Why branding is important
Branding is vital for every stage of your business. Modern customers want to work with brands that share their values. They want to know what you’re about before they invest their money.
But that’s only one aspect of creating a great brand. Branding is also about assurances of quality. From car manufacturers to electrical goods and a whole host of products and services, brand matters when it comes to sales.
Customers can do research, and they can understand your product or industry. But a strong brand provides the assurance they need to take the next step.
So, let’s look at how branding affects the different stages of the buyer journey.
How your brand affects conversions
Good branding is all about creating positive associations. When prospects hear your name, you want it to trigger something, like quality, feelings of trust, dependability, etc. However, building these feelings takes time, word of mouth, and positive consumer experiences.
Overall, branding is about familiarity. There are many businesses out there, and most claim they can solve your issues or improve your life. But talk is cheap.
You can do lots of little things to increase conversion rates. For example, you can improve your messaging, design, and user experience to ensure that users are more likely to perform a specific action. However, these small changes won’t usually have dramatic effects.
The most significant predictor of conversion is brand familiarity.
A study a few years back by a Red C marketing group underlined this point. They used eye-tracking software to investigate how customers made decisions using search engines.
One of the most intriguing findings was about what influences customers to click links on a SERP. A whopping 82% of people clicked on the brand they were already familiar with, regardless of where it appeared on the first page of the search ranking.
These findings are incredible and fly in the face of many things we know about SEO. Conventional wisdom suggests that working hard to rank at the top of the results page should lead to the best click-through rates. However, this research indicates that things are more complex in 4 of 5 cases.
But what explains this process? And what does it mean for sales and marketing teams?
Why does familiarity breed conversions?
There are lots of reasons why branding affects conversions. A 2021 study on brand familiarity and disgust could shine some light on this process. This research posits that we evolved familiarity and disgust mechanisms in response to food. For example, the emotion of disgust was a response to foods that would make us sick.
The study’s authors suggest that a similar process is at play with branding. All this comes down to a “quick and dirty” decision-making process. There is a lot of information, and we don’t always have time to consider decisions. As such, we go into many processes with accepted or established positions that affect our choices.
This concept can be extended further by examining why people buy products. Research suggests that almost 60% of consumers buy from brands they already know.
All of this underlines the importance of brand awareness alongside ads. Getting your company name out there is important precisely because it will pay off down the line when it comes to clicks and conversions.
Most brands already understand this process. It’s suggested that it can take up to eight touchpoints before a customer is ready to buy from your company. These touchpoints include written content, social media, ads, or even word-of-mouth recommendations.
What role does personalization have to play?
Almost half of all consumers want personalized ads. However, while many people understand that their user data will inform the type of ads they are targeted with, most would prefer that companies market to them based on their interests and lifestyle.
How personalized digital ad creatives affect conversions
One interesting point is how dynamic digital ad creatives can drive conversion. As mentioned earlier, personalization is essential in several ways.
By segmenting your audience, you can ensure the messaging they receive is appropriate and relevant. If you can address each audience member’s unique pain points, it’s far more likely that your creatives will resonate with them.
Products or services will appeal to people for different reasons. For example, specific features will allow users to perform certain tasks. Dynamic messaging that offers diverse creatives based on the information you do have (demographics, interests, lifestyle, etc.) can be impactful.
User personalization is possible to implement across a variety of channels. Social media ads, emails, customer service, and even websites can use customer information to offer more relevant messaging, creatives, and even offers.
For example, If a customer has previously bought specific items, you can recommend similar purchases.
How to use branding across the customer journey
Customer journey mapping provides the answers to a lot of questions, like:
- Who is your customer?
- What are their pain points?
- What information do they need to solve these issues?
A successful customer journey is about implementing a consistent experience. Mapping personalized, relevant content along each touchpoint is a successful strategy. Research suggests it can translate into an improved ROI of more than 50%.
Customer journey maps can take a variety of forms. The most common map accounts for:
- Brand awareness
- Customer service
- Brand loyalty and advocacy
By creating customer personas, you can implement different types of messaging across each stage. This process should dictate messaging, creatives, and content.
Using customer data and A/B testing, the impact of ad creatives across each customer journey stage can help you optimize the process.
Branding impacts each stage of the customer journey. You need to build awareness and visibility if you want people to click through to your links and ads.
From there, each touchpoint should be on-message, functional, and address who your customers are and where they are on their journey with your company.