Before getting into the details, please allow me to share some of my observations. For over 10 years, I have been working as a brand and marketing consultant. My clients were coming from all sorts of business categories. Hotels, resorts, small businesses, education, startups, fashion, professional services – you name it.
In the beginning, when I was quite inexperienced, I thought branding is bullshit. But as I saw more and started to work with larger enterprise-level clients then my opinion changed quickly. Branding is not bullshit. It is a very important asset that can make or break business success.
A couple of years ago I switched my digital marketing and advertising-focused consultancy services to brand management and online business development, as I saw that doing these right can make enormous changes in the performance of a company. It was only last year when we came up with the idea of Brand Auditor.
Companies with a strong brand are less exposed to market fluctuations
As years passed, I learned that demand, engagement, conversions, sales, and revenue are all depending on brand strength. Auditing brands in various non-scientific ways – before Brand Auditor – helped to connect some points.
Companies with great products without a strong brand are exposed to market trends. Their business performance is volatile. Companies with strong brands and a high level of customer closeness (loyalty, community, engaged followers, etc) are significantly less vulnerable and can thrive even in challenging market conditions.
Why strong brands are less exposed to market conditions? The reasons are very simple:
- They will be in the know, opposed to small brands that need more advertising
- They will be able to maintain, or even increase prices – see the next section
- Buyers will prioritize trusted brands in case they can afford
Having a popular brand enables you to increase prices
Customers will not hesitate to pay a premium price for products and services they love and trust. On the other hand, companies without a distinct brand are seen as generic and treated as commodities. If you want to break out from the price-value trap, boosting popularity and mass-market awareness is the best strategy
There are various reasons why people are happy to pay more for trusted brands:
- Social status being affiliated with a popular brand
- Confidence in quality and value
- The familiarity that triggers a sense of comfort
On the other hand, let’s see why customers are not willing to pay more for generic brands:
- Lack of trust and confidence
- Choosing an unknown brand feels like a sacrifice
- No social value – they will need to answer embarrassing questions like “why did you choose this?”
In most cases, both people and companies would prefer to buy from trusted, reputable brands. They only look for alternative options when the budget is a concern – and in that case, they already sacrificed the values that popular brands offer. This is the main psychological reason why popular brands can sell at a premium price, while generic brands are stuck in constant price competition.
Having a purposefully designed brand experience will convert up to 270% more sales
Here, at Brand Auditor we conduct dozens of audits every week. We are blessed with millions of feedback, insights, and marketing data from various industries.
One important insight I can share is that regardless of their industry or location, companies with a professionally designed and managed brand are generating almost 3 times more sales compared to generic companies. 270% more sales is a significant advantage that cannot be neglected.
Why a great brand will drive more sales? Here are the top reasons:
- A good positioning makes it easy to understand the values of your products and services
- A great product presentation will make your potential buyers feel impressed
- An appropriate tone of voice will make people feel comfortable
- All the above will result in increased popularity and social proof
Now let’s see the other side of the story. Our data and brand analytical insights suggest that companies with poor branding struggle to convert sales for the following reasons:
- A confusing or generic positioning will leave potential buyers confused
- A lazy, lackluster product presentation does not impress customers
- An exaggerated, “too much” kind of tone of voice will make your marketing communication feel like a cheap sales brochure
- All the above will result in a general dislike among potential customers, and the brand will become ignored
Good branding will boost your sales funnels and reduce your conversion times – improving your overall marketing ROI
This one is sort of a continuation of the previous section. A convincing product presentation, clear positioning, and a brand experience that makes your customers feel great will significantly reduce the time and process to close sales. Our data suggest that the difference in marketing efficiency between companies with strong and poor brands is over 350%. This makes perfect sense.
Such circumstances will enable you to focus your marketing efforts purposefully on activities that make the biggest impact, such as brand building and traffic acquisition, instead of tactics for retention.
It is easy to get lost and confused with a funnel or sales process that doesn’t work.
You don’t know what’s wrong, no clue what to fix and the whole situation just makes you feel like your product is not good enough. While in some cases that is the harsh truth, around 70% of the time our reports show that customers like the product but don’t like the branding.
Great brands earn loyal customers, referrals, and repeat business effortlessly
For all the previously explained reasons, people are significantly more likely to buy from companies with proper branding. Not only that, but happy customers are 290% more likely to recommend a company that is well presented, compared to one that looks lame. Would you recommend a company that looks generic, or downright ridiculous? I doubt so.
Customer retention and loyalty are not purely based on branding qualities, but also depend on the overall customer experience, fulfillment, and overall value received from the company. But forming a positive opinion starts with branding, even before the first purchase, and all the positive experiences associated with the company will add to the perception and value of your brand.
It is easy to understand that companies with amazing customer experience will not struggle to generate repeat sales and retain customers.
In this article, we discussed a couple of reasons why great branding is important. The list is not by any means complete, these were just the key observations I had witnessed personally – and based on the insights we could read out from the market research data we collected from Brand Auditor.
If you are curious about what’s wrong and right with your brand, our reports offer excellent insights. Check out our brand audits and customize one to your needs – the information you will receive will help tremendously to improve your branding and marketing communications.