You don’t achieve impactful brand salience overnight…
…and that’s exactly why many startups forgo brand development for quick, satisfying, bottom-of-the-funnel sales growth.
I get it. When it comes to early-stage startup marketing, you need immediate sales to validate product/market fit and drive revenue. Short-term sales activation campaigns help you do precisely that.
However, if you want sustainable growth and long-term success, you cannot overlook the timeless value of brand development.
Or, as Giuseppe Caltabiano so poignantly puts it:
“Too much time spent picking the low-hanging fruit means less time watering the tree. Eventually, the tree stops growing.”
You didn’t start your business to sacrifice deep-rooted growth for a quick harvest. So, let’s take a closer look at brand development and the specific steps you can take to build brand consistency today:
Why brand salience matters
When it comes to branding, most organisations default to a creative logo or a vivid colour palette. In reality, branding is so much more — it’s the feelings you convey and the emotional impact you create.
More specifically, brand salience is your brand’s ability to come to mind when a customer makes a purchase. It’s worth noting that brand salience goes beyond brand awareness (the ability to recall your brand name or product.) It impacts the purchasing decision when it matters most.
Let’s say your marketing team is struggling to beat the afternoon slump. Without too much thought, someone suggests a Starbucks run. That’s the power of brand salience. Customers aren’t just aware of Starbucks but are willing to go out of their way to purchase a Caramel Macchiato when they want a caffeine fix — even if it means walking an extra block to get it.
Tiffany & Co, Coca Cola, and Nike are just a handful of other brands that have mastered brand salience. I’m sure you can think of others. Again, you’ll notice that each of these brands makes you feel something — and that emotional attachment is what influences you to make purchases time and again.
Building brand salience takes time, but there are notable benefits to investing in your company’s brand development.
1. Brand development reduces price sensitivity
Let’s say you’re an Apple devotee. When you need a new laptop, are you going to research Dell or Lenovo products? Probably not. You will purchase the best Apple laptop you can afford because you’re already loyal to the brand.
You’re not alone. In an analysis of 40,000 brands, Kantar BrandZ database found a strong relationship between brand uniqueness and a consumer’s willingness to pay more for a brand.
2. Brand consistency improves long-term demand
Good branding captures your target audience’s attention and improves your visibility. The best branding creates raving fans and loyal advocates for sustained, long-term growth.
In other words, create a consistent brand (and have a fantastic product), and you’ll drive customer satisfaction.
Pro tip: Consistent branding means curating a cohesive customer experience across all platforms and interactions; consider your marketing material, copy, mission, and customer service.
3. Brand salience cuts through the online clutter
Thanks to digital transformation, it’s never been more challenging to break through the digital noise. Consumers are becoming increasingly numb to online advertising, and once proven digital advertising campaigns are becoming increasingly ineffective.
As the Harvard Business Review writes, a survey found that 57% of participants disliked ads that played before a video, and 43% didn’t even watch them. It’s hardly any wonder why... The average consumer sees up to 10,000 advertisements daily!
Savvy businesses can overcome insensitivity to traditional digital advertising by investing in long-term brand development. Here are seven things to consider for brand building that works:
How to build brand consistency
So, how do you build brand consistency to improve your brand salience? Start with this branding checklist to ensure you’ve ticked all the boxes:
1. Know your brand mission
What is the why behind your business? What are your brand goals, and what impact do you wish to have on the industry at large?
Define your brand mission. Write it down. Then, communicate to your audience why your business exists. You’ll build an emotional connection that cements your long-term growth.
Need an example? Starbucks’ brand mission is “To inspire and nurture the human spirit - one person, one cup and one neighbourhood at a time.”
2. Articulate your brand values
According to Channel Factory, brand values are an increasingly important consideration for consumers. Simply put, customers want to buy from businesses that align with their values.
Let’s look at Starbucks once more. A few of their brand values include:
- Creating a culture of warmth and belonging, where everyone is welcome
- Delivering our very best in all we do, holding ourselves accountable for results
- Acting with courage, challenging the status quo and finding new ways to grow our company and each other
For more on how to identify your brand values, this guide is a useful jumping-off point.
3. Tell an authentic story
Storytelling works. Our brains are wired to love a good story, and a compelling narrative captures our attention and creates an emotional attachment.
So, tell your customers your brand origin story. Weave your background into your content marketing, website copy, and mission statement. Just remember: it’s ultimately about your customer (not you.) Always come back to why the prospect should care.
4. Identify your target audience
You can develop a gorgeous website with stunning font combinations, bold graphics, and dazzling copy. If your brand doesn’t resonate with your target audience, you’re wasting time and money.
There’s no way around it: You must understand your customers if you want to achieve long-term growth. More specifically, you must know how to solve their problems and identify their needs.
5. Create a consistent visual brand style guide
As you now know, brand development transcends a logo or colour scheme. Still, your visual identity matters. Visual cues tie your brand together and create a cohesive experience for your audience. Plus, your brand identity can subconsciously affect how your customers perceive your brand value.
Here are a few fundamental brand components to consider:
Note: While not part of your visual identity, don’t forget about tone and style, too.
You’ve likely heard some variation of the saying, “We overestimate what we can do in the short-term and grossly underestimate what we can achieve in the long-term.”
Don’t let your short-term sales activations get in the way of your long-term business growth. Get in touch today to discover how brand building can help you accelerate your profit goals and achieve lasting success.