These days there’s a digital tool for everything. AI assisted design programs can whip out a logo in less than three minutes. Drag-and-drop platforms sell you templated websites with “limitless customizability.” And CRMs promise to perfect your sales funnel, sending you an endless stream of eager customers. But if it were really that easy, wouldn’t everybody be an overnight success with just a few keystrokes? The plain truth is, to get the full benefits of branding, you have to roll up your sleeves and actually do the work. Luckily, that work has the potential to pay off in big ways.
DIY vs. Professional Branding
Before we dive in, let’s establish something up front. Yes, it’s totally possible to design your own branding. In fact, with the suite of digital DIY tools available today, it’s easier than ever to design a professional, polished brand. Kudos to you if you’re taking ownership of your branding and building something from the ground up! (Psst: I suggest checking out our ultimate guide to brand building for pointers?)
To me, the benefits of working with a professional branding designer boil down to experience and perspective.
Think about experience this way. If you want to go for a horseback ride, you have a few options. You can rent a stable, find a horse, invest in the right gear and learn how to saddle your horse, all before your first ride. Or you can find a professional that offers horseback riding services and can match you with the right horse. Not only does working with a professional designer save you time, energy, and effort, but you can also expect tried and true results. Because it’s not their first rodeo ?
The other huge benefit of working with a professional is their outside perspective. Trust me, as a business owner I know how hard it is to turn an objective eye to your business. For many of us, our brand is our baby. It’s the result of years or even decades spent dreaming, planning, and preparing. Being that close to something can make it harder to actually see it. By taking a big picture view of your business, the market, and consumer psychology, a professional can make sure the best parts of your brand shine through.
Top 5 Benefits of Branding
Not clear on what I mean when I say “branding?” I’d recommend starting with our blogs about the essential elements of branding design and branding package checklist. But ot summarize briefly here, branding is the foundation of your business’s identity. It’s your vibe, how you interact with and are perceived by the world. If you think of your branding as an iceberg, it’s not just what’s visible above the water’s surface (logo, fonts, brand colors) it’s also what’s hidden below the surface—your values, personality, and mission. Why do these things matter? I’m so glad you asked.
Gets Your Brand Noticed
Regardless of your market, the tech revolution has forever changed how we do business. Instead of finding your next favorite food on grocery store shelves, you might hit “Add to Cart” after seeing branded TikTok content. Or your favorite mental health influencer reps an athleisure brand that you’re compelled to check out. Instead of just competing with the storefront two blocks over, today’s businesses have to compete with direct-to-consumer brands that have national or even global reach.
As a result, your branding needs to be on point in order to stand out. Even more importantly, it needs to be consistent enough to start building brand recognition. According to some studies, people need to see things at least seven times to remember them. Consistent branding across your different marketing channels will make sure each impression is a lasting one.
After all, in a highly competitive world, it’s your unique brand personality and reputation that give you the edge. That doesn’t mean your brand needs to be the biggest, brightest, and boldest (unless that’s your style! Then you do you!). It means that it needs to authentically reflect your values and mission to the people who will connect with it most.
It’s easy to write off branding as just a recognizable slogan or logo. But according to Forbes, “Brands are built through the consistent delivery of the brand promise through all stakeholder touch points.” To put it plainly, it’s not just what you say but also how you back it up that matters. People crave consistency. And when a brand lives up to our expectations it’s comforting.
Remember, when we say “branding,” we mean the whole brand iceberg. A beautiful logo or unique packaging won’t make up for bad customer service. The benefit of branding is that it brings your visual presence and brand identity into alignment, giving you a tool to base your day-to-day practices on and build your brand’s future towards.
Connects You With YOUR People
Ok, let’s make this personal for just a minute. Take a quick inventory of the people in your life. I mean count everybody, from brief acquaintances and coworkers to your family and closest friends. What’s the difference between your boss’s cousin (who) you met at a holiday party and your childhood best friend? Why is your relationship with a partner more fulfilling than the brief, weekly interaction you have with a grocery store clerk?
My best guess: closer relationships are more fulfilling because we get to be out full, authentic selves. The same should be true with your branding.
This gets back to the authenticity part of building a brand. Seriously, if you’re going to do it right, do it in a way that reflects who you are. Take a minute to think about your favorite client or customer:
- Who are they?
- What do they do for a living?
- Where do they live?
- What matters to them?
- What is their personality?
- What are their hopes, fears, dreams?
- How does your product or service make their life better or easier?
When you build a brand around who you are, you’re more likely to attract a crowd that connects with that authenticity. In turn, those customers become lifelong brand loyalists, not just casual shoppers.
Makes Your Ads More Effective
When you see the Nationwide logo, do you still hear their jingle in your head? Or do you get a flash of a green apron and immediately crave an iced caramel macchiato? Branding and advertising go hand in hand.
This particular benefit of branding builds on two things we’ve discussed already—brand awareness and brand trust. When you’re advertising your business, it’s important for every element to represent you the right way. Branding guidelines and elements give you a playbook for building better, more effective ads.
Offsets Price Sensitivity
If you had to choose between a business with clear, professional-looking branding and a business that obviously hasn’t put in any effort, where would you spend your money? Not only does branding show potential customers that you’re an established, credible business. It also shows that you’re invested in what you’re selling. In turn, that signals to potential customers that your products and services are worth investing in.
Real world example: you’re looking for a new accountant. Are you going to expect better service from the accountant who stapled their flier to an electric pole or the one who hands you a professionally-designed business card? Will you pay more for the personal trainer that posts ClipArt to their personal Facebook account or the one with educational, on-brand infographics?
Perception of value can be just as important as the actual value of what you’re buying. By visually establishing your brand as a premium service, your potential customers will be more prepared to make premium investments.
Start Building Your Branding Today
Here at Lunar Creative, we’re in the business of crafting bespoke brands. From brand identity and strategy development to finishing touches, like business cards and typography, we leave no stone unturned. Plus, as a small creative agency, we’re able to offer a more streamlined process and the one-on-one attention that your project deserves. If you’re ready to tap into the benefits of branding, get in touch to kickoff your project!