Your brand is your chance to tell a story to your customers.
Branding is not just the logo you design, the font you use, or the products you sell. It’s all of those things and so much more. It’s the customer experience you provide. It’s the philosophy you espouse and the culture you adhere to. A brand is a feeling that a company evokes in customers – it’s what makes your company unique.
And when it comes to online businesses, branding is no different. Have you ever visited a website and been instantly confused? Maybe you weren’t sure what they were selling or what service they offered. Many businesses struggle to explain what they do and how they do it. And no one wants to buy something they don’t understand.
Your brand strategy should guide how and what you communicate with your customers. As a business, you should strive to humanize your brand. You need to think in terms of the value you provide to your customers. Your brand can help differentiate your business from the competition. It can help you stand out from the competition and market your distinctive qualities.
But a brand isn’t built overnight. It takes time. And more often than we think, it needs a little nudge in the right direction on our part.
Your brand shapes your business and how people see it. And there are many factors that shape your brand. So if you’re curious about why branding is so important and what your customers think about it, we’ve got you covered. Let’s take a look at the top 10 brand statistics you need to know in 2021.
1. Authenticity Is Important for Brands
It’s the age of authenticity and brands need to get real if they want to connect with their audience. 86 percent of consumers say that authenticity is a key factor when deciding what brands they like and support (Stackla, 2019).
It’s not surprising that consumers expect that the companies that they buy from are authentic in how they present themselves and carry out their business. Consumers expect brands to be honest. But brand authenticity is a relatively recent concept, mainly pushed forward by Millenials. They’ve seen to be more vocal about their demand for authenticity. But of course, this demand extended on to Gen Z as well. Millennial and Gen Z consumers demand that businesses care for something more than just profit, and if they can’t see that from a brand, they don’t hesitate looking for a brand that does.
Brands can start being more authentic by being transparent and consistent in their branding and messaging, by having values that they can stay true to, and most importantly, by being honest. This way, they’ll be able to build long-lasting relationships with their customers and prospects.
2. Consumers Buy Based on Trust
When consumers buy from brands, they put their trust in them. One survey showed that 81 percent of consumers said that they need to be able to trust the brand in order to buy from them (Edelman, 2019). As a matter of fact, the percentage of consumers that felt this way was similar across different global markets, different ages, and also across different income groups.
It’s safe to say that when brands build trust, consumers reward them. And this can be in the form of building long lasting relationships with them, and sticking to the same brand in thick or thin. Consumers are no longer simply caring about the product experience, but they also have growing concerns about the customer experience that brands promise, and increasingly about a brand’s impact on society.
In the long run, if brands are able to build trust with their customers, they will earn their attention as well. So, as we saw with the first brand statistic, the same logic applies here. If brands are honest and authentic with customers, it’ll help build a relationship based on trust.
3. Color Matters for Brand Recognition
Colors matter when it comes to marketing. Choosing brand colors wisely can impact how people perceive your brand. In fact, using a signature color can increase brand recognition by 80 percent (Reboot, 2018).
Colors have a unique way of making you feel certain emotions. It’s for the same reasons that when colors are selected in marketing, they can have a drastic effect on what consumers associate with your brand. If you’re thinking about your brand image, and how you want to represent your business, you could use the right colors to enhance your brand’s visual representation.
Let’s take a look at currently established brands. Take a moment and think about which brand you most associate with red and yellow, or with the colors blue and yellow. Did you think about McDonald’s for the first one, and IKEA for the second one? We did too.
Use colors to your advantage to express your brand in the best possible way. And if you’re wondering how different color meanings can affect your brand, we’ve got you covered. Dive into our piece about color psychology and branding.
4. First Impressions Matter for Your Brand
It takes 1/10th of a second to form a first impression of someone. But we know that people are way more than just their first impressions. When it comes to your brand, it’s better not to risk it. It takes about 50 milliseconds (0.05 seconds) for people to form an opinion about your website (8ways, 2019).
