In the dynamic world of marketing, branding plays a big role in shaping how businesses connect with their audience. However, amidst the sea of information, it's not uncommon to encounter misinformation and misguided beliefs about the art and science of branding. In this article, we're shedding light on some prevalent falsehoods that might have crossed your path and showing you how these lies can cost you if you believe them.
July 31, 2023
In the dynamic world of marketing, branding plays a big role in shaping how businesses connect with their audience. However, amidst the sea of information, it's not uncommon to encounter misinformation and misguided beliefs about the art and science of branding.
In this article, we're shedding light on some prevalent falsehoods that might have crossed your path and showing you how these lies can cost you if you believe them.
“Hey, Joe, check out this new coffee shop with the Cool Dog logo," said our coworker Peggy. But when we entered, we experienced underwhelming service, we realized that they didn’t actually allow dogs in the cafe and that we couldn’t actually sit in and charge our devices. There was nothing cool about this place at all.
Branding isn’t just about the logo. The logo is just one part of it. Branding involves every aligned activity that a company engages in to deliberately differentiate themselves and make themselves memorable.
Think about the last time you bought a table for your office. Image, later, you stumbled upon their workshop. You realized that instead of supporting local carpenters, they underpay them and make use of low-quality materials for the furniture. Now, would you still buy from them the next time you need a table? Most likely not.
Customers don’t just care about the product/service. Customers look beyond its transactional nature. Branding is about showcasing yourself and what you stand for. Your product/service doesn’t make brand ambassadors. But when your buyers feel connected with you, they eventually become your brand ambassadors.
You know what some business owners believe? They think branding won't make them any money! Can you believe that? But here's the thing—they've got it all wrong! Sure, sales are essential for making money, but branding is what gets customers to pick you over the competition without just caring about the price tag. It's like this magical magnet that draws people in. A solid brand builds trust, credibility, and a connection with customers that keeps them coming back for more. It sets you apart in a sea of options, making you the top choice in their minds. So, yeah, sales are the money-makers, but branding is the secret sauce that makes you the preferred person to buy from!
The notion that "branding is subjective" is a fallacy that undermines the strategic significance of branding in the business world. In reality, branding is a meticulously planned and purposeful process that shapes the perception, recognition, and overall success of a company. Brands are not merely a matter of personal preference or taste; they are carefully crafted to convey a specific message, target a particular audience, and evoke certain emotions. Take, for instance, the iconic Coca-Cola brand, which consistently uses its distinctive red color and timeless font to evoke feelings of happiness, nostalgia, and refreshment. The brand's voice is also strategically aligned with its values, emphasizing happiness, togetherness, and positive experiences. Similarly, tech giant Apple has built a brand image synonymous with innovation, sleek design, and simplicity, reflected not just in its products but also in its marketing and communication. These examples demonstrate that successful brands look, speak, and act in a manner that is far from subjective; rather, they are strategically designed to leave a lasting and influential impression on consumers, ultimately driving business growth and loyalty.
Have you thought that branding is only worth considering when your business reaches the scale of a tech giant like Apple? The truth is Apple invested in branding 25 years ago when they were still a small player in the market.
They launched their “Think Different” brand campaign in 1997. That strategic move laid the foundation for their remarkable success today. Imagine if Apple had neglected branding in their early days, they would have struggled to stand out in the saturated market today.
Whether you're a solopreneur or a multinational company, whether you're starting small or already on your way to greatness, branding holds the power to transform your business. It helps carve your identity in the minds of your audience. Like Apple did, embrace branding now and set yourself to stand out.
While it's true that branding efforts may require some investment, the value of time far outweighs the cost. Time is a finite and invaluable resource, and wasting it not communicating your brand's message effectively to your clients can be detrimental to your business. Your potential clients are eagerly waiting to know why you are the best option for them, and it is your responsibility to make them aware of your existence and unique offerings. By investing time in building a strong brand identity and conveying your value proposition clearly, you can create a lasting impression on your target audience, ultimately leading to increased trust, loyalty, and success for your business. So, instead of hesitating due to perceived expenses, consider the even greater cost of lost time and potential opportunities to connect with your clients effectively.
You might be tempted to believe that branding is an unnecessary luxury. Let’s think of this: Your uncle runs a small hardware store and believes branding is a waste of time. Suddenly, a new big hardware chain opened nearby. He faces stiff competition. With no distinct brand identity, he struggled to retain customers. Meanwhile, the new chain uses strategic branding to communicate quality and affordability. Slowly, customers move to the competitor's brand.
Branding helps your business survive in a competitive market. In today's fast-paced and crowded marketplace, a strong brand is not an unnecessary luxury—it's a strategic necessity. Don't let your brand be overshadowed; instead, embrace branding as a valuable tool for long-term success.
Fun fact: Apple’s brand worth (name and identity) is [$947 billion](https://www.statista.com/statistics/326052/apple-brand-value/#:~:text=Apple's brand value has seen,Amazon%2C Google%2C and Microsoft.). If branding is unnecessary, why would it be worth so much?
In the world of business and marketing, branding is not just a trivial aspect; it is a powerful force that can make or break your success. Now that we've debunked the prevalent myths surrounding it, tell us, will you invest in branding your business?
About the Author
Joe has collaborated with founders and leaders of both SMEs and Multinational corporations like USAID, Adrian, Shelter Afrique, Barclays, SHONA, Blu Flamingo, Arielle for Africa etc. Joe is an Alumnus of the University of Nairobi where he pursued a Bachelor of Arts in Design. He’s spent more than 9 years working in Branding, Marketing and Advertising and has cultivated an in-depth understanding of how brands work. He has the ability to co-create impactful brands by developing strategies for brand impact, quality control, consistency and innovation.