Several previous Ship's Log posts reviewed the characteristics of a strong brand: it is clearly defined and developed intentionally, using a consistent, memorable, authentic message to generate the right sort of attention from a specific audience. A brand — a unique mental picture of your business developed by each customer — can be positive or negative, and can be influenced by an unlimited number of external factors. But if you are able to develop a strong, positive brand, you create all sorts of advantages for your business. The work that you do to develop a strong brand is an investment in your business, one that pays real-world returns. The next few posts will describe some of the effects of a strong brand, listed below, and demonstrate how a strong brand has a significant impact on a company’s financial standing.
A strong, positive brand can:
- attract and retain customers
- encourage repeat business and referrals
- enable you to charge higher prices
- diminish the appeal of competitors
- attract and reassure potential investors
- improve access to capital and other resources
- enable business expansion
- increase sales of new products and services
- decrease the cost of mistakes
- secure stronger relationships with vendors and distributors
- attract and retain employees.
All of these effects are directly tied to the bottom line. In almost every modern market, customers have thousands of options to choose from; if we don’t like a business, it’s very easy to find someplace else to get what we want. A strong, positive brand — a strong mental image of your business — increases your ability to generate revenue and the odds of your long-term success.