How Branding Can Save Your Business
You’re thinking about starting a business. There are a million plus one expenses on your list, and that list is getting pretty darn long. Unless you were born with a silver spoon up your ass, you quickly realize that you must start making expense cuts in order to be able to get this business off the ground. Like many others before you, you decide to take it out of your marketing budget (assuming you set aside a marketing budget to begin with). It’s obvious that you’ll need to advertise your grand opening so you keep that budget.
“Ah-ha! I’ll eliminate the branding expense,” you think to yourself, “I can always make it up as we go or even rebrand next year as we grow.” Here’s the problem. Due to the risk you just took, there might not even be a next year. Here’s why:
Let’s say you’re opening up a new medical practice for example (since we just finished an exciting new medical brand). You’ve moved in to your new location and are now open for business. Nobody knows about you yet so you’ve decided that you are going to do some paid search advertising or SEM. Fast forward six months, you have dished out over $20,000 and you are now more in debt than when you opened up your doors. You’re mad at the world, but more than anything you’re pissed off at Google for stealing your money. Like thousands of others, it’s ingrained in your mind forever that advertising is a scam and it might just bankrupt your practice.
Take a deep breath, here comes the truth. Digital advertising is a trillion dollar industry and it’s because it works. No seriously, it really does. Anytime somebody does a Google or Yelp search for a doctor in their local area, I highly doubt they’re doing it just because they’re bored and curious. They are probably feeling a little under the weather and they’re looking for a doctor right now. Luckily, your ad showed up when they searched. Unfortunately, three to six other doctor’s ads did as well. They compare two or three of the search results and decide that there was another physician that better meets their needs. Bummer! The craziest part about all of this is that based on your personality and experience you were the best suited physician for them. Sadly your brand didn’t compel them to call and make an appointment. I wonder why? Oh, that’s right! You decided to skip that part.
Your business is now on its way out, but don’t feel too bad because you’re not alone. It’s easy to cut the branding budget because it might not be obvious in the beginning. I understand. Great branding takes a lot of time, can be expensive, and its not the easiest to track its return on investment. However, it is the one investment that can make or break your business. When you think of branding as the planning and preparation to your brand, it becomes a little easier to see its benefits. Just like a business plan, branding is the preparation to ensure that your company knows its target audience, what they value, and exactly how to communicate with them effectively. You might see that branding budget as one pricey ass logo, but it actually has nothing to do with the logo and more about what your brand identity says to your customers.