When you shouldn’t bother branding

By Angela Penfold

Branding isn’t always necessary.

I recently read a blog article from a social media agency that got me thinking. Really thinking. The blog article was about how they’d jumped on the back of the hoverboard skateboard fad, and built a business within 24 hours. Within 48 hours, they reached 1000 people over social media and had a couple of hundred pre-orders for their product. They didn’t take any money from these pre-orders so it’s unclear as to how many would’ve converted to sales when it came to payment. But regardless, the moral of the story was that they got their business out there, quickly and effectively.

What got me thinking is that they didn’t invest in any branding. They’d slapped together a logo, but in essence, that’s not a brand. So how were they successful without a brand? And does every business need a brand?

After a few weeks of mulling over this question, I’ve come to the conclusion that, no, not every business needs a brand. And this is why.

And here’s why…

It comes back to the business strategy. The businesses that are riding the latest product fad wave don’t need it. There’s enough momentum out there, it’s not worth investing in a brand. Because the time it takes to develop a great brand means that there’s very little time left to capitalise on the fad before it stops as quickly as it started. Who else has countless fidget spinners lying around the house? I have a few. But I couldn’t tell you what brand they are. And that trend hit fast and dried up once I gave in and shelled out my cash. We had a client a few years ago who jumped on the selfie-stick bandwagon. It was an overnight success. And that’s all it was intended to be.

However if your business strategy is to be in business for the long-term, then yes, I’d highly recommend investing in a brand. Not because that’s the business that we’re in and I’m trying to spruik our services, but simply because very few small to medium enterprises invest in quality branding services and do it right. So those that do invest in great branding, immediately stand out. And in this day and age, any way to stand out is worth doing. Especially if you’re wanting a timeless brand that will last the distance.

This brings me to a quote by Stephen King which summarises my point perfectly and leads to the question “Are you selling a product or a brand?”

“A product is something made in a factory, a brand is something bought by a customer. A product can be copied by a competitor, a brand is unique. A product can be quickly outdated, a successful brand is timeless”.

What’s your strategy? It’s worth thinking about…

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