Good question. What is branding and does your brand image really matter?
A lot of people, particularly in the world of professional services, struggle to see the benefit of ‘branding’. Even to us, it’s a bit of a difficult subject. It can be incredibly emotive and painful for a business to go through a re-branding process. We know, we’ve done several!
So Why Should You Bother?
Take this example, from a recent interview with our amazing local coffee shop after they received a grant from our erstwhile landlord, ‘We Are Waterloo’ to refresh their shop and branding.
“I believe our daily turnover has increased by at least 20% because the cafe is now much more noticeable and attractive to customers. Redesign was a great project and funded something I would not have been able to afford myself, especially when we are still recovering from the impact of COVID.”
– Wendy, Owner of Sista Barista
Another example of a similar concept was relayed to me a few years ago by one of the partners of a well-known City law firm. He said, ‘we used to think clients appreciated us not spending money on fancy offices and flash branding. Then we moved offices and re-branded, and the revenue shot up’. Once the firm moved to a lovely new office in the ‘More London’ development their fortunes turned around!
Good, strong branding can create confidence, consistency and a sense of professionalism. In turn, that can attract and retain more customers. It can give staff confidence in the professionalism of the business and help to retain them. If done well, it should ensure that your business is noticed more.
Logically, it stands to reason. You may feel there’s no reason to re-brand – ‘if it’s not broken…’. But actually, there are a number of studies that have demonstrated tangible benefits. This one from Nebraska University demonstrated a 2.46% increase in stock value for companies surveyed. Another study highlighted that strong brands can return up to 3x the sales of weaker competitors.
So yes, (Re)Branding Seems it can be Worthwhile, But What’s Involved?
Be ready – it’s a long process. A few tips:
- People are key. Determine the core team making decisions at the outset, and don’t change it part-way through.
- Be prepared for the costs. Identify what you have, what needs to change, and how much work might be involved for you and your consultants.
- Identify your consultants and plan carefully. If we had a pound for every firm that came to us and said “we’ve got a website and want to set up a marketing plan” we’d have some pounds! Don’t put the cart before the horse. The website should be a part of the process, because once it’s in place, it will be difficult to re-do. For some reason, the website seems to be a catalyst to change rather than a part of it for most businesses.
- Plan, plan and more planning. Try to get everything in place before you move things forward. It’s much easier (and cheaper) to agree on changes and implement them than to implement changes then agree to change them!
- Stick to the plan. Again, we’ve had a few clients who change consultants as often as the wind changes. Get good people on board and stick to them. Most of our clients have been with us for several years. We think that says something about the work we do and how we do it. Find the right people for you and ensure they’re a good fit.
- Trust your consultants. Your team knows what they’re doing. So trust them. We wouldn’t even (usually) disagree with our designer – mainly because she’s great at design! If someone is a professional in their field, trust them, unless there’s a logical and non-emotional reason not to.
Planning Your Brand is Important!
Also, did we mention the importance of planning? We’re the first to want to crack on and get things done, but it’s crucial to do things well and do them once. As the joiners say, ‘measure twice, cut once’!
And above all – good luck. As always, let us know if we can help you with any of this!