Branding. One small word to encompass so much. This is the big picture, the result of all experiences and actions associated with your company or product, including marketing and communications. It is the perception of all that your company or product is and does and generally, it is what determines whether your customers will stick around. Are you seeing the value?
What It Is
Branding is every experience, every campaign, every headline, every act, every expressed thought, and every public event, evaluated, condensed, and retained by the public. You and your employees are either adding something to the image or detracting from it with every action. The public then connects the resulting opinions and emotions with your company or product, affecting engagement with you going forward. While marketing is specifically the tactics and channels you will employ to carry out a mission, branding will be what lingers. It is the sum of all parts.
Under the Microscope
You may want to call to mind your own big picture. Do your customers know the full benefits of your product or service? Has your customer service lived up to expectations? Do you need a more proactive approach to corporate social responsibility (CSR)? Have your sales fallen short of the mark? Please consider this an invitation to discuss building a better brand. You may be surprised by what you learn.
Go for the Gold
Not that you need to be reminded of what positive branding can mean financially, but here it is: it is nothing less than fundamental to the success of every business. The payoff can be seen in customer loyalty, a more receptive community, more effective salespeople and sales initiatives, even a more satisfied workforce. The cherry on top is the fact that all those positive associations position you to win the prize of word-of-mouth advertising. Customers pleased to the point of becoming your advocates are pure gold.