Standing out in a crowded marketplace is a business requirement for increased sales, profits and success. A basic tenant of marketing is the establishment of a brand identity for products and services. Branding needs are not limited solely to the marketing of products. Corporate branding helps customers relate to a business and identify a wide range of product offers over time. Effective branding minimizes the need for large marketing initiates for every new product as the consumer has a pre-set understanding of the product’s quality, reliability and purpose.
Effective corporate branding defines a business’s personality. The identity dictates types of employees, the look and feel of products, product packaging and physical store characteristics. These attributes allow customers to identify and relate to a company by giving it recognizable, even human-like, qualities. Companies can be energizing, compassionate or reliable. Customers who can relate to a company make an emotional attachment. Strong connections lead to high customer loyalty, increased profits and beneficial word-of-mouth advertising.
Establishing a corporate brand requires a commitment to a long-term plan for marketing and product consistency. Focusing on the future, while managing day-to-day operations, helps focus on quality, orient employee energy and drive the company toward a shared vision. The corporate brand influences both the core of the company as much as the customers.
A color scheme, logo and consistent imagery allow customers, partners and employees to immediately recognize products or company information. The images help maintain consistency between product lines, version changes and different markets. The physical identification and characteristics allow customers to easily pick out a company’s product in a crowded marketplace for purchase. Effective corporate branding helps the “image” of the company stick in the mind of the consumer.
Corporate branding allows marketing efforts to easily target the most appropriate segments for product offers. The branding distinguishes a company by lifestyle, geography and socio-economic factors. Branding helps consumers select products appropriate for their needs, desires or wants. The branding also supports the pricing strategy for the target market. For example, a luxury brand presents a refined, high-class image to justify a high price point.
Expanding into new geographic markets or consumer segments is challenging, especially if competition is already high. Corporate branding helps pave the way for a company to increase its market share through expanding its product footprint. An established, known brand requires less marketing effort to sell the company, products and services to a new market. A strong brand image coupled with a desired, quality product may infiltrate an established market and quickly take market share and increase the company’s profits.