The ROI (Return On Investment) of branding isn’t always readily apparent. While branding undoubtedly supports your business, figuring how branding is boosting sales and supporting your business is tough because you can’t put a dollar value on a brand or find it on a ledger. However, for many companies, branding is clearly working in their favor– think Apple or Starbucks. Both companies dominate their markets through superb branding that distinguishes them as the real deal to customers.
Though identifying the direct link between branding and ROI can be tricky, neglecting branding is one of the biggest advertising mistakes a business can make. To get a better idea of how branding brings in ROI, let’s take a moment to establish what we mean when we say branding.
Okay, so what exactly is branding?
When we talk about branding, we’re thinking of the essence and presentation of your products or services as well as the reputation and history of your business. Beyond that, branding is what people are saying about your business. Branding isn’t something that can be boiled down to a succinct definition, as it’s a complicated subject that’s open to interpretation. That said, if it’s successful, it’s what makes your company unique and lets customers know what makes you different.
In practice, branding is the unifying message beyond your advertising– logos, color schemes, slogans, mascots, and anything else that will make a customer recognize your brand based on a commercial or flyer alone, even if they don’t see your name. It’s the DNA that you stamp on advertising to make you stand out from the pack.
So how does branding bring in ROI?
Advertising without branding is like trying to sail without a map or compass. Branding is what ties all of your efforts together and sends a strong, distinct message to your customers, bringing all the components of your campaign to create something greater than the sum of its parts. Strong branding increases awareness of your business, word-of-mouth sales, your reach and your reputation. Beyond that, effective branding will draw in new talent (people like working for popular businesses) and the best brands inevitably gain brand advocates, further spreading your reach.
That all sounds great, but how do I know if my branding is working?
There are ways to directly track your branding efforts and test the strength of your brand.
- Monitor Google Adwords: One of the easiest ways to measure brand strength is to track branded words on Adwords. If people are Googling for words you’ve used to brand your business, then your branding is reaching customers– simple as that. The more searches you receive, the stronger your brand.
- Study loyalty. Do you have a lot of regulars? Do you have a high customer retention rate, or a lot of repeat business for certain clients? These are all indicators of a strong brand. If you find people are coming once or twice but not again, stronger branding may help your situation.
- Surveys. Surveys can be hit or miss– after all, they are voluntary or offered with an incentive, meaning that you’re getting a biased response. Unfortunately, this often means the unhappiest customers are the ones most likely to respond. That said, survey results are still valuable if taken with a grain of salt. For market research, they have their place and can still inform your branding strategy or needs.
Confused about branding? Looking for guidance on building a stronger brand? Get in touch with our branding experts to make branding work for you.
PGN Agency has an extensive track record of bringing our clients returns on their marketing and advertising campaigns. If you would like to learn how PGN can come up with creative marketing solutions to drive YOUR business’s growth, feel free to contact us directly at 248-414-6860. One of our friendly team members will help assess your needs and put together a game plan for success!