Turning a company into a brand with branding

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4 Oct. 2021 -
"Branding" has long been a concept nowadays... But how do you use it for yourself and your own success? That's what this article is about.
Table of contents

More turnover through increasing brand awareness with targeted online branding

The current crisis catapults digitalisation to the next level. Shops have to close, people are told to stay at home, social life is reduced to the minimum. Meeting in the fresh air, joint sporting activities or other undertakings in groups have been severely restricted for what feels like an eternity and have resulted in an unstoppable movement: the "escape" to the internet. The use of social networks or streaming platforms has reached new highs, according to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. People are annoyed and seek refuge, distraction or simply want to maintain social life in some form or another as much as possible, because humans are and remain social beings.
Living beings.

Some companies recognised this trend, or rather this veritable flood of online users, early on and used it for their own benefit by positioning themselves well online. This is a great advantage, because by implementing targeted online marketing measures at an early stage, precisely these companies were able to secure the decisive competitive advantage in time. Planned and well-thought-out strategies to reach the new potential customer or prospect
have paid off and contributed to their own industry establishment with a great increase in awareness through the potential of "online virality".

Often, however, a crucial marketing principle is forgotten that should definitely be taken into account in this context:

Acquiring new customers costs money, existing customers bring money. It is relatively simple to explain. Existing customers no longer pay attention to the one or two euros they spend more on a product/service they are already familiar with. New customers, on the other hand, always come with the expectation "as cheap as possible and still the best possible result". They compare the market and are partly put off if a company charges higher prices. The trust of existing customers has already been won and they are therefore satisfied with the prices and quality of the company. In order to attract new customers on the one hand and to convince them to buy the product or service on the other, a number of costs are required that are often not in proportion to the result. Many companies invest large sums of financial and human resources in online and offline advertising, special promotions or other expensive marketing measures to generate new customers. In addition, there are further time and management expenses, which also lead to a reduction in the company's profits that can be easily measured. In direct comparison, only a fraction of this effort is spent on existing customers and yet satisfaction is high and the profit margin significantly more lucrative.

So the question is: what kind of approach (preferably as profitable as possible) do you need to take to strike the right balance between new and existing customers?

The answer and solution for the right balance is Branding. Branding can work wonders as an exciting marketing tool in perfect symbiosis with online marketing. For some years now, established companies such as Amazon, Apple, Coca Cola or Starbucks have been using this combination as a plannable strategy to bind new and existing customers to their own company in a targeted and profitable way. What is particularly interesting is that the whole thing can be completely individually adapted to one's own company philosophy and vision.

But what exactly is meant by the term branding?

Branding involves establishing a brand through targeted advertising. The intention is to link certain messages, objects or signs with the product and the brand. Branding is always successful when the customer ideally develops an emotional and positive relationship with the product, for example by becoming accustomed to or identifying with the brand.

The aim of branding is to ensure that the brand and its image are "burnt in" with the customer. In this case, one also speaks of "brandmarking" or corporate branding. The global players mentioned above are good examples of successful corporate branding, because for these companies it is not just a matter of creating an image for a product, but of developing a brand that encompasses the entire company. Customers as well as employees and shareholders of the company should be able to identify with the brand perception created.

Brands can irritate, orientate or even inspire. The right online branding measures make a brand valuable and distinctive. Because what proves true again and again: The stronger one's own brand becomes, the less price pressure the company has against the competition. The best example of this is Apple. A company whose brand perception and general brand image has increased so much in recent years that numerous customers now pay any product price. These people now buy out of pure conviction and satisfaction. They can and, above all, want to identify with the image and philosophy of the Apple brand. In this case, one can sometimes even speak of true fans who always want to have the latest products and also buy them.

The same phenomenon can be seen very well with luxury fashion companies like Louis Vuitton, Gucci or Prada. These companies are seen by the masses much more as a luxury brand and premium brand than a globally active company.

Further advantages of branding

1. branding creates trust

Ideally, customers should always feel good in connection with the brand. Authenticity, competence and transparency are the keys to a close and strong customer relationship that enables every company to establish itself stably in the respective industry with a high recognition value. With the help of this positive brand loyalty, subsequent up-selling or even cross-selling becomes much easier and more effective.

2. branding motivates employees

Starting with the founders and managing directors, through various company departments, to the trainees, everyone in the team should have one thing in common: Represent the brand with pride. Not only the impact on the customer, but also within the company itself, should not be underestimated. Good staff who are motivated and disciplined are priceless. The goal should be to inspire the own team for the company's philosophy and vision in such a way that the output is as high and effective as possible. Giving responsibility, trust and the right appreciation to individual personalities within the company pays off in the long run. Newcomers or good freelance staff also crave these values, which a strong brand should embody. This unmistakably positive image creates an impression and makes the entire perception internally, but also externally, look noticeably more attractive and valuable.

