Branding has no ROI. True or false?
Think about the last time you walked into a Starbucks coffee house and ordered a coffee or a bottle of water. The power of branding is what’s making you pay what would otherwise be considered way over the odds for these products.
Water and brewed coffee are, by definition, commodities, and there is very little you can do to add value to them. In this instance, business branding provides a tangible ROI as it paves the way for companies to increase profits through higher price points.
Branding encourages loyalty
When branding is done well, it evokes reactions and emotions among its target audience, the likes of which can have a very strong bearing on our actions.
Loyalty to a particular brand of food, drink or supermarket is primarily driven by our understanding of a brand and a desire to be associated with it.
Branding creates recognition
Brand recognition in its strongest form can mean brands don’t even need to use words. Nike is a classic example. Even when stripped back to just its iconic swoosh, the brand is instantly recognisable. And Starbucks removed their brand name from their logo entirely in 2011 because their famous crowned mermaid icon had become more than enough branding to ensure recognition.
Using a well-crafted brand to communicate your company ethos, products, services and proposition to clients allows you to differentiate in your marketplace and be memorable.
Being understood as a business and sticking fast in the minds of your audience are two powerful success factors that only professional branding can consistently deliver.
Branding provides clarity
A cup of black coffee is a cup of black coffee. End of story. Shoulder shrug.
But a cup of Starbucks black coffee is brewed from a particular type of bean that has been sourced responsibly and served in a comfortable and well-designed coffee shop with free Wi Fi and other perks.
All of that additional detail has been generated by branding and marketing communications. Branding helps a business clearly communicate its offering to its audience, and really good branding ensures the audience has an emotional response that message, and never forgets it.
Branding is uncommon in the SME landscape
While branding clearly helps differentiate your business, many SMEs believe professional branding to be an intangible expense rather than a worthy investment. As such, they endeavour to create their own branding, which can actually harm their business in the long term.
To stand out in the SME sector, you need to utilise the power of professional, consistent small business branding, and take advantage of the fact that others around you are failing to do so. See it as your chance to get ahead, rather than an expense. See our previous article on "The true costs of amateur v.s professional branding" here.
So what will be your ROI from professional business branding?
- Client loyalty - Professional, relevant branding encourages brand loyalty and repeat business
- Client trust - Professional design conveys a message of quality and consideration, meaning customers will trust your brand as one that operates to a high standard at all times.
- Differentiation - Well-considered branding differentiates your business from the millions of others and makes it easily recognisable.
- Positioning - Proper branding makes it possible to position your brand for the correct target market and strike a chord with your audience.
- Clarity - Professional branding provides clarity of message and help explain your offering
The trick is to remember that not all ROI is financial, and it can’t all be clearly laid out in a spreadsheet. But that doesn’t mean it has no value.
If you’d like to start your small business branding and marketing journey with us, then check out our branding package, which offers the essentials you will need.