So far this year, we have focused a lot on branding — Why Your Brand Values Matter and How They Define Your Business, as well as some of our personal Brand Values — and last week, we announced our #30DaysOf Branding. Today, we are here to explain in more detail why your business needs a brand, not just a product.
Consumers can get products anywhere. (Hello, Amazon and Walmart!) Good products, even great products, can be purchased from large corporations at prices that smaller businesses cannot compete with. They don’t have the same reach or the same resources as these huge corporations. Focusing only on selling a product, rather than building a brand, will actually make your life so much harder because of this. Even if you have amazing ad campaigns and are able to reach your ideal customer, without a brand to feel connected to, they can simply type the product into an Amazon search and come up with dozens of the same product at a range of prices. Even if yours is the very best, they have already moved away from you, and reaching them again, before they purchase from Amazon, will be difficult.
Your brand is the story that connects your customers to you and your product. It keeps them purchasing. And even if at times they do turn to the likes of Amazon or Walmart, it will keep them engaged with you and keep them purchasing from you when they are able. We can think of a few examples of brands that we love and even when they are above our current price point, we save up in order to continue purchasing from them. Yes, they have great products, but they also have brand values and personalities that we love and connect with. This is why we continually purchase from them. Your brand will help you rise above the noise of not just your competitors, but even large corporations in ways that your product and your price point might not.
Beyond being a great way to engage with your audience and build a community, a brand is also an important part of digital advertising. Suspicion of advertised products is on the rise, especially on Facebook. Just last year, Buzzfeed News wrote a piece on how Facebook workers were instructed to ignore suspicious companies unless it “would result in financial losses for Facebook.” Time also wrote a detailed piece on this and how other sites, like Shopify, also have not taken steps to crack down on fraudulent sellers. Even though Facebook has stated they have policies in place to protect their users, individuals and businesses alike, this has not stopped the rise of skepticism when viewing Facebook ads.
Having a strong brand can keep your ads as being viewed as suspicious. When potential customers click on your ad and are taken to your website, they will see the consistency between the two. (See our previous blog on How to Create Ads that Match and Support Your Brand.) They can also visit your other social media pages and look at reviews. Having a strong, consistent brand and a community filled with loyal customers will help show your authenticity and trustworthiness. It will encourage purchases and invite new customers to join in. Businesses, even legitimate businesses, who only sell products and do not have a strong brand, can be lumped in with the scammers, and have a harder time moving potential customers from awareness to further down the marketing funnel.
Taking time to build a strong, consistent brand is an investment in your business. It will help you compete with large corporations, stand out from your competitors, and allow your authenticity to shine. Consumers want to purchase products from brands not just business.
If you don’t know where to start with your branding, check out our #30DaysOf Branding on Instagram, or download all of the tips here. If you need more precise help with your brand or rebrand, schedule a free consultation call. We love helping small businesses find their voice!