3. branding brings more reach and thus increases turnover

Well-designed branding leads to significantly more impressions, especially in the current times. Especially in these times, more people are surfing the internet than ever before. Those who are now positioned with a high-quality website, coupled with attractive social media channels, have a clear competitive advantage and achieve significantly more reach than the competition. The important thing is to have a clear thread running through the entire online presence. Achieving high impression numbers and increased reach inevitably leads to increased sales if the brand message is good.

How does setting up good branding work?

It starts with storytelling: what is the story behind the founders and the company? It is also about answering the "Why? What problems are solved and what exactly is the added value for the customer? How can these answers be communicated as simply and comprehensibly as possible? Each communication channel to the outside world should be considered individually and coordinated with the right amount of text, video, image and audio. The point is to always remain true to oneself and one's own brand and to make the entire appearance unmistakable. The customer should be provided with a unique experience, because happy customers catapult the perception towards potential new customers who are still strangers into positive regions. This influence, for example through word-of-mouth or positive customer reviews, is almost unbeatable. In order to ultimately achieve a kind of monopoly position in the selected subject area, a consistent form of brand perception must be created from the very beginning. A clear concept with a plausible message that has been purposefully established in advance, in combination with authentic and uniform presentations of the products or services, leads to an individual and new style. With this currently prevailing sensory overload of "advertising on every corner", people are longing for something new, for qualitatively relevant content that is communicated in a contemporary manner and in line with the target group.

Many companies focus on good online marketing performance right from the start, but neglect branding. The best advertising measures only waste valuable budget if the brand behind them does not inspire trust and simply appears dubious. Well thought-out online branding, or digital branding, forms the necessary brand communication on the Internet. Through SEO & SEA, PR, social media and content marketing, the aim is to increase the visibility of brand content online on the one hand and to raise brand awareness on the other. Conversely, this enables an individualised brand experience and increases the number of customer touchpoints, i.e. points of contact with the customer.

Social media is currently by far the best way to achieve customer touchpoints. Social media is the best possible form of continuous communication with the customer and not only strengthens the corporate brand, but also provides the customer with transparent insights into the company. Especially for new start-ups or freshly founded companies, it is advisable to document the founding story via social media. Gary Vaynerchuck, an American multi-entrepreneur and author, has titled this process "document your journey". The interaction between branding and social media gives the company a tangible face and makes the brand close to the customer.

Whenever it comes to social media, there is no getting around influencer marketing. Prominent influencers have the advantage of a large reach, but this is usually unspecific and widely spread, so that conversions often leave much to be desired. Micro-influencers, on the other hand, have a smaller but more specific following, with which one can possibly achieve a better conversion in direct comparison. What is recommended, however, especially for younger and small companies or start-ups, are so-called corporate influencers. These are employees who are specifically built up by the company as influencers in order to represent the brand with maximum credibility through professional expertise. This is very efficient and makes sense for organic brand building through regular posts, stories and other types of contributions, as this can be controlled and produced internally from within the company in the same way as it should really be represented and perceived.

With a special focus on a certain area, awareness can be increased, the image improved and enquiries or orders generated. This can be accompanied by organic search engine optimisation with the increased interest in one's own brand, because the reputation of a brand is used as a ranking criterion by Google. Google evaluates content according to expertise, authority, relevance and trustworthiness. Good branding supports these points and in parallel ensures that the important key figures and parameters are optimally fed by Google. These include, for example, dwell time and return rate on the online channels. Of course, these can also be positively influenced by a high-quality website, which should always form the solid basis of any online presence.

In conclusion, it can be said that in today's world, the entire online presence is more important than ever and branding in combination with good online marketing is the path to success. Competitors and rivals are only a few clicks away today, which is precisely why one's own presence must be convincing within a few seconds and ensure that the visitor is emotionally picked up. Distinctiveness and the associated unique selling propositions are immensely important and lead to standing out from the masses. Brands whose distinctive values are known and appreciated by customers can profitably use competitive and market advantages for themselves through this targeted differentiation. It can be concluded from this that a strong web presence with integrated branding and the right performance advertising measures can develop one's own company into a dominant and established brand.

Ultimately, branding is about finding clear answers to the following questions:

  1. How should the public perceive your own brand?
  2. What makes your own brand so unique?
  3. Who exactly is the target group?
  4. Which aspect or thematic focus should be actively communicated to the target group or the public?
  5. Which concrete visions/values/norms as well as goals and interests are to be communicated via one's own brand?
  6. Do the brand guides, such as logo, colours, texts, etc., embody the intended mission?

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Managing Director
Leonardo Lemos Rilk and his business partner Julian Witzel are the managing directors of VIERLESS GmbH, a web design agency that uses targeted branding to extract the maximum online potential from selected companies and brands. Quality, premium and uniqueness are the characteristics with which VIERLESS identifies and provides its customers with individual, high-quality results.

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