The Business of Brand: You’ve Built A Great Business. Now It’s Time To Build A Great Brand.
Benefits of Branding: If You Build It, They Will Come
When you are thinking about the benefits of branding, it helps to think about the Field of Dreams. There’s an iconic scene from the movie, where novice farmer Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) is strolling through his Iowa cornfield one evening and hears a mysterious voice say “if you build it, he will come.” Bewildered, he continues to walk, yet the whispering chant keeps echoing. Later, Ray has a vision that the voice was telling him to tear down his cornfield to build a baseball field, which later — no spoilers — ends up drastically paying off for him.
This scene is an apt metaphor for your brand… if you build it, they (prospects, clients, talent) will come like never before.
As a fellow business owner, I know firsthand the struggles involved in building a business. You took a chance, hung out your shingle, and worked your tail off to get to the point where you are today. You’ve invested blood, sweat, and tears into your equipment, human resources, office space, legal advice, employees, etc. and it’s paid off — big time. Your business is humming on all cylinders, you’ve got great employees (well, most of them!), loyal clients (some of them!) and you’re reaping significant financial benefits.
But now, years later, you realize there’s one area of your business that you haven’t really invested in — your brand. And it shows. Up to this point, there’s been no strategy, everything has been pieced together on the run as you focused on what you do best — sell projects, improve processes, and run the company.
But now, it’s time to take things to the next level and get strategic about your branding and marketing. Smart move. Assuming you work with a good branding agency, your rebrand has the potential to catapult your business like no other investment you could make.
Check out our FREE Rebrand Calculator to give you a good idea of the costs involved in rebranding your company.
What Is A Brand?
Defining what a brand is can be difficult even for those of us whose job it is to help create them. The Dictionary of Brand defines a brand as “a person’s perception of a product, service, experience, or organization.” I like to describe it as the culmination of experiences that people have with your company and the emotional connections created within those experiences.
Many factors work together to build your company’s perception in the marketplace, and it’s important that you do everything within your power to build the most attractive perception possible.
Just Another Zebra In a Pack of Stripes?
One of the most obvious ways brand perception is built is with your marketing efforts. Take an honest look at your website, marketing, and communications collateral. Overall, does it look and sound like everyone else in your space? Is it filled with mostly descriptive, literal copy about what you do? Here’s a simple test. If you placed your website or marketing collateral next to your competitors and covered up everyone’s logos, is there any compelling difference that would draw people to your business over the others? If not, you’re just another zebra in a landscape filled with stripes.
There is a certain comfort in doing what others in your pack are doing. The problem is — from a branding perspective — most companies are doing it poorly. And following their lead is a sure recipe for building a boring, middle-of-the-pack brand.
So, what can you do to separate yourself from the others in your pack? How can you add personality and raise the attractiveness of your brand so that people are intrigued and compelled to reach out to you instead of your competitors? That, my friend, is the power of brand. Great brands know how to do this, and by building what we refer to as a Spotted Zebra™ brand, you’re moving your business from good to great.
There are multiple reasons businesses look to reap the benefits of branding. Chances are your desire to rebrand is because of one or more of the following reasons:
- Lack of consistency or intentionality
- Lack of personality or differentiation
- Your story is not being told well
- Boring or outdated image
- Reputation issues
- Merger or acquisition
- Expanding markets, products or services
- Misperception in the marketplace
- Not attracting the best leads and/or talent
No matter the reason for your rebrand, to be successful it must be an all-encompassing effort that taps into the meaning and core essence of your company and connects back to this meaning with your target audiences.
The previous diagram illustrates in simple terms what your brand should do in order to see the benefits of branding. “IT” represents the meaning of your brand, “The ONES” are those targets that your brand needs to connect with, and your brand is the vehicle that accomplishes this connection.
Download our FREE EBook: The Ultimate Guide to Rebranding Your Business.
Ready To Play Ball?
Is it the right time to make the investment of time and energy it takes to rebrand your company? Only you can make that call. We’re just a tad bit biased, but we can assure you that, if done right, you’ll never regret the decision to rebrand, and you’ll realize a tremendous return on that investment.
You’ve built a great business, now build a great brand.
Eric Groves is the Founder and Creative Director of Flying Hippo Brand + Digital. Should you decide it’s time to take your brand to another level, please reach out for a free consultation.