In a word: essential.
To quote a wise man I once met, your brand is far more than a nice font and logo design. It is everything: product reputation, the look of a website, customer service.
Together these aspects tell the customer how to perceive a product or service and mark it apart from its competitors. In a competitive market, people are less likely to remember specific details about a product, rather how it made them feel and the experience associated with it, created by the branding.
Take John Lewis as an example, one of the most established brands in the UK. When you hear the name, you don’t just imagine the logo and picture individual stores and products; you think of a range of things associated with them. First class service, quality products or that warm fuzzy feeling you get watching the Christmas advert. This is the brand speaking and ultimately what marks them apart from other (very similar) department stores.
Put yourself in the shoes of your target customers and think about what you want them to feel when they think of your products. This could be anything from homely familiarity through to cutting edge trend setting. Whatever it is make sure that this feeling is reflected in every aspect of your business.
On your website think about colours and fonts, the style of writing and the images chosen. Offline think about the layout of your store or the style of your advertising and the atmosphere created. Consider the style of service provided alongside the quality and price of the products on offer.
All of these individual aspects work together to create the overall feeling and perception of your product: your brand.
Do you have any tips or ideas about creating a strong brand that accurately reflects your product or service? If so, we’d love to hear about them in the comments section below.