Content Marketing | 4 min read
Are you struggling to understand how branding will help your business? In this article, I'll share common myths about branding expenses, and how branding investment results in a growth in profit.
A lot of business owners share a common belief that their brand is just their logo. Branding is so much more than that and encompasses key components such as:
- Knowing who you are as a business,
- A deep understanding of where your customers - including how want them to feel when they work with you,
- What your business stands for.
Customer Experience-Centered Branding
If you've never hear of this term, it's OK. It a term that I've dubbed to help explain the branding of true leaders like Apple, Sony, Coke and Nike. They focus on integrating brand strategy and customer experience into their businesses, helping them to leverage their go to market model over their competition.
So why does this work for them?
Customers typically experience a brand from the bottom up. That's great, but when a brand is created, it's typically a top down process. At the top, you have your vision, values, attributes, points of difference and brand promise. The personality of your brand will relate to its interaction with your clients. Does it have the same values? Does it reinforce the lifestyle choices? Do those elements align with your vision for the brand?
As can be seen in these market leading brands, design-led thinking is key to Customer Experience Centered Branding and has a direct correlation with their performance. These companies have a core design service employed both internally and externally.
When comprehensively adopted throughout a business, they experience statistically significant growth. They not only increase their market but also build trust, loyalty and a following around it by forming a culture.
This can be seen in the downturn Apple took a large drop in the 1990's as it lost its core design thinking. Diversifying into a confusing range of poorly designed computer models and licensing customers were unable to commit to the brand. Once they reduced the range in 1997 with the return of Steve Jobs and the return of simplified design-led thinking, the brand built a strong cultural following and commitment.
This is reinforced with the stats we found in an article we came back across from GSM Magazine published back in 2015. It shows a study of the stock market over the past 10 years displaying how design-led UK FTSE listed brands have outperformed competition by over 200% (UK Design Council study of The Impact of Design on Stock Market Performance, 2006).
For this to be successful a business must combine Customer Experience-Centered Branding by integrating their design team into not only the creative department but also the business strategy and the dynamic culture to produce more desirable products and services – in turn faster growth and passionate customers. Consistency applied your business will have a sustainable advantage, gain market share and can even reduce production costs.
Branding is like dating
When it comes to the experience of a brand, think of it like dating.
If your branding is just your logo and a website that looks good but doesn't function too well, all you have is your outfit, hair and makeup. The people you're trying do date would only ever experience a beautiful empty shell. Deep down inside you know there's more to you - you just need to find a way for people to see it.
"You might be nice to look at, but would they actually enjoy spending time with you?"
Similarly, what if every time you went on a date, you portrayed a different personality? On the first date, everything felt just right. On the second date, they feels like they are out with a completely different person. This would most likely put them off and start questioning if you're the right person for them. If your branding isn't consistent, you will drive away customers. You need to give your brand depth, but also a clear direction.
Your brand is who your business is. Your marketing is how you present yourself to the world. You need to know who you are and what your brand represents before you market it.
Customer Experience-Centered Branding will drive every aspect of a business forward – from how products and services are communicated, to innovations that improve the business processes and strategy – effectively becoming "an integral part of the economy."
Does this approach result in more profit?
So the six million dollar question is does a shift to Customer Experience-Centered Branding result in more profit for your business?
In a nutshell, the answer is yes.
One of our clients who works in the strata management space was really struggling with their business. They'd hit a plateau of growth and they were sick of the wrong types of customer knocking on the door. In short, the business owners were feeling deflated and were questioning whether their business was ever going to be successful.
We worked with them to help redefine their brand - based on a unique customer experience that was going to disrupt the strata industry.
The results speak for themselves.
When they launched their new brand, the right customers came flocking in their business and they hit their growth targets 90 days ahead of schedule - at the start of the COVID crisis!
"They hit their growth targets 90 days ahead of schedule during COVID!"
The business owners experienced a significant jump in their energy, focus and excitement which in turn flowed through to their customers and employees. The secondary benefit is they attracted a whole new type of customer - which was exactly the right type of customer for them!
We continually see these results for businesses who have the courage to refresh their branding and focus on Customer Experience-Centered Branding. Is it time for you to do the same?
Published on October 16, 2020