The Most Successful Founders Understand The Importance of Marketing and Branding
And they act on it.
When writing the Big Rich Money book with my co-author Candice Kilpatrick Brathwaite, we wanted to write more about marketing and branding, but also keep the book short and sweet. If you want to learn the Big Rich Money Content Marketing Matrix, I recommend taking the e-course.
We based the book and the Big Rich Money e-course on the 7 most common mistakes business founders make, and this one is one of the trickiest because so many founders think they got this one right.
Mistake Founders Do: Undervaluing Marketing and Branding (It’s More Than Just A Logo)
We have had the frustrating experience of seeing amazing business ideas die a painful, unprofitable death. We have seen visionary projects created by inspiring, brilliant minds on the brink of success when, tragically, the owner decides they don’t need marketing, or they simply don’t understand what marketing entails. In a fit of blind optimism, it isn’t uncommon to have the (very incorrect) thought that a product is SO incredible, customers will just intuitively discover it and buy it. Equally optimistic is thinking that you understand something about marketing without ever actually working in marketing. Lack of understanding about marketing and branding is a key reason we have seen promising companies fail and their amazing, world-changing ideas never get to see the fame they deserve.
People can not buy your product or service if they don’t know it exists.
Marketing is not just advertising or trying to create “buzz”. Think back to every amazing product, book, or film you have ever loved. You either learned about it because you saw an ad (which is marketing), you casually stumbled across it while browsing or internet searching (which required marketing to get shelf placement or Ad Words or SEO or page rank), or because someone else had it/told you about it/gave it to you (and they learned about it because of marketing, or maybe they are an influencer and they were paid to tell you about it, which is marketing). You probably saw ads for the product multiple times. The Rule of 7 is an old marketing concept that theorizes most consumers need to see or hear an ad 7 times before they will take action. In today’s world, the seven times hardly is correct anymore, and most likely your customers need to see your brand much more often than that. Marketing is fun for us. But even though we do enjoy marketing, we don’t offer our services to companies just for fun. We offer them to help companies to sell more. You won’t see us on social media 10 hours a day just because we love marketing so much. The opposite! We have optimized our marketing efforts, so we get the results we want with minimal effort. We want to show companies how to be more successful, more profitable, and to reach more customers with a smart, realistic marketing plan.
A realistic marketing plan means actually having time and budget to do it, and controlling as many of the factors as possible.
“Launch product. Make a video. Go viral,” is not an example of a realistic and successful strategy. Pay special attention to marketing, with the philosophy that investing in marketing means building brand equity, laying a foundation for your business that will keep bringing customers to your door for years to come.
Neglecting branding means forfeiting the opportunity to stand out, sell more, build trust, be memorable, evoke positive feelings, and establish a loyal customer base. It’s essentially opting out of a thriving business.
Don’t mistake thinking “branding” means simply having a logo and slogan for your company.
Everything you do as an entrepreneur contributes to your brand and how potential customers see your company and interpret what it stands for.
In the digital world, news travels fast. Images, quotes, and videos can be shared to thousands in the blink of an eye. The branding of your business is everything you want your business to invoke from all of the senses, and how you want the experience of your brand to stick in a potential customer’s brain. Branding is important and is essential to handle in the early stages of your business. Branding gives you a strong identity about what your company is and what your company is not, and that is the magic combination that will attract your ideal customers.
It’s not enough to create visual branding once, your branding needs to be thought through in every action you do for your company.
Branding sets the way for your company’s identity, perception, and success.
What’s Included In Branding
Branding is a whole package deal that goes way beyond just visuals like logos, colors, fonts, and how your website looks. In reality, branding means much more.
Branding entails all of the different ways you stand out from the competitors, and what helps people to trust you more, and remember you better.
Branding also involves how you talk to your customers, your personality, and even what you wear to work. Yep, there’s a reason why startup founders often rock the company hoodie – it’s all part of the brand vibe!
A good brand is like your favorite song – it’s consistent, recognizable, and easy to dance to. But remember, setting up your brand is just the start; you’ve got to let it shine every day. Just like you can’t play your song just once and expect people to remember the lyrics. Repetition, baby!
Why does branding matter?
The average revenue increase attributed to brand consistency is 23%, but what does it actually mean?
Differentiation: In a crowded marketplace, strong branding sets you apart from competitors. When customers can easily recognize and trust your brand, they’re more likely to choose your products or services over others. Your standing out leads to increased sales and market share.
Trust and Credibility: Like said before, when people trust your brand, they’re more likely to make a purchase. Trust reduces the perceived risk of buying from you, which can result in higher conversion rates and repeat business.
Premium Pricing: A reputable brand allows you to charge premium prices for your products or services. Customers are often willing to pay more for brands they trust because they associate them with higher quality and reliability. This will lead to increased sales.
Customer Loyalty: Strong branding fosters customer loyalty. When customers feel a connection to your brand and have positive experiences, they are more likely to become repeat buyers. Loyal customers are not only a source of steady revenue but also advocates who recommend your brand to others.
Word-of-Mouth Marketing: A memorable brand encourages word-of-mouth marketing. Satisfied customers are more likely to share their positive experiences with friends and family, leading to new customers and increased sales without additional marketing costs.
Expanded Product Lines: A trusted brand can more easily introduce new products or services. Existing customers are more likely to try new offerings from a brand they already trust, which can lead to revenue growth through product diversification.
Competitive Advantage: Brands that are recognized and respected within their industry often have a competitive edge. This advantage can lead to securing partnerships, collaborations, and other opportunities that can directly impact revenue.
Reduced Marketing Costs: Well-established brands require less spending on marketing and advertising. Customers are already familiar with the brand, reducing the need for costly campaigns to gain their attention. This cost savings can contribute directly to higher revenue.
Long-Term Success: Investing in branding is an investment in the long-term success of your business. Building a strong brand creates enduring customer relationships, which can lead to sustained revenue growth and financial stability.