uncommon for a brand that positions themselves as premium and priced accordingly, to opt for the cheapest solutions. The problem here is that these “solutions” tend to be the last point of contact between the customer and the brand.
Your initial question might be So What? When in reality you should be asking yourself, is this the way we want to display our product(s), our brand, the last impression we make on the customer or more importantly the lasting impression on the customer?
Do you really think brands like Apple are able to command the prices and market attention they do because they miss a step, cut a corner or skimp on any detail when it comes to their brand? Does price matter more than perfection?
Before you default back to your concerns over budget, here are some reasons why you need to take your brand thinking and spend beyond the bare minimum:
Your Brand Makes an Impression
We’re talking about the buying decision and that lasting impression here. In today’s superficial world do you really think that putting your product in the cheapest possible packaging, retail display or point of sale unit won’t go unnoticed? Do you really believe that the small details don’t matter?
If that was the case big brands wouldn’t spend the money they do on it. Apple wouldn’t meticulously design their packaging, Nike would not spend millions just on the facade of their “House of Innovation 000” flagship store or $10 million on a ‘pop-up’ store (at that price does it even qualify?). The point is if there was no value in it, none of these brands would be doing it.
Your Brand Creates Recognition
You are more likely to purchase the product you recognise & know, than the one you don’t. The exact same principle applies to your business and you potential customers.
This recognition extends beyond visual elements to associations, do you deliver a fast reliable service or a quality product? If you don’t put the effort into maintaining a consistent brand image throughout every interaction a consumer has with your brand, you’ll find it hard to develop a recognizable one.
Builds Credibility and Equity
Nowadays you can buy followers, but you can’t buy loyalty. Did you read about the Instagram ‘influencer’ who couldn’t sell 36 T-shirts to her 2.6 million followers?
Whether you want to accept it or not your brand, and what you put into it, are key to building credibility and loyalty with customers. If you consistently work at maintaining a quality, stable brand image it helps strengthen the consumers relationship with your brand.
The more you deliver on your brand promise with a strong brand image, the easier it will be for consumers to remember your brand and what it stands for.
When your customers buy your product or service, they’re also buying what your brand stands for. The reality is that your brand and how it is perceived matters a lot, perhaps you should consider the investment in it that it deserves.
Now with that being said do you really want to sell your ‘premium’ products on that cheap corrugate display…?