Brand has always mattered, but in today’s world it matters more than EVER! I want to take a moment and outline why it matters so much and why you can not afford to ignore it anymore.
Have you noticed that we have more and more decisions to make every day? More options to choose from, more channels to watch, more ways to stream those channels, more ways to grocery shop, more ways to get from point A to point B… the list goes on and on! When I was a kid there really was no such thing as an “energy drink”… if you needed a pick-me-up, you would grab a cup of coffee or soda. There are now over 184 brands of energy drinks. So if you walk into a 7/11 and need a pick-me-up, you not only have to decide if you want a coffee, soda or energy drink, but you now have to decide which one is for you at that moment. Making these small decisions all day long is taxing on our brains.
If you have too many choices sometimes you just don’t choose and run away. Have you ever been there, where you are starving but all the options on DoorDash seem endless and you can’t decide so you just throw your phone down and grab the first snack you find in the pantry instead?? I sure have! The funny thing is, if someone was to put a plate of food in front of me at that moment, I would have eaten it and enjoyed it. But the thought of having to pick a category of food, a restaurant, then a dish was just too much.
Make It Easy For Your Audience
When building a business you have the opportunity to create the experience your audience will have with your business through the brand. By taking control of that, you are alleviating the decision fatigue for them. If you are a premium service provider, look and sound like a premium services provider, so when someone is looking for that, they know you are the number one choice. If your company prides itself on being environmentally conscious, look and sound the part. People shopping do not have the time to do the research themselves, make it easy on them.
Once you know your brand. Be your brand. Don’t be wishy-washy or change the way you show up for your audience. Showing you know who you are to your customers in an unwavering fashion will build trust and in turn loyalty. If Starbucks (my go-to coffee choice) all of a sudden started coming out with loud obnoxious packaging for their canned beverages bragging about how much taurine was in their products, they would lose me. Instead they always show up as Starbucks… my trusted caffeinated friend.
When you are consistent with your audience you build brand loyalty. We are loyal to brands that align with our own values and we see ourselves in those brands. Brand loyalty is very powerful, the relationships people have with brands they like and trust lasts lifetimes. Think of people who ride Harley Davidson motorcycles… do you think they might wake up one day and decide to buy a Honda motorcycle instead… doubtful. They are loyal to the brand they like. I personally can’t ever see myself buying any other brand of computer besides a Mac.
Read more about the stages of brand loyalty here.
In a world of decision after decision, make the decision to take back some of the control and brand yourself to be what you want your brand to be. Take the guesswork out of the situation for your audience. Find what they are looking for in your market, know what you have to offer, build your brand and play the long game! Stay consistent in your vision and you will build a loyal following. Learn more about branding here.
Start planning your brand with Brand Strategy.