Business | Graphic design
5 Branding Myths Debunked
February 5, 2020
Branding can be confusing. You see all of the big brands with their TV ads and hordes of rabid followers and you might think that your small business doesn’t need or want to deal with all of that. But branding is just as important for those small businesses as their larger counterparts; it’s just done a little differently. Here I’ll discuss five of the most common myths and why they are untrue.
“I have a logo. Isn’t that my brand?”
Nope. A logo is an important part of your brand, for sure. But your brand is so much more. It is how you interact with your ideal audience at every touchpoint, from original connection, through the customer journey, and beyond. It’s your voice when you answer emails or talk to clients on the phone. It’s the language you use and the style of images you share. Everything you do should be cohesive and send a similar message to your audience. As far as your visual brand goes, your logo may be the star, but your fonts, colors, images, and patterns also play an important part. When consistent, they create an impression with your audience that inspires trust.
“My clients don’t care about branding.”
I get why you think this, but you may be confusing marketing with branding. Your clients may not be the kind who respond to heavy advertising, but they will still respond to branding that connects with them, whether they realize it or not. Everyone wants to work with people they like and who understand their needs. Branding is just as much what your clients think of you as it is what you put out there. If you are known to others as an expert in your industry or if your previous clients recommend you because you were great to work with, that’s part of your brand. Those things will inspire confidence in potential clients. Putting an effort into your branding can influence some of these opinions. But remember, if you’re always late on delivery of your services, no one will say you’re prompt. So you need to live the brand you put out there.
“Branding is a one-time thing. When it’s done, I won’t have to think about it anymore.”
Say you’ve decided to invest in a new brand. You hire a professional to design your logo and other assets, maybe do some basic brand strategy, and you’re done, right? Nope. Branding is not just the visuals created for you. Every email, every phone call, every social media post, every ad campaign needs to have a consistent language, voice, and personality. If you don’t apply your brand attributes to every single thing you do, every day, it’s all for nothing. If your visual brand is fun and colorful but your social media posts are all about politics, your brand will become confusing to your audience. They won’t feel like they can trust you and that’s a huge problem. Something else you need to be doing is constantly reevaluating your brand and determine if you need to adjust it, or (gasp) rebrand—especially as you grow and your audience or offerings change. It is something you should always be thinking about.
“Brands are for consumer products only.”
If your business is a service provider, you may feel that you don’t need a brand since you have no physical product. Yes, branding of physical products is hard to ignore in the consumer market. Apple, Coca-Cola, and Nike all have very strong and memorable brands. But even those brands are just a means of connecting with their ideal customer or client. Even if your ideal client is an executive in another company, branding will help you tell your story and connect with them. Your message may be how you can help them solve their biggest problems, but the tone of voice and language you use to convey that message is your brand. You just may not want to use polar bears in your branding. You’ll want to tailor your brand to connect with those executives instead.
“There is little to no ROI on branding.”
It’s indeed hard to prove ROI when it comes to branding. You can never really say that your rebrand was the ACTUAL reason your business grew. But there is research that will help to understand the way consumers and businesses look at branding when choosing who they will spend their money with. Here are some interesting facts and stats:
- Inconsistent branding doesn’t just impact your customers—it hurts employee morale too. (Lucidpress)
- Successful branding yields benefits such as increased customer loyalty, an improved image, and a relatable identity. (TSL Marketing)
- Customer expectations are on the rise—most customers have come to expect great design. (Lucidpress)
- The main benefit of branding tools, and reason to employ them, is to boost profits. (Forbes)
- The greatest negative impact of inconsistent brand usage is the creation of confusion in the market. (Lucidpress)
- B2B brands fare better with customers when they use emotive rather than rational marketing messages. (MarketingWeek)
- B2B companies with brands that are perceived as strong generate a higher EBIT margin than others. (Forbes)
- 77% of B2B marketing leaders say branding is critical to growth. (Circle Research)
- 75% of B2B buyers want branded content that helps them research business ideas, but 93% of brands focus their content on marketing their own products and services. (MarketingCharts)
- Very few companies—26%—leverage the effectiveness and power of brand guidelines. (Lucidpress)
- On average, 5 to 7 brand impressions are necessary before someone will remember your brand. (Pam Moore)
- The average revenue increase attributed to always presenting the brand consistently is 33%. (Lucidpress)
- Color increases brand recognition by up to 80%. (University of Loyola)
- 64% of consumers cite shared values as the primary reason they have a relationship with a brand. (Harvard Business Review)
- 45% of consumers will unfollow a brand on social media if their platform is dominated by self-promotion. (BuzzStream)
- 48% of consumers expect brands to know them and help them discover new products or services that fit their needs. (Cube)
Did any of these myths ring true with you? Did my explanations change your mind? If you have any questions about branding or if you’re ready to start working on your brand, I’d love to hear from you. Shoot me an email and we can get started today!