Is branding still as relevant today as it was in the past? Think back to the days when people bought a car based on the brand. A brand represented a company’s reputation.
If you were a Ford person then nothing could beat a Ford! Things have changed significantly in our current era.
Brand v Value
In today’s aggressive marketplace, brand is undoubtedly still a major factor in consumer behaviour. Some brands surpass cultural, national and international boundaries - just look at Coke, McDonald's and Apple. However, for most companies, elements other than just brand have become equally, if not more important to people making purchasing decisions. For instance:
- Consumers are much more sophisticated than in the past.
- People do research before making a purchase - usually on the Internet and including reading ratings and reviews
- Value is now the most important factor in purchasing decisions
In B2B brand is possibly even less relevant. Best value wins out every time as business is accountable to shareholders for purchases.
Obviously brand identity is still important as people need to remember who you are. Let them remember you for the value and service you offered, not the brand itself.
What to do?
In a tough economy companies must ensure that they're using smart, effective methods to develop and promote their brand. If your brand needs refining here are some questions to ask yourself:
- What is your company's mission?
- What sets your products or services apart?
- How does the marketplace currently perceive your company?
- What attributes do you want consumers to associate with your company?
Doing the necessary research and asking yourself the tough questions about your brand will pay off. Make sure your website clearly communicates these values.
Branding is still a relevant marketing tool today. However, a company’s reputation is now based on relationships and value offered, rather than just brand recognition.
Customers will base their purchasing choices on the value and perceived trustworthiness of your company, not just simply upon your brand. That’s where inbound marketing supports your brand by building trust and communicating value.