The temptation exists to rush branding your company because you want to get down to business.
There’s no better goal than establishing a strong brand that dominates the market. Whether your goal is a short-term promotion or long-term stability, establishing a brand provides major benefits for you and for your business.
That being said, branding is all about timing. Experts warn that you shouldn’t rush into branding—and for good reason.
Without proper consideration, your brand could do more harm than good. Let’s take a detailed look at branding to see why that is and how it could affect your business.
The Branding Process
Studies show that brand perception reigns dominant in consumers’ minds. This means that no marketing scheme you employ will have as large of an effect as branding. No matter the type or size of your business, you should recognize that branding is a process.
For business owners, it’s crucial that you follow the steps of this process to ensure proper branding of your product or business. As you might expect, the first step of this branding process involves defining who you are as a company.
Think: what is your company all about? What are your company values?
If you cannot answer these questions, you are not ready for a brand. This is because any brand your company employs should take into account the core “moral” identity of your company. Not only will this pay huge marketing dividends later, but it helps to give your company a strong and relatable identity.
Once you have answered these questions, you should consider your target audience. How might you connect with them to build your presence in the market?
This question speaks directly to your strategic needs. Establishing a clear direction based on your target audience will help you identify your needs and build a plan that targets them and propels you to success.
It can likely take time to understand these factors and map them completely. That’s why it’s important that you don’t rush into branding. Though it may seem lucrative to jump straight into a brand-centric marketing campaign, you want to make sure you’re solid on the logistics before your ads ever reach consumers.
Building Your Brand
Once you have analyzed the above factors and the data surrounding them, it’s time to start building your brand. Depending on the size of your business, your branding team will vary in composition. In general, it’s important to have all stakeholders and partners involved.
When your team is assembled, it’s time to take the information garnered from the data review and planning stages and start building your branding story.
Consumers love a good story, and every successful brand has one. Whether you are the pioneer brand that started in the basement or the all-natural brand that uses no preservatives (ever), you need a narrative that will connect with consumers and increase your business.
In fact, many brands fail because they don’t have this type of identity. If you rush into branding, you may fail to produce a story that connects with your particular market. Consider Coors. If you’re old enough, you may remember the short-lived Coors Rocky Mountain Spring Water. As it turned out, Coors’ attempt at brand extension failed because their story was all wrong. A brewery selling spring water? The product was as strange as it sounds, and it never found its place in the market.
That’s why you should take the time necessary to get your story right. A good branding story can last for years—even decades—and define your marketing strategy for generations to come.
Benefits of a Good Brand
Knowing this, it’s important to understand the benefits of a good brand. A good brand is one that takes into account the aforementioned data and targets the right audience with the right message. If even one factor is off in this branding approach, you could be failing to meet your optimum standard.
Fortunately, proper branding has several key benefits for your business. First, it establishes your business or product as a go-to or a household name. Remember: the goal of branding is to keep your product at the forefront of consumers’ minds. It’s hard to do this if your rushed brand keeps your product close to the bottom of the market.
Furthermore, a good brand can make up for a bad marketing scheme. Though it’s better to have all aspects of your marketing on point, a good brand can act as a quality safety net for failed advertising. Take, for example, New Coke, which debuted in the 1980s to compete against a surging Pepsi brand. The drink, which included a new recipe, never found success and was pulled just a few weeks after release.
Despite this disaster, Coke is still one of the largest brands in the world. What this means is that the established Coke brand not only covered for bad advertising, but it also was strong enough to absorb the damages of a disastrous re-branding attempt without significant damage.
While not every brand can or will rise to this level, it’s important to keep the Coke example in mind as a time when brand security potentially saved a major company.
As you can see, successful branding offers your business or product several key benefits that may be lost if brand creation is rushed.
The Bottom Line
Here’s the bottom line: rushing your brand can have disastrous effects on your business.
By rushing your brand, you will be skipping over key stages of the branding process that are crucial to establishing a proper brand. In doing so, you will miss out on some of the key benefits of branding, including widespread awareness of your product, connection to your target audience, and marketing security.
It’s important to keep this information in mind as you plan, organize, and establish your brand. By taking the right amount of time and going through the proper branding steps, you will establish a long-lasting and profit-driving brand that can position your product or organization strongly in the market for years to come.