The world’s most successful companies all have one thing in common: powerful brands. Coca-Cola, Google, Walmart, Amazon, Rolls Royce, Ferrari – everybody instantly recognizes these names and what they stand for.
Branding strategy is one of the foundational pillars of business. Simply presenting a unified brand message can increase profits by nearly 25%. And companies pour hundreds of millions of dollars every year into crafting the right approach to branding.
In this post, you’ll learn about the main reasons why branding strategy is crucial for business success.
What Is Branding Strategy?
The term “brand” in a business context derives from the ancient practice of “branding” livestock to signify ownership. And it has retained the essence of this meaning. In a narrow sense, a brand is a logo or symbol that identifies a company or product.
In a broader sense, however, a brand is a company’s whole customer-facing identity. Running a branding strategy is about coordinating the different elements of that identity, including advertising (so that it’s “on brand”), product packaging, website look-and-feel, workplace culture, and more.
1. Branding Communicates a Company’s Value Proposition
A value proposition is more than a collection of unique selling points. It’s the whole package of benefits that customers can expect when they buy from a particular company.
Let’s take Amazon as an example. When a potential buyer visits Amazon.com, within seconds they know what’s on offer: a wide array of products, excellent customer service, next-day delivery, and access to promotions and discounts.
These selling-points, which comprise the overall value proposition, are communicated in a myriad of different ways, including through the logo, tagline, website look-and-feel, copy, and customer after-care.
Fundamentally, a well-developed branding strategy communicates a package of benefits across numerous touchpoints, enticing new customers and convincing them to forgo competitors.
2. Branding Develops Trust and Loyalty
“People don’t buy products, they buy brands,” is an old business saying that gets to the heart of what branding is all about. In a word: trust.
Eye-catching, meaningful, and memorable brand elements foster greater recognition and connection among customers. Over time, this relationship develops into one of trust.
Branding strategy is the catalyst by which customers understand, purchase, and eventually come to rely on a particular company or product. By creating a concrete identity, branding fuels the assumption that a product will reliably provide the same results time and again.
3. Branding Distinguishes a Company from the Competition
Why might a customer decide to buy a Rolls Royce over a Ferrari? Or fly with Ryanair as opposed to Emirates?
Branding enables prospective buyers to distinguish between alternatives in the market. It’s precisely because of effective branding strategies that most people immediately know that Ryanair stands for low-cost, no-hassle flights, whereas Emirates provides luxury.
By leveraging an effective strategy, these companies have forged out clear market positions. This makes it easy for prospective customers to evaluate them in comparison to the competition.
4. Branding Boosts Company Value
Because brands are powerful drivers of trust, repeat purchases, and wide-scale recognition, they are incredibly valuable business assets.
Take the well-known example of Oreos. On the surface, Kraft Foods (the parent company) is just another cookie-maker. But the value of its specific product brands, recognized and trusted by millions of people, dramatically increases the overall worth of the company.
What’s more, brands often cross-over into relevant industries. Merely attaching a well-known name to a related product, such as “Oreo ice cream” or “Trump tower” can instantly increase its value.
5. Branding Attracts (and Keeps) the Right Employees
Because an effective branding strategy communicates not only a company’s benefits but also its values and mission, it’s a useful tool for attracting and keeping the right people.
When a company is clear about what it stands for, it will naturally appeal to an engaged and skilled workforce that shares the same ethos. What’s more, employees are more likely to stick with a company that aligns with their sense of purpose.
Interested in a Career in Brand Strategy and Design?
The business landscape is changing faster than ever. More companies are taking a multi-channel approach to sales and marketing, and the importance of professional branding and strategy can’t be understated.
Increasingly, companies are creating dedicated roles for branding strategists. These opportunities boast high salaries and great workplace satisfaction. If you envision a career that draws on range of creative and business skills, then it’s a route well worth considering.
Our selection of bachelor’s, master’s and MBA programs cover branding strategy in depth. We offer qualifications across a diverse array of areas, including fashion and luxury, digital business, and entrepreneurship.