Branding is the cornerstone of every marketing plan. ♟️
There are many hearsays about branding, some are true and others are not.
Maybe at this stage, such hearsays have already caused you to lose trust in the importance of brand strategy development.
Or maybe, it has even influenced you to minimise your branding efforts without you realising.
Here’s my question: Do you want to discover the truth about brand strategy development? 🤷♂️
I’ll help you debunk some myths you’re believing about brand strategy development in this article to equip you with the correct perspective to approach branding the right way. 🔎
Are you ready? Let’s dive in. 🤿
At this point, you may be wondering: “So, what exactly is branding? And what isn’t branding?” 🤷♂️
Let’s start with a fun fact.
Historically, branding was only exclusive to cattle branding. 🐮
The word ‘brand’ is a German word for ‘burn’ as you sear the flesh of living livestock to mark ownership. Today, branding has evolved from that.
Instead, brand management today also applies to your:
Branding today has also come to mean perception, communication, imagery, and even legacy.
A product can be easily copied by your competitors in the market, but a brand will always be unique.
For instance, although Pepsi and Coca-Cola taste very similar, some people are more connected to Pepsi, and others are more connected to Coca-Cola.
Bottomline: A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a specific product or company, and a brand’s popularity will increase or decrease depending on how their customers feel about them.
With that said, let’s dive into the first myth about branding!
Yes, it’s true. The first thing most people will remember about your brand is your logo. Just think of Starbucks or Toyota.
However, it’s incorrect to think that the logo creates the brand. It’s actually the other way around; the brand creates the logo. ✨
Your logo is part of the visual identity of your brand, and it is only one small piece in your overall brand strategy development.
At the end of the day, your logo is just an easily recognisable graphic symbol that identifies your company.
More specifically, it’s a combination of typographies, graphics, symbols and colours used to distinguish your brand from others in this competitive world.
But your logo can never replace branding because the latter refers to the process of building a brand. 🏗️
Branding is something that gives people a reason to choose your products over your competitor’s. Chances are, a pretty logo cannot do all that for you, as effectively as a solid brand strategy can.
There you go, Myth #1 BUSTED! Branding is not all about the logo and name. 🙂
You’re neglecting your target audience when you say: “I’m going to define my own brand, and whatever anybody else says is wrong.” ❌
The very reason you created a brand is to sell your products to a group of target audience – It’s about delivering value to others. 🤝
So, if you make the branding process just about you and your company, then you’ll end up creating a brand identity that doesn’t serve its purpose.
Instead, you’re creating a brand that revolves around you which could potentially ruin your business. As we say in Malaysia, “syok sendiri”. 🇲🇾
The key is to consider what are your customer’s values and then incorporate them into your brand promise. When you start doing that, you’re putting your customers first.
This will also give you greater clarity to execute your brand strategy development better.
If you’re experiencing a friction between how your customers see your brand vs how you see yourself, then it might be time to rebrand. ⏰
Have you always thought that branding is only for big companies? 🏢
If so, then you’re believing in a myth.
Often, SME business owners think they need to prepare big budget campaigns or expensive ads like the ones you see from KFC. 🍗
But sometimes, it could be something as simple as creating a brand identity guideline.
Branding helps to achieve brand awareness by getting your products and services recognised in the market.
Don’t you think brand awareness is something important for both small and large businesses?
If so, then it’s a huge misconception to label branding as an unnecessary luxury. In fact, it’s something that every company should strive for.
Here’s the difference between big companies and small ones: “Big names spend money on branding, small companies just get on with the job.”
Food for thought: Don’t you want to be different from other small companies who just want to get on with the job?
If so, then why not contact us today to learn more about branding? You can reach out to us for a chat here. 😊
This is not true at all. Your brand should never try to please everyone. Often, trying to please everyone results in pleasing no one at all.
Moreover, pleasing everyone requires you to make compromises – making compromises will weaken your brand.
Yes, I understand that as a business owner, you want to maximise your opportunities. As such, you avoid saying ‘no’ to anyone.
