Expert Perspective: why branding is your new path to revenue growth

Pro insights from industry award winning brand strategist, Fabian Geyrhalter

What do Tinder, Honeywell, Warner Brothers, and Goodwill have in common? Nothing, really. Well, except for branding expertise from Fabian Geyrhalter! But, before we jump into details with Fabian, here’s quick situational analysis.

Branding challenges:

The often intangible nature and difficulty of measuring brand ROI, has given branding a bad rap. So, it’s not uncommon for “brand” to become the scapegoat for tightening purse strings and underperformance. Yet, when you look at the Forbes 50 most valuable companies, they also have the most recognizable names to a point where their brand becomes a verb, e.g. Google this versus search for that.

Branding is more important than ever:

Digital has democratized almost everything. At the same time, digital has enabled so much spam from your email inbox to every other phone call being some kind of sales pitch. The problem is clutter, it’s unreal and how can you stand out? Just look at the enormity of it:  

  • Data overload: 
  • Content overload: 
  • Spam overload: 

So, if you’re wondering about what to do with your branding efforts, I hope you now see its business importance, especially in times of economic downturns. Here are some insights from the brand expert, Fabian himself, best selling author of several branding books, a contributor to Forbes, Fortune, Entrepreneur on the topic of branding, and CEO of brand consultancy, Finen

Prox: Branding is rather broad, tell us about how you help people and companies looking for branding advice? 

>> Fabian Geyrhalter:

“I help companies going through a brand transformation to gain clarity. They may have a change in audience, or pivot from B2B to B2C, they may expand into a new market, have gone through a merger, etc. I come in and work with the C-Suite to create brand clarity through a refined brand platform (so everything from the positioning to the differentiators and core values), assist with any name changes as well as help define a new visual identity.”

Prox: How do you define branding?

>> Fabian Geyrhalter:

“Brand is the heart and soul of a company which is demonstrated through its visual and verbal atmosphere. I see branding as a layer of insurance for any company. A well-branded product or service does not compete on price and has a tribe behind it that connects with the brand even more so than with the offering.” 

“In the factory we make cosmetics; in the store we sell hope.”

Charles revson

Prox: What are some common mistakes you see with branding? 

>> Fabian Geyrhalter:

Underestimating the impact of branding. Not believing in the power of the brand and that hinders growth. There are a lot of people outside of marketing who don’t think that branding can drive business growth, but that is short term thinking.

Product, product, product! Anytime I go to Instagram, the majority of company posts I see are pushing the product. The problem is when you force your product, you don’t create an emotional connection. That’s not a winning strategy you can scale. 

Using names that are too descriptive. This happens a lot where the company will choose a name that’s too descriptive, then they pivot their core offerings and they are stuck in an expensive re-naming campaign that confuses their audience. It can be prevented.

“Anytime I go to Instagram, the majority of company posts I see are pushing the product. The problem is when you force your product, you become a commodity.”

Fabian Geyrhalter

Prox: Marketers often get pushback when wanting to invest in branding. How do you help position the importance of branding?

>> Fabian Geyrhalter:

 “You can only do that much push marketing until you realize that there is a bigger problem or opportunity by focusing on the brand. The ‘what’ is no longer more important than the ‘how’ or the ‘why’ behind a brand. The great brands that disrupt today’s businesses know that and invest in creating an emotional connection early on.

A company needs to have a deeper purpose so that customers will stand by the brand, especially in downturns. When the brand connects with the customer, you’ll also see less questioning about the product or the price. 

Branding helps attract the right customers, think about the stranger sitting at the bar, if there isn’t any attraction, physical or otherwise, you’re probably not going to talk to them. Branding brings you into the conversations and builds a long term relationship.”

Prox: So, how can brands stand out?

“First, focus on your brand’s story by going back to its roots. You have to feel the passion that initially formed the brand, then work your story from there. People love visionaries, problem-solvers, DIYers. They love passion and, in return, will become passionate about your brand.

And to stand-out, make sure your brand wholeheartedly supports your tribe’s feelings and actions and, in turn, become one of them. Forming, not forcing, a friendship with your audience is the best way to create long-term brand love.”

“First, focus on your brand’s story by going back to its roots.”

Fabian Geyrhalte

Prox: Do you have any particular practices to keep you in the game and focused?

>> Fabian Geyrhalter:

“Change the music you listen to and your entire mood can change. You can relax or get powered up. The power of music is transcendental and I use it throughout my day to work with my energy. Well, those few minutes in a day that I am not on Zoom calls”

Prox: Are there trends you think will come into play in 2021?

>> Fabian Geyrhalter:

 “The biggest thing I see is discovering purpose, both personally and for brands. It felt like a buzzword a few years back, but I think it’s actually happening today. If your brand doesn’t take a stance or speak as if it’s a person, it won’t connect with customers. People don’t buy the BS anymore, and people are flooded with meaningless products. 

#2 Community. With everyone stranded at home due to quarantine orders, there’s an increased need for online and virtual communities. There’s an opportunity for brands to do this. But, brands have to create a selfless community rather than force their product on consumers, and arguably the current social platforms have created a gap with all the advertising noise and lack of intimacy.”

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