What’s the business case for branding?

What’s the business case for branding?

Isn’t anything just good enough? It’s too hard to justify the ROI behind branding, why bother? Just put something together, it’s fine.

Well, it might be in the beginning because you have other priorities to focus on (sales, for example) – but just like Marketing Debt, eventually that lack of design makes you look junior, not serious, and potentially unprofessional. Eventually, your lack of brand could hurt your ability to get leads and close deals.

Branding is like how you dress. Someone who walks into a professional situation dressed nicely, but not trying too hard, speaks volumes. Here’s a person who cares and put some thought into things before they left the house. That doesn’t mean dressing Armani all day every day, but it’s a reflection on values.

Branding is similar. We have a tight, consistent, clean facade. One that expresses our core values (excitement, warmth, modern, whatever) and making sure it’s implemented evenly everywhere shows how thorough you are and how you stick to your core values. “I do it for ME, so I’ll do it for YOU” whatever my product or service is.

Good design speaks volumes about you. – Brett Murray

That’s why taking design seriously makes sense. And when done well, it enhances your brand, your values, and your mindshare.

Design is meant to sell. – Uldis Leiterts

I love that statement, and I agree with it completely. It appeals to the MBA in me. We’re in business. Design is not art. It’s not there for the sake of itself. Design has to work. It has to speak to your customer base.

It starts with the persona. Who are you selling to? What type of image do you want to represent? Humanistic? Modern? Warm? Technical? If you are a mid-size startup aiming for enterprise clients it helps if your brand, your design, is something that fits their expectations. Don’t make people think. Don’t re-work the wheel. Give them a good, strong design that is clean and builds trust. Make it consistent. Everywhere. The logo, colors, textures, images and iconography should resonate. Your voice and tone in messaging should be distinct. You need that one line that clearly tells people what you do – and of course as Simon Sinek would say, “Why you do it.”

Ultimately the design needs to resonate with the team and the customer base. Good or bad, the team needs to wear the t-shirt and the customer base needs to feel good about the product. Design and messaging are not enough though. They are only elements of your brand.

Brand is much more than design. It is the promise we make to the customer.  – S. Daniel Leon

Whatever you do for your messaging, whatever you do in your look and feel – it must be reflected in your actions. Your brand should be reflected in the everyday activities of your company, the way you treat your employees and customers, the way you do business. Your design and messaging are a reflection of that.

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