But realistically, it’s impossible to say ‘yes’ to everyone. So, the best way forward is to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
Use what makes your brand different to attract like-minded customers who share similar values and are inspired by your brand story.
Yes, I know. Not everyone in the market will share your brand values – and that’s okay. 🙂
But at the end of the day, the wisest thing you can do now is have a target audience in mind.
Lastly, always remember the pareto principle: 80% of your company’s sales should come from 20% of your customers. 🎯
Branding is not something you can dust off your hands after one campaign is finished. 👍
Brands, like people, are living entities. They evolve and grow to adapt to the market’s ever changing demands.
As time moves on, your audience may also get older or younger and your brand message may no longer appeal to them. 🙅♀️
So, you’ll need to review your brand’s performance occasionally to see if the KPIs are still in-line with your brand strategy.
From there, you can then decide if you want to keep doing what you’re doing, or change tactics to adapt to new consumer trends. 📈
Amazon didn’t become the world’s most valuable brand in one year.
It happened through consistent but intense branding over more than two decades. Amazon knows the importance of brand visibility, recognition and image.
That’s why they put their name in almost every product and service such as:
Even Amazon’s shipping boxes are not exempt from their branding. 📦
As such, Amazon’s branding is successful because they constantly revisit their brand strategy to adapt to current market trends.
This also explains why they’re able to provide excellent and consistent customer service which is in-line with their mission and purpose.
Traditionally, brands have often been associated with consumer products.
But today, branding has become essential for B2B companies, especially those offering their services on a global scale. 🌎
In fact, without a tangible consumer product to see, taste or touch, it’s even more important for B2B brands to convince their clients that they are trustworthy, credible, and capable of providing good quality service.
When you’re selling a service, you are essentially selling a relationship built on trust that you’ll deliver your brand promise.
Yes, I agree that B2B businesses may be selling to another business, but here’s one fact that’s often forgotten: the decision still lies with a person. 👨💼💼
Why is this important? It’s because that decision-maker is still a human being who has his/her own individual opinions and perceptions about a company.
Bottomline: B2B branding is important because it’s capable of producing results that are just as effective as B2C branding. How? I’ll explain.
Like B2C campaigns, B2B campaigns are also capable of making people laugh, spark excitement, tug at heartstrings, introduce nostalgia, and trigger familiar feelings of fear, discomfort, anger, and sadness.
All these feelings help to sway a person’s opinion to choose you over your competitors. Still think branding doesn’t apply to B2B businesses? 😉
All your stakeholders are part of your brand. Your staffs outside the marketing department are equally responsible for your brand strategy development.
Each individual has the opportunity to deliver on the promises of your brand. So, it’s not just the marketing team’s job. 🎯
Why is this important? It’s to ensure your message is delivered consistently across all departments in your company.
More importantly, if everyone who interacts with your product or company has a positive experience, they can help to reinforce your brand message and you’ll potentially reap some of the benefits of branding. 👍
For instance, when recruiting candidates into your company, having a clear and consistent brand message improves your chances of attracting like-minded individuals to join your company.
This is to ensure that you share the same values with your employees, so that you’re able to create a conducive working culture together. 🤝
So, how do you make this happen? A great way is to start transforming everyone in your company into brand ambassadors.
You can do this by organising daily briefings or annual conferences to strengthen your company’s internal communications. This helps to get everyone on the same page as a team. 🏢
There you have it, all 7 common myths about branding busted!
Now we’ve dispelled these myths, you can avoid falling into these myths in future, and also use your newfound knowledge to improve your brand strategy development.
So, the next time you heard your friends tell you that branding is an unnecessary luxury, pause and think for a second. 🤔
Take your time to determine the truth of their statement, before you end up creating more misconceptions in your head. 🧠
For now, I wish you all the best in your brand strategy development.
I’ll leave you with this quote: “People fall in love with brands, trust them, and believe in their superiority. How a brand is perceived affects its success.”