Branding goes far beyond just a memorable logo, and good branding can increase the value of a company, provide employees with a strong sense of belonging, and make customer acquisition a lot easier. So what exactly is a brand?

The short answer; everything your business does.

A brand represents the sum of people’s perception of a company’s customer service, reputation, advertising, marketing, and product experience. When all aspects of the business are working well, the overall brand is likely to be healthy. Conversely, we all know a company that with a tarnished brand due to poor customer service, bad employee relations, or simply sub-par products.

Here are the ways a strong brand impacts your business:

1. Improve Recognition

One major component of your brand is your logo, brand your logo is not your brand – it is your identity. The Nike swoosh represents a brand, but it is certainly not all that makes up the brand. As the identity of a company, your logo is important because it will be on every piece of correspondence and advertising. A professional logo design should be simple, memorable, and powerful enough to give the desired impression of your company.

2. Create Trust

A professional appearance conveys credibility and trust to consumers, clients, and vendors. People are simply more likely to engage with a business that appears legitimate. The emotional reactions associated with experiencing real or authentic products and experiences are hardwired into our brains, and they are powerful influencers.

3. Supports Advertising

Advertising is an important component of your brand. The media outlets chosen to place an ad, and demographics targeted both build a brand. Too narrow a focus and a company could limit their ability to expand into new markets. Too broad a focus and the company may fail to create a relevant impression of the company in the minds of potential customers.

4. Builds Financial Value

Public companies are valued at many times the actual hard assets of the company. This value is in large part due to the brand value. A strong brand usually ensures future business. Plus, being perceived as more valuable in the marketplace has a variety of advantages for acquiring credit, negotiating, attracting talent, and finding investors. The greater a company’s commitment to building brand value, the better the return from its efforts.

5. Inspire Employees

Many employees need more than just a job— they need something to work toward. When employees understand the company’s mission, they are more likely to feel pride and work to achieve the goals you have set. Having a strong brand is like turning the company logo into a flag the employees can rally around.

6. Generate New Customers

Branding enables your company to get referrals. Would it be possible for you to tell a colleague about the new app you love if you couldn’t remember the brand? The reason the word ‘brand’ is used for this concept is that the goal is to leave a permanent impression. As the most valuable source of new customers, word of mouth is only possible when your company has delivered a memorable experience with your customer.

Year after year, the lists of the most profitable companies always have a common thread. These businesses have established themselves as a leader in their particular industry by building a strong brand.