There are many schools of thought with what should come first when building a company. Some business mentors will tell you to first and foremost focus on selling. Others will encourage a longer, slower growth – one that’s built upon trust with the consumer and making a name for the company within an industry. Sometimes, it may seem futile to double down on aspects of a company like branding when it hasn’t been up and running yet. Contrary to popular belief, branding is not just about choosing the right color palette and voice of your company. It’s not the extra fluff that’s added on afterwards to make it fun. A company’s brand is how it connects with consumers, establishes trust with them, and markets efficiently.
This has been verified time and time again in marketing statistics. According to a 2019 study by Lucidpress, the consistent presentation of a brand can lead to revenue growth by up to 33%. Even the colors you choose for your company brand matter – a 2018 study by Reboot found that using a signature color can boost brand recognition by up to 80 percent. Instead of building out a robust sales strategy, start first with creating an ironclad brand that can attract consumers by virtue of its quirks. What does your company stand for? What are the traits and characteristics of your company?
Using Branding To Introduce Your Company
Think about the first time that you learned about a company that you’re now a big fan of. Perhaps it was Rent the Runway, when you heard the founders on a podcast about supporting women in business. Perhaps it was Glossier, when you saw a social media post about their packaging. Perhaps it was Newman’s Own, when you learned 100 percent of their profits go to charity. In these cases, the brand preceded your decision to purchase. Think through how you can apply this to your own startup.
According to Haley Marketing, “branding is the ultimate positioning,” in an article aptly titled, ‘Stop Selling. Start Branding.’ But further, “branding takes positioning one step further,” the article wrote. “The idea is to create demand, not just for your product or service, but for your specific brand. Proctor and Gamble developed this idea years ago. They had considerable success creating new products and markets, but made things too easy for their competitors. P&G incurred all the expenses to launch new products, while others would ride on their coat-tails and produce identical products cheaper. From this, P&G realized they needed to create demand for their brands, not just their products.”
When there’s a demand for your brand, competitors fade away. There’s a reason some brands are perpetually sold out. They have an extra sparkle to their product selection because of factors such as their mission statement, how they advertise, and what their ‘personality’ is. This makes a foaming face wash so much more than a face wash, or a new pair of running shoes so much more than shoes.
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Use this branding for targeted advertising
Once you’ve zeroed in on a branding strategy, this can be applied for advertising campaigns. Mitchell Conquer, the co-founder of Investor Social, has helped many real estate professionals begin to forge connections and sell homes by nailing down on branding first, and lead generation second.
“After the brand is rock solid, we create a targeted advertising or unique marketing campaign,” explained Conquer. “We found that this reverse engineered the process. While other digital marketing firms seek first to create a strong selling strategy, we recognized how crowded the online space is right now, and started experimenting with branding first. It’s a little more creative work upfront, but makes for explosive results.”
Brand can be expressed in targeted advertising campaigns via quirky copywriting, compelling images, and general tone. Think about the most classic slogans of our time.
“Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there” immediately creates an air of friendliness and trust for State Farm insurance (emotions you certainly want to experience from an insurance company). “Betcha can’t eat just one” has a playful, taunting tone from Lay’s chips. “Eat more Chikin” from Chick-Fil-A, in tandem with personifying cows, gives a humorous and inviting air to the fast food restaurant. These are reasons that consumers buy in the first place. And, you need them to buy sooner rather than later to verify the quality of your product or service.
Align on brand first
Ultimately, everything within a company’s brand should extend outwards, affecting every facet of the advertising campaigns, social pages, and the website. If for nothing else, this is why a brand should be decided upon first. When in the planning stages of a company, while writing the business plan, ensure that a branding kit is created. The more that this brand can stand out from the competition and become infused in every component of selling, the better. Eventually, the brand may just sell for you.