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Why Branding is Crucial for Business Growth: A Guide to Getting it Right

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Branding is where business growth begins. Your brand defines your company and helps create a clear separation from your competition. It’s also where building a deep connection with your target audience starts.

That’s why a lot of time, energy, and thought need to go into this piece of every business plan. As someone who has spent more than 20 years helping companies craft and cultivate the right branding strategy, I understand how important it is to get this part of your business right.

Below are my tips for navigating the complexities of creating an effective brand.

Branding 101

Even experienced business leaders can be confused about what branding is and how it differs from marketing. Clearly, there are many synergies between the two, but in general, branding strategy should come first. To have effective marketing, you must have defined your brand appropriately. Otherwise, your marketing efforts are unlikely to be as effective as possible. They may even go entirely awry.

Think of branding as your business’s DNA. It’s the makeup of your company’s overall identity and the feel your company should have when appearing before others. When developing a branding strategy, ask questions like: who are we as a company and what type of emotions do we want to exude to potential customers?

Your company’s logo, website, graphics, colors, personality, and voice should all reflect these branding decisions. For instance, if your company wants to communicate an energetic, youthful vibe, your materials should use brighter, more vibrant colors. If your company wants to make people feel peaceful, calmer colors would be indicated. Sepia photographs can evoke nostalgia, and abstract art can suggest innovation.

Once you’ve decided on your branding strategy, you can also choose the right language to communicate your business’s purpose, mission, history, and story. For instance, companies that want to adopt a friendly tone should use short phrases and easy-to-understand words. Those who want to emphasize their refinement or sophistication may choose more upmarket vocabulary.

Marketing takes those branding decisions and communicates them outwards toward relevant audiences via advertising and public-relations campaigns. This is also where social media posts, special promotions, pop-up and other experiential events, as well as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts come in. Marketing is the vehicle that promotes your products or services. With these efforts, you make potential customers more aware of your company and start to create brand affinity.

With branding, you outline your company’s persona. With marketing, you deploy that persona via specific channels using tailored messages.

How Branding Drives Business Growth

When your branding strategy hits the mark, your ideal customers will recognize themselves in your marketing messages and want to align themselves with you. In this way, effective branding allows you to engage with your target consumer. Done right, branding means the people you want to attract find themselves attracted to you.

Defining your brand effectively and investing in top-of-funnel marketing efforts that communicate your brand to relevant audiences is a necessary step for lead generation. Making more people aware of your brand increases the probability of generating additional revenue. Customers who like your branding will consider making a purchase. Without prioritizing brand awareness, new prospects risk drying up.

This is also where customer loyalty begins. A strong brand helps customers remember you, as well as what differentiates your brand from the competition.

If that wasn’t already enough, the stronger your brand, the more valuable your business appears to potential investors, partners, or other associates. Having a strong, attractive brand also helps companies attract better talent. That’s why it’s worth investing not only in branding strategy, but also in marketing campaigns that reinforce your branding over time.

Toward that end, it’s important to consider branding throughout the entire process of creating your business model, from ideation all the way to execution.

Five Steps to Branding Success

The branding strategy process is one of the most important and rewarding pieces of developing a business plan, for the simple reason that it helps you define the company. Your branding is how you distinguish yourself from the competition.

The first step to getting your branding right is to define your objectives. What is your branding trying to accomplish? How will branding impact your products and services? Set up clear goals for your business’s overall identity, values, and growth. This will take some time and research, as well as self-reflection.

Once you have an overall grasp of your brand’s persona, it’s time to refine your ideas. Ask yourself: what will your brand promise to prospective customers? What is your purpose? What is your personality or story? What’s your Point of View (POV)? This is a good time to think about the brands you love. Why do you love them? Where does that connection come from? Is there a way your own company could use that same tactic?

Next, it’s time to consider how your product or service is different from the competition. Your branding should distinguish you in meaningful ways. Ask yourself what your value proposition is and how you are different from rivaling businesses. Why can’t they deliver in the same way you can?

Now it’s time to consider strategies for positioning your new brand to the target audience. What platforms and outlets can help you get in front of the right people? How should you market your products and services to remain mindful of the brand?

Finally, marketing enters the equation. Once the branding strategy has been set, the business can begin outreach via marketing campaigns. Make sure to evaluate the effectiveness of these so that future efforts can become increasingly successful over time.

Branding: Your Pole Star

Branding is one of the most important aspects of your business because it lays the groundwork for educating, engaging, and making potential customers more aware of your products and services. Masterful branding acts as the pole star that helps you shape effective marketing campaigns. These create strong connections with your target audience, as well as develop and maintain customer affinity towards your brand.

Crafting an inspired branding strategy is where good marketing begins. Wise entrepreneurs don’t rush through this stage, but rather pause to bend their best efforts toward that end.

About the author


Ray Sheehan

Ray Sheehan has a background in strategic planning, marketing, event management, and advertising and has helped the company expand from one city to over twenty states. In 2020, he launched the G.I.F.T Program as part of Old City Media. Ray is recognized as a leader and an innovative thinker in the special events industry.