When speaking with people about what I do, I always seem to end up in a conversation with someone who asks: Why do we need branding? This is a valid question, and perhaps if you have to ask the point of it – maybe you don’t need it. Or, maybe you don’t know you need it.
Why do we need branding?
Share the work load
The header image above shows a fruit seller in Vietnam. He is making money as people have done for millennia, hawking. That’s great, and I’m sure he is successful at selling his veg and has a group of happy regular customers who he sells to because they know him. But what if he was selling veg from more than one trolley? What if his customers wanted to buy from his company rather than just him? He could double his turnover overnight just by paying someone else to push the trolley around with his brand on it. By tying the association of a particular service or product to a brand rather than an individual we are not restricting ourselves to the product of our own labours alone but that of a group.
For example Tesco is a hawker of fruit (sort of), and one of the UK’s most powerful companies. It sells as a brand and has recognition for prices and household items. It’s a successful model because whoever is running the shop, or wherever you are in the UK, you’re buying from the brand not a person. But that doesn’t mean you should not promote yourself – far from it. An obvious example would be Richard Branson, who has intertwined himself with the Virgin brand with huge success. But he is not out there driving the trains himself (obviously). But tying the personal brand to the company brand creates the emotional sense that we are buying from Richard. Richard is the guy selling the fruit. It doesn’t matter who is pushing the waggon, we are buying from Richard.
To appeal to the right customer
The right brand will attract the right customer like wasps around Fanta. If you were looking to sell camping equipment, you might go for a more rugged brand style. Whereas a hairdresser might go for something soft and feminine. Getting the right visual notes with your brand design can create FOMO (fear of missing out) which will drive more sales at higher prices. Apple are probably the best in the world at this; using marketing to establish that buying their products puts you in a special clique. Associating their brands with certain people, in specific scenarios makes the potential customer buy Apple products because they want that lifestyle or aspire to be like that person.
The same is true of 90% of businesses; if you are selling to the public then you need to target your brand at your customer profile. Without doing this, you simply won’t be able to market to the right people in the same way. I would always argue that you need to get your brand in order before you market to your potential customers.
To add value
To paraphrase M&S: this isn’t just a blog post, this is a Yazaroo BrandEd blog post. You can sell scarfs on a market stall all day long for £5, but if you have a Louis Vuitton’s logo on the scarfs then you can add 2 zeros to the price. A common misconception here is that the brand is not the added value, rather the brand is a guarantee of quality and that is the added value. I know if I purchase a phone charger from Samsung it will work and be built to a high standard. However, if I buy an unbranded one I don’t have these guarantees; I can’t know if the thing will catch fire or break my phone. But this also works both ways because of the guarantee of quality and the reputation; the association of the brand will increase with the price of the product or service.
If we take unbranded coffee(£1.20) and Starbucks coffee (£3.20) We will still sell more Starbucks, because people know what they are buying. There is the fear of the unknown. What if you don’t like the unbranded coffee? The value here is that you know what you’re getting. Its familiar, its safe. It fits with our “busy working” image to arrive to a meeting with a Starbucks.
Why do we need branding? Conclusion
Why do we need branding? If you are still asking yourself this question, then maybe business is not for you. Branding is the central core of your business identity. It adds value, attracts customers and is vital for marketing your business in any way. To neglect your brand is to neglect your most valuable business asset.
If you’ve read this and now want to know more about branding or our brand design services, have a look