Truth be told, getting into any business these days is almost as easy as just running a search on how to do it, sourcing suppliers if required and putting your offer in front of a targeted audience. There are many exceptions of course, but generally all it takes is a decision and you can find yourself competing for market share in any market.
This brings us to the first reason why it’s of utmost importance to build a powerful brand, whatever line of business you’re in.
Setting yourself apart
In a world where anyone with some start-up capital and an ability to run a Google search can enter just about any market and take away market share from you, in order for you to retain paying customers you need to set yourself apart. Nothing does that better than a strong brand as the brand is sometimes all it takes for a customer to choose your offering over another one which might very well be exactly the same. Brands have a pulling power that builds the kind of loyalty which will get you through the toughest of times because if a certain market you’re competing in crashes somehow, all you’ll have left is your brand.
You can then use this brand to enter into a brand new market, inducing a general feeling in that market that you’ve been around for a while already.
This normally happens by pure chance along with the luck that comes with being first to market, that being how a brand becomes synonymous with a certain product or service. It rarely happens in this day and age though, except maybe when one looks at the tech industry. That’s what building a powerful brand can do though – it can turn into a verb or a noun to symbolise an underlying action or product/object. Examples of this phenomenon include the likes of Google, which has become a verb of sorts since running a search engine query is pretty much universally referred to as “Googling” something.
In some countries like South Africa and Brazil, something like a Coke doesn’t necessarily refer to Coca Cola, but rather refers to any soda that falls under fizzy drinks. These are examples of how branding helped the producer take ownership of the market and this automatically makes for some good constant marketing of the brand and the underlying offering.
People identify with brands
Marketing one’s products and services is invariably a very expensive exercise, particularly if you seek to go the professional route in a bid to get full value for every marketing dollar spent. Otherwise marketing channels such as word-of-mouth aren’t really part of anything you can decide to set into motion. They sort of have to happen by themselves.
They cannot happen if the market cannot identify your offering, so you need to give them something through which they can identify you – you have to establish a catchy brand which people want to identify with.
It’s somewhat of an on-going or long-term commitment however, but it’s definitely one worth making.