Why it’s never too early to focus on branding?

Photo by Kristian Egelund on Unsplash

In the fourth episode of the last season of the infamous TV series Game of Thrones, a disposable coffee cup was unintentionally left in plain sight by a cast member in a scene with Emilia Clarke, who portrayed the fabled “Mother of Dragons”. Before you know it, photos and videos of the scene with the coffee cup went viral on the internet and, consequently Starbucks, a popular coffeehouse chain in North America, gained $2.3 billion in free advertising from the show’s gaffe. Why? The coffee cup in the unfortunate scene was originally thought to be from Starbucks. Although the cup greatly resembled the iconic coffee cup design of Starbucks, the interesting thing is, it belonged to a different coffee place located nearby the HBO studios. Who would’ve thought! The cup’s association with Starbucks is the living proof of Starbuck’s brand strength.

Although the example above relates to two already successful ventures, Starbucks and Game of Thrones, there is a generalized misconception about the significance of branding among SMEs and startups who are finding it hard to stand on their feet in a hostile and discouraging environment.

Related Article: 10 Reasons Why Branding is Important to Your Company

The people behind small ventures are blinded by the assumption that branding is the corner-stone of mega enterprises only who have unrestricted access to gigantic budgets and countrywide recognition. As a result, they are do not give much importance to appropriate marketing techniques, such as a catchy logo or a professional business card. This is simply negligence because it is the small businesses and startups that need to exploit modern branding more than their million-dollar counterparts. To support this idea, research studies conducted on the importance of branding suggests that 50% of the customers became loyal to brands during their first purchase. Below are some benefits of getting started with branding as early as possible:

One direction and purpose

Before you go about creating a brand for your product or service, a clear understanding of the idea, vision, mission, story, target audience, and communication of your business is a pre-requisite. Together these things combine to form a Brand handbook that is specifically tailored to your business model and serves as a go-to manual for managing and guiding the rest of the components of your business. Early knowledge of the potential trajectory of the future of your business and a clear purpose helps your company learn what should be done and which activities to avoid before you move onto making bigger decisions.

Helps make decisions easier

Meetings related to products become significantly effective when everyone has a clear understanding of the mission and vision. Decisions are made frequently, especially within startups, and when all team members working on a specific product are on one page, modifying certain aspects of product design or business model is comparatively easy. After some time, often the mission behind the product is forgotten due to distractions by other zones of the business, it is necessary to continuously remind everyone about the underlying idea of your product for developing a better decision-making capability within your team.

Building a brand takes time

Creating a brand from scratch requires considerable effort and time, even in the age of feature-packed smartphones, personable social media, and multimedia content websites like YouTube and Vimeo. While these digital solutions have the potential to make or break your brand, figuring your marketing strategies, developing relevant content, such as blog posts, videos, and informational infographics, and transforming everything into one picture is the job of a professional marketing team, and when done right, it will take some time.

Timing is important for branding

You might have the greatest idea for a product or you already have a couple of working prototypes in hand, knowing when to present it to the relevant market and potential customers is crucial. Too many people fear that their product is not ready yet, and therefore, spend a considerable amount of time tweaking and perfecting it. Meanwhile, a competitor comes up with something similar and captures the market easily while most folks are still trying to figure what went wrong. This scenario can be applied to a product or a feature within the product, so working on creating a brand presence is equally important to developing the product itself. The stronger the brand, the more people will care about your products.

Successful businesses have spent years creating a powerful brand that potential customers can relate to. They have reached a point where their products themselves and the people do the market for them, such as Ferrari, Apple, Samsung, HP, and more.

Originally published at https://www.rizvihaider.com on July 2, 2020.

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