Have you ever noticed that all of the stock and social media photos businesses post of computers are of Macs? No one ever takes a picture of a PC, a notebook and a cup of coffee and posts it to Instagram.
Why? Well, an easy guess is that Macs are pretty. They have nice lines and that classic Apple logo is so sleek.
That's true, but there's more to it than that. Apple has created a look and feel that people identify with creativity. There is a refinement to it. A class. It speaks to an entreprenural spirit and the wild pursuit of ingenuity.
This wasn't by accident.
Apple crafted a brand that people know - whether they are die hard cult of Mac fans or PC loyalists who criticize it, the Apple brand and everything it stands for is instantly recognizable, even without a logo present.
As a business owner, you probably have 534 things to worry about outside of your brand's identity. It's likely something in the back of your mind. You know you should work to brand your business. But you aren't exactly sure why.
Here are three reasons branding matters:
1. A cohesive brand builds trust.
As humans, we need to know something to trust it. When someone or something new comes across our path, it takes time to develop that trust. In fact, the average person has seven encounters with a business before he or she decides to buy. Now imagine if all seven of those encounters are with completely different materials that have no cohesive design, conflicting messaging and a rainbow of colors. That doesn't do much to build trust.
But if you reliably present a cohesive brand, a potential customer knows what to expect from you. Consistency earns trust. Trust leads to loyalty.
2. A cohesive brand creates recognition.
You can walk down the street and identify an Apple store without even seeing the sign. The white walls and bright lights have become signals to all who approach a store: This is an Apple store. Target has done similar things with its brand. It uses light back drops, splashes of color in their advertising and a retro style that is instantly recognizable.
You want your customers to see your materials, your store, your ads and know it's you. But you have to know who YOU are before they do.
3. A cohesive brand creates a loyal customer base.
When you are sending one message about who you are, what you stand for and using your brand to tell your story, it endears those customers who love what you do to you. It gives them something to rally around. A good brand makes your customers want to share you with others and be a part of the community you are creating.
Make your brand work for you.
A brand is more than a logo. It's more than just a website. It is the core identity of who you are as a business. It shows people what you believe in. It's worth the investment to spend the time, money and energy to develop a brand. Cohesive branding turns your business from a product or service into a tribe people want to be a part of.
So what does this mean for you? Maybe it's time for a brand audit, where you examine your brand, see what is working and what you need to scrap to send the message you want to send. Or maybe you know you need to start from scratch. It's an overwhelming process you shouldn't have to do alone. That's like playing darts in the dark. So let me know how I can help and we can get started together!