By Kashif Naqshbandi, CMO at Tenth Revolution Group
The best branding not only makes your company instantly recognizable; it communicates your values. And it’s your values that customers today buy into.
Identity is a crucial part of human makeup, and people want to buy from businesses that share similar core ideals to their own. The companies that customers engage with and the places they spend their money are a reflection of themselves, and most people don’t want to be associated with a company that doesn’t align with their principles.
There are exceptions to this rule, but in an age where customers have never been savvier, most consumers are hyper-conscious of a brand’s reputation, philosophy, and the messages they put out—messages that their customers tacitly endorse through their patronage.
That’s why having a branding strategy that conveys your business values is critical in today’s business world. It allows your customers—existing and potential—to know who you are and what you stand for. Unless customers have a clear vision of your brand, why would they choose you over a competitor? What would motivate them to make that choice?
If you can put together a branding plan that articulates your company’s purpose, promise, personality, and place in the market, you’ll be able to harness the intangible magic of consumer perception and build strong customer relationships that will set you up for success.
Why your values should be at the core of brand strategy
The single biggest mistake companies make when it comes to branding is not understanding the underlying power that it can have.
Too many organizations still think about branding in a literal sense: you say branding, they picture logos, fonts, and color schemes. That’s not to say that these things aren’t part of the bigger picture, but branding is much more than that. A logo indicates something about your brand. It gives customers a feel for your company and makes you recognizable in a sea of marketing. But sharing your purpose says a lot more. This intangible, emotional factor is a lot more intoxicating to a customer too.
The fact is, you don’t decide your brand. Your customers do. Your brand only really exists in the mind of the consumer. It’s an amalgamation of the concrete—that’s all the marketing elements you put out into the world like your logo and advertising—and the incorporeal: the connotations, feelings, and experiences customers associate with your company. Of course, that latter group of factors are things you don’t have total control over, which is why it’s vital you have a thorough branding strategy, designed to influence as much of the perception that customers have about you as possible.
Why your values are the best foundation for great customer relationships
A great branding strategy is essential when it comes to generating customer loyalty and robust, long-lasting relationships.
Putting your brand values front and center builds awareness, instilling confidence and positive connotations in your potential customers. These customers are then more likely to choose you and your services when they come to part with their cash.
Plus, a strong brand is unbeatable when it comes to customer engagement. Word-of-mouth is one of the most potent forms of marketing—no amount of spending will ever be as effective in selling your company as the social trust and validation that comes from a happy customer sharing their positive experiences with others.
How to communicate your values through your brand strategy
The first step toward building a brand strategy that successfully communicates your values is to outline what your values are. Why do you do what you do? What do you believe in? What’s the mission that you want customers to know about?
Whittle your organization’s core purpose into a single powerful sentence and build your branding strategy around it. Make this your touchstone; something that will guide all your branding decisions, something that you can refer back to, and something that will keep your efforts coherent and unswerving.
At the heart of our own brand, for example, is the fact that we’re working to solve a problem that affects our entire industry; the tech talent shortage. Our purpose as an organization is to remove barriers and make rewarding, in-demand careers in the tech space accessible to everyone, and we communicate that in everything we do.
Having that fundamental value enshrined within your strategy will help you efficiently transmit what you’re about as a company throughout all your branding.
Once you’ve honed it, bake it into everything you produce. Make it your not-so-secret ingredient: every time you write copy, create a slogan, or develop a piece of marketing, reiterate your mission. When it comes to communicating your values, you really can’t repeat it often enough.
Simplicity, consistency, and repetition are crucial to creating a brand strategy that conveys your values and, in turn, shaping a brand that will win over customer hearts and minds.