People constantly use the term “branding,” and it is often misunderstood or confused with advertising. Here are 5 branding myths that every business owner should know:
1. A brand is a company’s name and logo.
A logo and name mean nothing by itself. The logo and name are just representations of the brand as a whole. The entire brand experience, a collection of touch points and experiences, is what makes a brand. Effective brand management requires paying attention to every interaction a brand has with its stakeholders.
2. Branding is only for big companies who sell consumer goods.
Brands are important for any company that wants to create unmatched differentiation and give consumers a reason to buy other than price or features. Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Coca Cola are all B2B brands ranked in the world’s top 20 most valuable brands, according to Interbrand’s 2017 rankings. These brands have intangible assets of “goodwill” that drive billions of dollars in value and market capitalization. None of them have miraculously differentiated products from their competitors – it’s the brand that drives the value.
3. People don’t care about B2B brands.
Regardless of whether you are marketing B2B or B2C, you are marketing B2P, business to people. The decision-makers for B2B products may be in a different context with different needs and values, but they are still people, and people want to make the easy, safe, and right choice. Brands help rise above the clutter and provide a clearer choice.
4. We are in control of our brand.
The truth of the matter is that no matter what you do to control your brand, consumers still largely shape your brand. Take, for example, Nutella. They had nothing to do with the creation of World Nutella Day, a holiday started by a zealous fan. This is an example of consumers positively contributing to your brand, but consumers can just as easily be a negative influence.
5. Branding is too expensive.
Branding isn’t a matter of multi-million-dollar campaigns. It’s a matter of portraying the right brand experience and being mindful of how your brand is portrayed at every touch point. It’s everything from the way your employees feel about your brand, to the way your customer service treats customers, to the way that sales reps talk about your brand. Improving your brand could just be a matter of doing the same things you’re already doing a little bit better.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2014 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.