Why branding is a modern business necessity.
The golden years of advertising in the 20th century was a result of the increase in the number of growing businesses that needed to stand out from their competition and consequently highlighted the importance of the brand image in terms of the perceived product image and the emotions triggered by it.
Once again, in recent years, and more importantly in the after-covid19 era, the increased digitalization resulted in a similar situation as well as in a higher digital competition between the brands.
Even though the concept of branding used to be a luxury in which mainly the big brands like Coca-Cola and Pepsi acted upon, today it has become a necessity for every business to create a brand through a modern digital branding strategy.
In simple words, nowadays advertising is cheaper than the ‘60s thanks to the digital platforms like Facebook and Google in comparison with the expensive traditional advertising like TV and billboards.
Also, the competition is much higher taking into consideration that every business has an e-shop that generates the majority of their conversions and thus a larger percentage of their revenue than traditional sales channels.
So, every business needs to make a step forward from the competition and create a competitive advantage by connecting the product with an emotion and thus, creating a brand.
In a more precise definition, “a brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers” (American Marketing Association).
So the brand is the result of the branding strategy, as “branding is endowing products and services with the power of a brand” (Kotler & Keller, 2015).
Comparing the market in the 1960s to the current one, imagine that you are in a city. In the ‘60s you would need to drive to purchase goods and services limited only to the city shops, while in today’s market you can purchase anything you like from any store in the world with just one click.
In parallel, instead of advertising your products/services in the limited audience of your city or country since there you would find your potential customers, you can now reach further out to the rest of the world utilizing digital and social platforms.
Thus, it is essential to distinguish yourself from your competition by creating a brand that will make your products familiar to your target audience and link their use with the emotion they create. This will give them a reason to select your products over the competition’s, by stating clearly what your brand is and is not.
By developing and applying a branding strategy, you will be able to attract and retain loyal customers by delivering a product that is always aligned with what the brand promises.
Lastly, even if your products are similar to other competitive products, the brand you create will always be unique.