Branding is the strategic process of imbuing a product, service or company with perceptions, emotions, beliefs and attitudes (PEBAs). PEBAs differentiate a brand from what is otherwise just a product, service or organization. But creating these perceptions, emotions, beliefs and attitudes takes financial resources and time, so it’s fair to ask what an investment in branding provides in return.
Here are the top 8 reasons to invest in building a stronger brand.
- Pricing Power: A stronger brand insulates from competitive pricing pressure and even allows the brand owner to charge higher prices without a commensurate loss in customers. Higher margins, in turn, provide resources for growth.
- Higher Revenue & Market Share: A well-known brand with strong PEBAs attracts more customers and may even help draw customers away from competitors. Strong brands also tend to provide longer and more predictable cash flows than weaker brands.
- Increased Economic Value:Strong brands enjoy higher stock prices and achieve higher prices in mergers and acquisitions than weaker brands.
- Protection/Security: A strong brand is a moat and a barrier to entry for new competitors and insulates from mistakes as customers are more loyal and willing to forgive.
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- Growth & Flexibility: A strong brand allows for more opportunities to create line extensions and sub-brands, as well as enabling alliances and partnerships with other strong brands/organizations.
- Clarity of Focus: A strong, well-positioned brand brings clarity of vision and focus to an organization, which, in turn, allows the organization to maximize efforts and attract and retain better talent than weaker brands.
- Longevity: Strong brands are timeless and allow brand owners to ride out, if not transcend, the technologies, fads and other vagaries of a given time period.
- Efficiencies: A strong, well-known brand has an easier time raising investments and taking advantage of economies of scale than weaker and less well-known brands.
These are powerful benefits for branding and explain why so much effort is expended on branding.
We describe how to build a strong brand in more detail in another post in this blog, but the short version is to start with a review of the competition and what will motivate and inspire your target customers. On the basis of that review, you build a strategic brand platform that includes elements like your brand purpose, position, promise and pillars to guide your efforts over time. Once that is done, you can craft your messaging and brand identity and bring the brand to life over time. It’s useful to think of building a brand in the same way we think of building a person’s reputation…it’s a long game.
As you build your stronger brand, always consider ways to optimize what you are doing, as we describe here.