In the 21st century, with the evolution of digital and everything else that’s happening behind the scenes, and with different companies popping up, building a brand is the best way to achieve a lucrative business venture.
Brand building is extremely important for various reasons.
But specifically, brand building can be positively impactful on establishing your business strategy, augmenting your recruitment process, navigating new opportunities, finding new ventures, enabling great PR, and so forth.
What is brand building?
Brand building is basically about generating awareness about you and your business by organizing effective campaigns and using certain strategies that consider some critical brand components.
Here are the five components of a strong brand according to a Forbes article by Samuel Thimothy, the VP at OneIMS.com. Let’s discuss them briefly below:
- Brand Identity – the look and feel of your brand
- Brand Purpose, Mission, and Values – the purpose is what you do, the mission is the larger business goal, and the values refer to what your brand represents
- Brand Messaging – the voice of your brand
- Brand Differentiation – the unique selling proposition that makes you different
- Brand Experience – the way your customers connect with your offerings
The goal of brand building is to create an image that stands out and lasts in the marketplace.
Your image in the marketplace is your brand.
If you have the kind of positive image that stands out among your competitors, then you have achieved brand success.
In a Marketing School Podcast episode, Eric Siu and Neil Patel discussed the lessons you can learn from the oldest brand in the world, Stella Artois. According to them, Stella Artois has solidified their brand through the years because they:
- repeat their marketing non-stop
- have a great product
- try to stay relevant
- produce predominant and top-of-mind ads
- adapt to the changing trends
- tap into influencers
But while these actionable tips look simplistic, brand building is definitely an investment and it is an investment you have to make as soon as possible.
If you have not started building your brand yet, then here are the eight main reasons why you need to invest in branding now.
1. Branding Takes Forever
Branding is not a one-off effort that you can allocate just one, two, three, or six months and then you would be able to build an effective brand.
It is an ongoing endeavor. It takes forever to build and maintain a brand.
And the more you start building up towards the direction, the better you are going to be by improving the odds and the opportunity to actually reach a successful brand.
Also, branding is not a finite thing, which means that you can go from zero to one, or somewhere in the middle. If you have any website or a Facebook page, you do have some brand even if you only have five followers.
But, again, to be successful, you will have to put in more time and effort.
So, you should be somewhere in the middle but always aiming to get to the later stage of the firm. And since it takes forever, it is not something that you can just ignore for a continuous period of time. It is something that you can build regardless.
But, if 99% of the time you are not really putting any effort, then you will not be gaining any results as well.
2. Branding Depends on Regularity
Branding depends more on regularity than on actually doing specific work. What does it mean?
Branding is a compound effort that depends on multiple channels and streams with people knowing you offline and online, knowing the brand, the leadership, and the management, as well as understanding the culture and everything else that is happening behind the scenes.
It also means that you cannot really focus on building a brand by only working on your Instagram or Twitter account and expect that you could have a successful brand soon. It does not work this way.
It depends more on regularity and just showing up more often. As John Hall said in his book, “Top of Mind”, it is beneficial to just be top of mind. And, it is more important that you work on your brand recurrently throughout multiple channels in order to get maximum impact than by targeting a single channel with a single activity.
Below are some personal branding hacks to boost your presence online and even offline:
3. Branding Develops in Parallel With Work
Branding has to be developed in parallel with work.
You cannot really build a brand around something that you do not do. You cannot do all the same and have the same skills, the same know-how, and continue to build a brand. It does not really work this way.
Be more mindful about what you do at work, what you want to accomplish, and what you do with your colleagues. If you feel you are sitting behind one way or another, you may actually put more work towards these activities which is a great thing.
As a result, you achieve more, broadcast more and showcase more, which leads you to build a more transparent culture that is always good for branding.
4. Branding Requires Some Seasonal Activities
On top of everything else that has to happen on a recurring basis, you also need to keep into account that building a brand depends on certain seasonal activities or events.
On one hand, you have seasonal events like Christmas or Thanksgiving, or so that you need to just be present at. On the other hand, you have certain physical or virtual events, meetups, or conferences that you also need to attend and speak at. Adapt to these activities and tailor your branding efforts accordingly.
Be aware of opportunities where you can network and partner with influencers and industry experts on initiatives like interviews or roundups.
You need to observe and monitor the landscape and figure out where and how you can interject and share your commentary or voice to further cultivate awareness of your brand.
5. Branding Keeps You on Your Toes
As you build either a personal or a professional brand, you get used to this regularly.
You know that you need to consistently produce content, videos, or blog posts, or anything else depending on what you are focusing on.
At some point of time, you are going to run out of ideas, or feel behind because you do not really catch up well enough, or you may get fewer likes and fewer comments just because your topics may be recycled in one way or another.
Indeed, branding keeps you on your toes since you are going to have some accountability and you are going to have some added responsibility to keep doing repetitive work on a continuous basis.
6. Branding Streamlines Your Work Through Support and Contacts
The more you develop a professional brand, the easier your work is going to be simply because you are going to get more support and more positive perception.
It is going to be easier for other brands to work with you. It is also going to be easier for you to build partnerships. You may already have partnerships built through your personal or professional brand that help you accomplish different matters.
To give an example, one of the recruitment firms I work with shared: “First and foremost, the most important thing that matters to us when we are reaching out to candidates is that we are really mindful of whether some candidates have a negative opinion about the brand. And since nobody had any negative thoughts about your brand, this is a really good signal which means that people have heard of you, but they have not really heard of some bad news.”
So when you are working on your personal or professional brand, find a way to influence and amplify the positive opinions with regard to the business, and make sure you do not really fall prey to questionable criticisms from competitors, or anything else that may harm your business forward.
7. Branding Opens Ways to Diversify Your Revenue Now
When you tap into the potential of your personal or professional brand, you may actually figure out different ways to leverage new revenue channels which are extremely important especially considering the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
There are several businesses around me that actually tapped into new businesses. Some of them formed products, some of them started coaching sessions or consulting businesses and trainings.
Some have completely opened different businesses simply because they have an audience related to their brand and their audience has allowed them to start a new venture and start generating money right away.
With a solid audience, you can find different ways to diversify your revenue and have multiple streams of income which are really important for just financial safety.
8. Branding Increases Employee Retention
For millennials and the newer generations, one of the most important things they want to do is to make an impact and get their name known.
Having said that, if the new generation of employees works in a business that is not really well known, has a negative reputation, or is considered outdated or anything like that, they are not really as motivated as they should be. They will look for ways out resulting in better retention rates.
Finding new people can be very challenging and may lead to more issues as you scale your business. But, working on your employer brand can help a lot.
Below are some tips to keep in mind:
About 80% of talent acquisition managers believe that employer branding has a significant impact on the company’s ability to hire great talent.
By building a positive brand, you are encouraging your employees to support you while also making them happy to be a part of your organization. In return, your strong employer brand improves your retention rate and reduces hiring costs.
So, those are the main reasons why you should focus on building a professional brand right now.
It is not something that you have to do full-time. But knowing that it is not a one-off effort and success is not going to happen overnight, you have to start investing in your brand ASAP.
With the right amount of planning and targeting, investing in building your brand on an ongoing basis pushes you to greater heights and favors for your professional and organizational endeavors.