In this ever evolving world of choice, products and services are becoming less unique. Brands therefore need to find innovative ways to connect with consumers on an emotional level. How do you create irreplaceable, life-long relationships and get people to take a journey with your business moving from prospects to advocates?
Some may say great customer service, better products, convenience, lower prices, higher prices, exclusivity…and the list goes on. Well, this list can be summed up in two words ‘Brand Identity’.
Consumers no longer purchase products and services, they purchase brands. They learn to believe, trust and value brands, therefore becoming attached to certain brands. The perception of a brands superiority significantly affects its success. Your brand identity fuels recognition and amplifies differentiation. It appeals to the senses making consumers want to hold it, touch it, or taste it, because a brand identity is tangible.
To paraphrase what L. Speisser said, ‘Great brands are like friends – you encounter a huge number of them every day, but you only remember the ones you truly love.’
Many businesses create their brand identity through a series of research programs, strategic planning, creative development and management processes. Others believe they are just selling products or services and don’t have a brand identity. But the have created it unknowingly and have been successful. Whether you do it yourself or hire brand strategists to help the key is to be deliberately different.
Differentiation helps build awareness and the experience your brand provides during the purchasing journey will help shape perceptions. Perception can be positive or negative, therefore businesses need to be careful because it takes a lot to change negative perceptions. A happy customer will share their experience with their network, actively promoting your business, product or service. This is worth more than your weight in gold.
Identity establishes itself in every touchpoint of a brand and becomes intrinsic to a business living up to its mission and is a key part of its culture. Why are people willing to pay more money for one product and not another that serves the same purpose? This is down to the perception of your brand created in consumers minds through a strong brand identity.
This product is now worth paying more for, which will attract more customers with similar mind set. Spending on establishing a strong brand identity should not be considered as a marketing expense, but rather an investment in your business.