If I were to explain why branding is so important for your business, I would say ‘Branding is the love story that connects your customer to your business and a love story is not appealing when the guy is constantly chasing a girl even when she is disinterested. It is interesting when both parties are interested in each other. So…how does a love story go usually?
Girl catches sight of a boy in black t-shirt standing in a crowd full of men in white t-shirt. This is much like the first contact made by the consumers towards the product. We need the product to stand out in the crowd of competition (in many aspects but visually first) and that is achieved by creating a branding that differentiates the product from everyone else so that it catches the eye of the customer.
Next, we see what could have possibly interested the girl about this boy? There must have been something more than the black t-shirt...perhaps the boy was this bearded guy in rugged jeans and bright sneakers which is totally her type.
Applying the same logic to our products too we realise that differentiating from the crowd won't be enough. We need to ensure that the product speaks directly to the customer at an emotional level. Colour may have grabbed the attention but factors such as product copy, contents of product mentioned on the packaging or even the images play a significant role in making them want to pick the product and inspect further. This is successfully achieved by creating brand identity and packaging design that targets a specific set of consumers.
Surely you'd expect the first date...the date where they learn a lot about each other, likes, dislikes allergies, lifestyle and what not. Totally vibing with each-other!
This is no different from the browsing experience that the customer has when exploring the product. At this juncture, they are learning, product features, how it solves their problem, how the product is a necessity and a perfect fit for their lifestyle so we need to clearly be able to define brand features at this point. The features of the product act as the hook that will reel them closer to the sale. First date tells enough about a person to be acquainted to them but to consider them as a partner...we need more. You may have hooked your customer with the right look/style and made them curious with features that solve their problems but they may still have hesitation. They would want to know more about you. This is where social proof acts as an ultimate selling point. Reviews, testimonials, transformational results etc. come under social proof. But if you don't have that yet, defining your brand personality and practices can be compelling enough for the customer to continue giving you their attention. Basically it's like your product getting more dates with your customers.
Once the boy and the girl are happy with their first few dates, the relationship begins. But what does a relationship between a customer and a product look like? Let's consider that the customer, at this point, has already purchased the product. Granted, it's a relationship only if they are satisfied with the product. If they are, they would become repeat customers. This eventually draws them in to learn more about the brand, its history, heritage, vision and mission. You can do this by sharing that through multiple touch-points such as website or packaging. How does that help? It makes the customer want to support the brand further by spreading a word about it or even supporting the brand's future plans. This in business terms is called brand loyalty. The loyalty over time will develop into brand advocacy if the customer continues to feel nourished by the brand.
As you can see, there is so much of effort that goes into building the relationship between the customer and the product and it doesn’t just happen overnight. Branding is necessary to streamline this process of courting your customer and doing it the right way.
In this current day and time, just being present on the shelf and shoving the advertisement in front of the customer is not going to cut it. Businesses are expected to do more and be more nuanced. Customers want something that is specifically curated for them. They want brands to speak to them specifically instead of just shouting at everyone. So work on building a love story between your product and your ideal customer. How do you do that? With the help of a brand strategist and guess who is a brand strategist for a living? Me! Isn’t that amazing? Let’s build a love story of your business. Contact me here! Looking forward, Jayshree D.V