10 Brand myths debunked
It’s not uncommon for me to meet small business owners and entrepreneurs who are ambivalent about branding.
But, I’m here to tell you that even in a startup or small business, your brand is your most valuable business asset. The investment you make in branding is worth its weight in gold on the return.
Brand plays an integral part in supporting your overall business strategy and marketing activities. It provides your employees with a mission, vision, values, and culture. It builds passion, gives direction, and motivates employees.
Your brand creates trust, connections, and loyalty for consumers, evokes an emotional attachment, and differentiates your business, products, and services in a crowded marketplace.
Think of branding as your company’s personality and identity. It is who your company is at its core. Your brand influences every aspect of your customer’s perceptions of your company. Branding builds trust, recognition, loyalty, and reputation.
Regardless of your industry, company’s size, revenue, profit, or non-profit status, there are common brand myths that I consistently see.
Today, we’ll look at ten common myths and dispel some misconceptions.
Brand myth #1: Brand is a company name, logo, and tagline.
While your company name, logo, and tagline are vital to your brand, they are not the brand. They serve as one component among many that visually represent your brand.
A brand is a collection of many touchpoints (interactions) that expose people to your brand and help them remember your brand beyond the company name and logo.
A brand represents the sum of people’s perception of your organization’s products, service, reputation, marketing, messaging, verbal, and visual brand identity.
Brand myth #2: Branding = marketing
No, branding and marketing are not the same things, nor are they interchangeable.
Branding is your business identity. Marketing is how you portray that identity to consumers. Ideally, branding and marketing should work collaboratively.
A solid brand strategy is necessary for every successful marketing campaign.
Brand myth #3: Having a great product is enough.
Having a great product is one component among many that lead to success. It’s the branding that gets your product noticed and makes it memorable.
The entire brand experience makes your product and service stand out. Every brand touchpoint matters from the first time someone learns about your company.
Brand myth #4: Brand consistency is critical.
Using your company name and visual identity consistently helps consumers recognize your company.
However, to make an authentic connection with your audience, you need to meet them where they are and be flexible in tailoring your message to different audience segments—particularly based on the context and social media platform.
Brand myth #5: You have complete control of your brand.
You can only control your brand to a certain extent. You can educate your employees on the brand and how to deliver it, but there is no guarantee that they will get it right every time, or that it will be received as intended.
The reality is that consumers shape your brand based on their experience with your brand. If they have a terrible experience with your brand, it can heavily impact their perception of your brand and result in reputation issues.
Competitors can also copy your brand if you are not diligent in locking down your intellectual property through legal channels, copyrights, trademarks, patents, and licensing.
Brand myth #6: The marketing department is responsible for the brand.
The marketing department is the gatekeeper of how your brand is presented publicly.
Every person in your organization is responsible for contributing to the brand experience within their respective functional roles and across the brand touchpoints they deliver. All employees should understand and be able to articulate your brand mission, vision, values, messaging, and integrity.
Brand myth #7: Branding is too expensive and only for big businesses.
Branding is crucial regardless of the industry, sector, or business size. While there is a financial investment, the expense is worth its weight in gold.
Having a strong brand differentiates you from your competitors, clarifies what you offer, allows you to build consumer awareness, recognition, and loyalty, and goes a long way in building equity for your company.
Brand myth #8: Brands are only for consumer products.
There are over 20 types of brands in the marketplace: personal brands, service brands, lifestyle brands, global brands, and much more.
80% of B2B buying decisions are based on a buyer’s direct or indirect customer experience, and only 20% are based on the price or the actual offering. *
Brand myth #9: Brands are developed once and done.
Brands need to be nurtured and evolve and grow over time to adapt to trends, changing market conditions, and consumer feedback to remain relevant within the marketplace. When a brand becomes stagnant, you lose market share and credibility.
Brand myth #10: Branding has nothing to do with the business strategy.
The brand strategy should be carefully aligned with and directly support the business strategy to help achieve business goals and prevent a disconnect in the market.
Your brand is a critical element of your Strategic Plan. It defines who you are as a business and helps you define your short and long-term goals. Your brand strategy provides a benchmark to determine if your brand is moving in the right direction and a way to measure your return on investment.
Business, branding, and marketing are evolving faster than ever due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Companies are taking a multi-channel approach to meet the customer where they are, and they are actively engaged in social listening. The importance of professional branding and a carefully aligned business and brand strategy supported by collaborative and integrated marketing cannot be understated.
Are you struggling with your brand? Let us help.
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Photo by Alex Shute on Unsplash
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