A lot of companies put most of their focus on sales.
After all, that's the end goal.
Sales mean revenue, and hopefully, revenue means profit.
It's something with a pretty direct impact on the bottom line.
It can be tempting to ignore broader, more long-term aspects of business development, focusing instead on selling.
But while a concept like branding might seem indirect, hard to grasp, and abstract, it's something that's genuinely essential for just about any business.
Gary Vaynerchuck talks about this in a recent blog post.
Chances are, you've heard of him.
He's a huge name in the digital marketing world — probably one of the most famous marketers in the entire world.
He achieved that status by building a strong personal brand for himself. Branding has been integral to his own success.
Whether you're branding yourself as a professional, or creating a brand around a product or product line, it's not something you should ignore.
Here's what Gary V — who, himself, is one heck of a strong brand — has to say about the importance of branding.
I’m building for the long term, because I think it’s about brand.
So many of you are in it for the quick sale, and you are going to be forgotten.
I build trust by giving away all of my content for free and then every three years or so, I write a book, and ask if your interested to buy it.
The difference between branding and sales is simple. Are you trying to convert or are you trying to create an experience?
The latter always wins.
At the end of the day there is only one thing that constitutes “brand.” It’s how you feel in the moment you interact with the product, service or business.
When I say “Pepsi” and “Coca-Cola” and “IBM” and “Sears” you have a very specific innate reaction to your feeling about that brand.
It could be good or it good be bad or maybe it’s somewhere in between.
The only thing I care about, and why I focus so much on legacy, is I want you to have a positive reaction when you hear my name.
I want you to feel good when you think about what I’ve done.
If you had to put it into words, I would hope you might say “Gary, the guy who gave more than he asked” or something along those lines.
I want you to have a positive connotation. A good feeling when you think of me.
The reality is, the greatest companies in the world don’t sell.
Think of Apple as a prime example… When, if ever, have you received an advertisement from Apple telling you to BUY their product?
It never happens.
Apple focuses on building a relationship that will last by deploying all of their energy into branding and showcasing how your life will change once you switch to iPhone.
Their ads are about sharing an experience, about the simplicity and ease of use of their products. About how great it is to use the Mac.
It’s all about branding.
Whether you’re a small business or a massive corporation, you need to start thinking about business as a long term relationship, not a single transaction.
You can read more about the value of a strong brand over at Gary Vaynerchuk's blog.