Switchback Creative

Why it is essential that you spend money developing a quality brand

October 4, 2019 | Branding

By Suzy Rounce

An argument for branding

What is that feeling called when you put on your favourite sweater, drive in your car that feels built just for you, to your favourite coffee shop and head into work to do big things, all with a shared mission. What is that feeling? On days when everything seems to align why does it feel so special? We’ll get back to that later but first branding…

You have worked really hard to create a product or service that you are super proud of. After testing, reviewing and evolving over half a decade or more, you know what your customer is looking for. You have grown your revenue every year, but you have bigger goals, a bigger vision. We hear this story over and over again from great companies, like yours. Your intention is to reach your target audience, have them clearly understand what you offer and how you fit into their life, then go on to buy from you – over and over again.

Sales matter, it’s the universal metric used to ensure business is heading the right direction and that you are keeping the lights on. More so, making the sales that will enable you to create the legacy of why you started in the first place. Spending your time increasing sales is the best actionable way to grow your business. Simple math. So then where does branding fit into the equation?

I’m willing to bet that you think branding has little to nothing to do with increased sales, most people do. A ‘brand’ is the same thing as a logo, right? Wrong. A brand is defined as what people say about you and your company when you aren’t in the room. A brand is how people (customers and general public) feel about you in their gut. It is the feeling they have about what you offer and what you stand for. There is very little rationality about it.

A brand is how people (customers and general public) feel about you in their gut. It is the feeling they have about what you offer and what you stand for.

How can you create branding that will drive your business? It has to go deeper than just superficially making something look pretty. Invest your money on the meaning and messaging, invest in showcasing and sharing your greatest assets that solve problems for your customers. People are looking for companies to add value or guidance in their life. Invest in creating content, services and advertising that is hyper focused on your mission. Generosity and authenticity are two of the biggest things we all look for in friends, same is true of brands.

If you aren’t a visual communicator or writer it can be really tough to think of what to do or say that adds value to grow your business. That is where the problems start. The pretty logo is the bi-product of creating a great brand. Working with experts to do the hard work beforehand is where the investment becomes worthwhile.

Do you have a mantra, marketing statement, tagline and brand story that all work together to create a complete picture of why you exist for your team and customers? Spending money on pushing products, to people who don’t know why they need them, is a waste of money. Spending money on an ad that has ineffective messaging and no call to action, is a waste of money. Putting your logo on some t-shirts and handing them out is a waste of money. If they are part of a larger well crafted narrative and have purpose – they are worth every penny.

Branding is cultivating the feelings and stories people tell each other about your brand. It should be like having a deep conversation with someone, like a bonding experience. Doing a favour for a friend, showing up when someone needs you the most. Being there when it’s hard or inconvenient. Being the drop of sunshine when you feel all alone – that’s where loyalty starts.

So what’s the plan then? You have to be savvy and enlightened enough to know that branding isn’t something you can define on your own. You have the pieces but connecting the dots is crafting a story. Spend money on the story, it’s why people come to the show.

Here are some of the elements that go into a great branding process.

  1. Mantra – What gets you up in the morning and excited to get to work? A mantra is the few words that express the essential work of the project or company.
  2. Marketing Statement – An idea from Seth Godin on writing out who your company is for and what they believe, you will focus on people who, and you promise that…
  3. Tagline – Are the instructions to people what to do with your product or services
  4. Elevator pitch – Is your brand story. What are the hero’s challenges, pain and how will you guide them.

When we work with clients on this type of project, our job as a branding agency is to interview you, research and craft, collaboratively, the answers to these very important questions. Combining and setting the stage in a way that leads to great opportunities to be heard, create curiosity will drive your business growth.

Spending the time and money investing in all of the elements of your brand mentioned means a lot of great things for your company. It shows that you are unified, clear and focused. It means your team knows why they are there every day and where their time is best spent serving people. Customers can buy from you over and over again; always receiving exceptional products and service that delight them. They tell their friends about you and bring you business that is already bought in. And because the messaging was consistent and clear their friends are also delighted and come back.

Now back to that feeling we mentioned at the start about putting on your favourite sweater, driving to your favourite coffee shop, then heading into a job where you love to hustle hard to do big things. That’s the feeling of combining great brands to enhance your life. Where you shop, what you wear, how you spend your time on this planet and why you work so hard. Your customers believe in what you add to their life, how you make it better. That’s the make-up of a great brand.