When branding as a marketing discipline received its first big wave on analytical attention and discussion in the early 1990s, it became the hot topic of marketing professionals. Not long after it seemed a bit trendy to talk about branding—trendy in a bad way. It already seemed a bit passé in some circles as the Internet began to change everything about how consumers (B2C and B2B) related to companies from whom they purchased goods and services.
But branding has survived. Marketers figured out how to deepen the relationship between consumers and brands online and off. And now in times of economic uncertainty, brands are more important than ever. That’s because brands, ultimately, are belief systems. And in a recessionary economy, people are looking for products, services and companies they can believe in and rely upon.
Companies that pay careful attention to crafting and re-crafting their brands can expect to reap several benefits. A strong brand:
- Provides an advantage when pitching new business
- Confirms customer decision/prevents buyer remorse
- Allows a company to charge higher/premium prices
- Gives employees a belief system through which to filter decisions, attitudes and behaviors
- Makes it easier to launch new services and products
- Makes it easier for satisfied customers to make referrals
- Aids customer loyalty/retention
- Transfers company value from individuals (founders and owners) to the company as a whole
These eight advantages—potentially worth millions of dollars in eventual outcomes—make it well worth the effort to go through a conscious branding or re-brading process. That is why we always include this crucial effort in our work with our clients. All other marcom tactics—websites, social media, advertising, direct marketing—must be filtered through this crucial branding process in order to yield the maximum return on investment of every marketing dollar spent.
(C) 2009 David Heitman. All rights reserved.