What do brands deliver
Branding is a business activity, but what does it deliver?
It’s easy to see the outcomes of branding. A smart strategy and new positioning, the pretty pictures and a great promotional plan. But outcomes are not results.
So how does branding earn its keep? How do we know when it’s doing its job?
Let’s start with profile and reputation.
If what you say about yourself is compelling and you look eye-catching, you’ll get noticed.
This is off the back of a brand strategy that sharpens your offer, nails your positioning and promotes the benefits of doing business with you.
When this happens, you’re more likely to attract the ‘right’ customers, which results in another benefit – the cost of doing business is reduced.
Higher awareness means you are included in more conversations. People talk about you (for the right reasons), you become more familiar, more ‘likable’ and people make emotional attachments with your brand.
And you are more likely to receive referrals and retain customers – a 5% increase in customer retention can mean a 30% increase in profits.
The other thing that a strong reputation will deliver is the accumulation of brand credits, so you have some insulation if you take a reputational hit.
And then there’s employee engagement, productivity and loyalty
When there are high levels of cultural connectiveness, employees are more productive. Loyalty increases and they stay longer. Bearing in mind that recruitment costs and training can be up to two times an annual salary, money spent on developing a strong employer brand will quickly pay dividends. And when you do need to recruit you’re inevitably going to attract higher quality candidates
And five more benefits of branding
Shareholder value increases
Strong brands are more attractive to investors
Strong brands are more attractive to potential buyers
Communication and promotional activity is more effective
Communication and promotional costs are reduced.
But, and there’s always a but.