How many times have you stumbled across a website and had a feeling that it hadn’t been touched since the 90s? We’re guessing more than a few.
If you’ve got an online store or your business exists online, it’s how you present yourself to people virtually. If you don’t take care of your website, chances are you’re losing your customers attention.
So what can you do to make sure you nail your brand’s first impression? To start with, make sure you carefully choose your colors, spacing, font, amount of text, and structure. Think about the content on your website. Is it optimized? Or is there room for improvement? Are you happy with how your logo looks or how it’s positioned? Maybe you can make improvements with the images on your website? Try to make sure people have a comfortable experience when they visit your website. Make it easy for them to search for what you have to offer. Present them an easy navigation menu. Make sure the time they spend on your website is an enjoyable one.
5. Importance of Brand Consistency
Brand consistency is making sure that your brand values, image, and messaging is consistent across all channels. Customers appreciate it when a business has a consistent brand. In fact, consistent presentation of a brand has seen to increase revenue by 33 percent (Lucidpress,2019).
Consumers want to know your business, and one of the best ways is through your brand. Keeping a consistent brand image helps customers position you as a business, and makes it easier for them to remember you or associate with your brand.
When customers know your brand, they will be able to trust your brand. Keeping your brand voice consistent across all channels gives your customers a consistent experience with your brand. In a way, they’ll know and feel that your messaging is true because you’re sticking with it. This way, your customer remembers you. When they see your logo, or your branding, they’ll know what to expect, and what to feel. To create a relatable identity, you can’t ignore brand consistency.
Having a strong brand will not only improve your chances of getting new customers, but also increase employee motivation, and provide your business with a unified direction. For you to succeed in building a strong brand image, you need to understand your customers. And in doing so, you need to humanize your brand. You need to think of your brand as something your customers can relate to and identify with.
6. Your Brand Needs to Be Transparent
With trust comes transparency, and vice versa. According to a survey, 66 percent of consumers think transparency is one of the most attractive qualities in a brand (Accenture Strategy, 2018). This includes transparency in where the brand sources its materials, how it treats employees, and what it cares about beyond the profit motive. People are increasingly curious about what happens behind closed doors, and we can’t blame them. Brand transparency has never been more important.
Brands need to be clear and authentic. If brands support each and every cause that they don’t even feel strongly about, they might end up being perceived by consumers as inauthentic. Consumers don’t appreciate insincere attempts from brands showing that they care. Companies need to establish an emotional connection with their consumers, and be true to who they are as a business. That’s why transparency not only helps to maintain current customers, but it also helps to attract potential customers.
In the era where people tweet, leave reviews, and share all their thoughts with a click of a button, people can find out everything they want to know about a brand. This puts brands in an increasingly important position to embrace brand transparency.
7. Consumers Want Brands to Be Vocal About Social Issues
Most consumers want brands to take a stand on social or political issues. As a matter of fact, two-thirds (64 percent) of consumers around the world said that they would buy from a brand or boycott it solely because of its position on a social or political issue (Edelman, 2019).
But that also doesn’t mean that brands should be vocal about matters that they don’t truly believe in. As we’ve mentioned, it’s important to stay realistic and to be transparent. Customers see through brands who are faking their interest in a social concern, and are also keen to follow up on any promises that a brand makes—publicly.
Some brands might see this as a tricky situation, as taking a stand can mean to alienate a certain group of consumers. But in the social era that we’re living in today, they also risk putting themselves in danger if they turn a blind eye to social matters. That’s why in any case, we refer back to our previous statement for the importance of being transparent.
8. Customer Service Helps Brands to Stand out From the Crowd
With competition levels soaring, it seems difficult to stand out from the crowd. As a brand, you can take a few extra steps to make sure you’re being remembered fondly by people. Offering extraordinary customer service is one of the things you can do. A survey shows that 73 percent of consumers cite customer experience as an important factor in their purchasing decisions (PWC, 2018). Good customer service makes consumers feel heard and appreciated.
