When we think about branding our first thoughts often centre around our name, logo, colors and maybe a tagline. But branding is so much more!
Branding isn’t the same as marketing, although it is a piece of the marketing equation.
Marketing is what we do to promote our business, whereas branding is more about who we are, and capturing and showcasing who we are through our branding.
Brand Influence Comes From Reputation
Essentially if our brand has any influence it is likely due to our reputation. It isn’t because we have a cool name or logo.
Our name, logo and our tagline simply act as or represent the face of our organization. Like the face of a person, they help us stand out so people can recognize us.
Once our brand becomes known, once our unique look becomes familiar, what people think and feel about us when they recognize our brand will make the difference. What they think and feel will be determined by:
- Their own experiences
- The experiences of those they know
84% of global respondents trust “word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family”
- The experiences of those they don’t know
68% of global respondents trust “consumer opinions posted online”
The 4 Areas That Influence Brand Reputation
The reputation of our brand is influenced by:
- Our appearance (physical store/offices, quality of graphics, website, marketing materials);
- Our words (written and spoken);
- Our ‘tone’ of voice (written and spoken)
- Our actions (the quality of our products and services, and our customer service)
These areas together help determine how consumers think and feel about us. They impact our reputation and influence consumer buying decisions.
A pretty face is not enough!
The more our brand’s unique face shows up consistently in the public eye, the more it increases public awareness and recognition of our brand.
Anyone with enough money can advertise their brand and promote it widely. But getting pricey exposure that builds recognition for your brand will only be good for you if your reputation is good. If people want, need and like what you have to offer and how you take care of them.
Branding can give you a unique name and look that marks your organization and causes it to standout, like a person’s name and face. But what will determine your brand’s reputation is everything you do and how you do it. This, ultimately, is what will influence how people feel about your brand, think about your brand, engage with your brand and share about your brand with others.
This article was first published on the GrowingSocialBiz Blog.
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