3 Myths About Brand Building What You Should NOT Believe

Exploring the Impact of Branding Beyond Visual Appearance

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Branding often gets reduced to its most visible elements – graphics and logos. Yet, is there more to it? Now let’s explore the deeper, transformative aspects of brand building. Whether you’re a solopreneur or a company owner, understanding the meaning of branding is critical. In this blog post, we’ll destroy three common myths about brand building that can slow down the growth and success of businesses. By the end of this article, you’ll have a clearer insight into why effective branding is much more than just a visual identity and why it should be never ignored, no matter the actual size or lifecycle of your business of its market.

Why is Brand Building Important?

At first view, a brand might just seem to differentiate, but its aspect is much deeper and more crucial.

A brand is a set of thoughts and emotions that appear in the minds of the target audience when they think about your business. It’s not just about the distinct features, benefits, or problem-solving aspects of your products (product communication) but covers the feelings, emotions, impressions, memories, lifestyle, vision, and even alignment with good causes (brand communication). This broader perspective on branding ensures that every customer interaction contributes to a composite, emotional experience that defines their perception of your brand.

Decisions, even those seemingly pragmatic like pricing comparisons or the fear of missing out (FOMO), are driven by emotional undercurrents. Understanding and leveraging these emotional currents allows brands to engage more deeply with consumers or customers fostering loyalty that transcends conventional marketing strategies. This emotional connection is why branding must be at the core of business strategies, influencing every touchpoint and experience offered to the customer.

Myth 1: Branding is Only About Appearance

Reality: Branding Encompasses the Entire Customer Experience

A common misconception is that branding is simply about logos, colors, and visual identity. While these elements are significant visual indications, authentic branding encompasses far more—it involves the totality of experiences, feelings, memories, and interactions that customers have with your brand.

Moreover, our decisions, including those related to brand preference, are predominantly made subconsciously and are driven by emotions. No matter how rational a decision might appear, it is often guided by deeper emotional factors. For instance, choosing between two identical products based on price often reflects not just economic reasoning but also deeper emotional influences such as the fear of overpaying or the thrill of finding a bargain. These choices are layered with personal beliefs and emotional associations.

Consider personal shopping decisions influenced by brand communication rather than just product features.

Years ago, when I was choosing running shoes for my first half marathon, the decision went beyond just the functional aspects of the shoes. In that time Nike and Adidas were my top-of-mind brands, however I selected Nike not only for their product quality but also for what they represented — lifestyle, and values such as empowerment of female athletes. Nike’s focus on female runners and their stylish design resonated on a personal level, aligning with a lifestyle and identity that I felt was right.

Few years later, for my first marathon I chose Adidas, since in my head it was endorsed by a trusted running coach who I followed on Instagram and the brand’s commitment to sustainability also influenced my purchasing decision, demonstrating a profound connection to the brand’s values.

Last year when I was preparing for my first ultra-marathon (70km in 9 hours), there was no question of running in Hoka shoes. In my mind they were the brand of the ultrarunning community, I was captured their engaging communications (Fly Human Fly, UTMB), plus they already had a sustainability focus on product development.

So, as you could see, this decision-making process underscores the difference between product communication and brand communication. It illustrates how effective branding must encapsulate a full spectrum of experiences that engage customers emotionally and foster a lasting, meaningful relationship. Thus, a brand is much more than its appearance; it’s a dynamic and comprehensive narrative crafted around the emotional and experiential needs of its audience.

Myth 2: Only Big Companies Need to Build a Brand

Reality: Branding is Essential for All Businesses, for Small Businesses it Helps Compensate their Possible Disadvantages in Relation to Product Features

There’s a dangerous notion that only large corporations require branding because of their scale. However, branding is equally critical for small businesses. In a marketplace crowded with options, a strong, distinct brand helps smaller companies distinguish themselves and frame meaningful connections with their customers.

Emotional engagement is a great tool for small businesses, allowing them to compete on more than just price or product features. A small company can significantly benefit from a well-established brand that compensates for its size or actual offerings by creating strong customer loyalty and a distinct market presence.

Myth 3: It’s Only Worth Building a Brand After Stabilizing the Business in the Market

Reality: Effective Branding is Necessary from Day One

Some argue that branding should wait until a business has matured or at least spent 2-3 years on the market and clarified everything in product, pricing, sales etc. However, like it or not, from the moment you enter the market, people will see you as a brand. Why? Because you have a name (personal or company) and there is an impression, a feeling, emotion that others will remember after seeing, hearing or meeting you.  

Branding from the inception of a business helps you shape initial customer perceptions, position on the market and lays a robust foundation for all future business and marketing-PR communication strategies. It’s about shaping and narrating your unique story in a way that not only resonates but also sticks with your audience right from their first interaction with your brand. This proactive approach ensures that your intended brand message aligns with the public perception, thereby developing recognition, credibility, and consistency from the start.

What are the Benefits of Building a Brand?

Brand building, though a gradual process, begins to deliver actual benefits shortly after its initiation.

In the short-term, it enhances recognition, strengthen credibility, and ensures a consistent, unified presentation of your brand’s appearance, impression, and message.

In the mid-term, these efforts solidify commitment within your target group, sparking interest and generating leads.

In the long-term, the persistence in nurturing your brand pays off by boosting sales, enabling the brand to withstand challenging periods, and establishing a durable, resilient presence in the market.

Wrap-up

As we have discovered throughout this article, branding is far from a peripheral concern to be sidelined until a business finds its footing. From the moment a company enters the market, it is perceived as a brand, defined by its name, the impressions it creates, and the emotional connections it initiates. This immediate recognition highlights the importance of actively shaping your brand from the outset, secure that the identity you project aligns closely with the values, mission and vision you wish to communicate.

Therefore, branding is an integral part of business strategy from day one, essential for businesses of all sizes and at all stages. It is about crafting a holistic and engaging experience that not only captures but also retains customer interest, assuring a lasting impact in a competitive marketplace.

Are you ready to transform your branding strategy and propel your business to new heights? Sign up to my newsletter for further insights on effective brand building or contact me today to discuss how I can help you build a compelling and resonant brand from the ground up.

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