Customer service can include many different aspects of the customer’s buying experience. This could mean for you as a brand to provide exceptional convenience, a friendly service, and approaching customers in a helpful manner. You can go a long way if you add a human element to your customer service, by remembering your customer’s needs and personalizing your approach to deal with each customer in the way that suits them best. But customer service doesn’t just end here. There’s an endless amount of things you can do as a brand to meet this need. It could also include post-purchase coordination with customers by helping them with any refund or return queries they may have.
Customers prefer if you would understand their buying habits, and their needs, instead of just nailing their names in the subject lines of the emails you send out to them. If your brand can customize the experience for individual customers, you’ll have a higher chance of winning customers. The aim should be to personalize with purpose and not just for profit.
9. Being Meaningful Is Good for Business
We’ve previously covered that it’s important for a brand to stand for something other than a profit motive. And here’s another statistic to back that up: 77 percent of consumers buy from brands who share the same values as they do (HavasGroup, 2019). The purpose of a brand is to make it easier for customers to make decisions. And to build a brand strategy, it’s important to understand your target audience. Understanding what is meaningful for them is the first step towards forming a meaningful brand.
You may be wondering, what makes a brand meaningful? A meaningful brand is defined by its overall impact. This includes the impact they have on their direct customers, as well as the surroundings. The relationship between a brand and its audience has changed rapidly over the years. It’s no longer enough for a brand to care solely about their customers. In fact, brands need to also address what their customers care about. Customers want brands to be genuine and care about purposes that are broader than just products or services.
Businesses need to work on humanizing their brands, by speaking in the way that would most appeal to their audience. A great place to start would be for brands to represent their company and values clearly to their audience. Maintaining a consistent brand image and messaging is important for customers to understand what the business stands for.
10. Content is Crucial for Brands
The impact of influencer content is declining while user generated content grows. In fact, 79 percent of people say that user generated content highly impacts their purchasing decisions (Stackla, 2019). And it makes sense. Consumers have more ways now than ever before to discover and research brands and products.
User generated content includes any type of content such as images, comments, reviews, videos, and so on that have been posted by users on online platforms such as social media. Consumers are increasingly finding ways to carry out their own research online by looking at what other consumers have experienced and shared. For instance, visual content is highly valued by customers when it comes to travel or dining experiences.
It’s also interesting to note that the same research claims that celebrities have a declining influence on consumer decision making. Only eight percent of customers claimed that influencer content highly impacts their purchasing decisions, which is down from 23 percent in 2017.
A brand is a story. It’s a feeling. A perception. But most importantly, a brand is what your business shapes it to be.
Your brand should stand for what your business feels.
Building your brand image and working on your brand strategy should be something you have in mind all throughout your journey as a business owner. Make sure that you establish trust and authenticity through your brand. Let your brand convey your values and beliefs, and do it in a way that your customers believe you, and trust in you.
As we’ve said before, your brand is your chance to tell your customers a story. Make it one that counts.
Summary: Top Branding Statistics You Need to Know in 2020
- 86 percent of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding what brands they like and support.
- 81 percent of surveyed consumers said that they need to be able to trust the brand in order to buy from them.
- Using a signature color can increase brand recognition by 80 percent
- It takes about 50 milliseconds (0.05 seconds) for people to form an opinion about your website.
- Consistent presentation of a brand has seen to increase revenue by 33 percent.
- 66 percent of consumers think transparency is one of the most attractive qualities in a brand.
- Two-thirds (64 percent) of consumers around the world said that they would buy from a brand or boycott it solely because of its position on a social or political issue.
- 73 percent of consumers cite customer experience as an important factor in their purchasing decisions.
- 77 percent of consumers buy from brands who share the same values as they do.
- 79 percent of people say that user generated content highly impacts their purchasing decisions.