Branding isn’t something that you just turn on and off depending on your sales numbers. After all, branding gives your audience a clear sense of purpose and well-defined roadmap of who your company is, what they do, and what your values are – in short, it’s what others think and say about your brand.
For many small business owners, focusing on their branding and marketing day in and day out just isn’t feasible – they are so busy. BUT a strong brand could be the difference between loyal customers and customers who use your business once and turn to a competitor.
Brand evangelists or sticky customers can do a lot for a business:
- A customer who has made two purchases at your business has a 54 percent chance of making a third purchase
- Repeat customers have a 60-70 percent chance of converting again
- Your most loyal 10 percent of customers spend three times more than those who aren’t loyal to your brand
Here’s a perfect example of how branding is dictated by everything you do:
During the start of the pandemic, Adidas sent an internal memo out and originally took the approach of saying they had to stay open because they had bills to pay. Let’s just say, the memo got leaked and it wasn’t good for the company. Their customers now realized that employee health came secondary to company sales and profit.
Your core values are an extension of your company’s core values and can influence the actions of your brand. They are the cultural cornerstones of your business —they define your beliefs and reveal what’s most important to a company, its employees, and customers. Many customers say it’s important for the companies they buy from to align with their personal beliefs and values and will boycott once loved brands because they went against their values.
A brand’s impact will be greatly influenced by its ability to genuinely connect with its audiences through personalization and a range of channels and delivery methods. Brands also must adapt to reflect the world around us and changing attitudes, lifestyles, and behaviors that are evolving more rapidly than at any point in time before. Social media, mobile apps, and new technologies are constantly changing and have created new conversations among consumers.
Branding is critical now more than ever because once the pandemic becomes less and less of a threat, consumers won’t be searching for brands to buy from – they will already know which brands they want to buy from. The time to focus on your branding wasn’t months ago and won’t be months from now either – branding is every minute of the day, every day, every decision you make – type of commitment.
Consumers are motivated now more than ever to truly know what a company’s beliefs and values are. Equally, they will reward brands with their loyalty to those that align with their values, take consistent actions to live out their brand, and demonstrate that you know them and can help them.
Branding isn’t what you say, but who you choose to be. As the old saying goes, actions speak louder than words. What are your actions right now saying about your brand? If you aren’t feeling the love from your customers, here are some tips to help you make them feel appreciated.
Margret K. Warner
Vice President, Commercial Lender