Estamos Aqui: Why Brand Presencia Is So Important In Today’s World.
In our last blog, we left you with two words: 'Estamos aqui’ (we are here.) We wanted to inspire minority businesses to take pride in their journeys and create something incredible together: a brand that celebrates their stories, culture and impact.
Today, let’s dive a little deeper to explore how a strong brand identity can empower Latino businesses to take the stage and achieve long-term success for their organizations. But first…What Is Branding?
Branding, in a nutshell, is a strategic exercise in transforming your business from a catalog of products and services — to an entity with a story, vision and identity of its own. It helps you differentiate yourself from competitors and create emotional affinity in your customers’ minds.
Why Branding Is The Need Of The Hour For Minority-Owned Businesses. It is important to know who you are before making a move. Terms like ‘branding’ and ‘storytelling’ can sound like jargon. However, it really boils down to one simple thing: why you. Because the truth is, your product may eventually find its competition – but your brand will always be irreplaceable.
Branding is the foundation on which every other aspect of your marketing is built — from the logo and packaging, to the website and social media. A weak foundation can lead to cracks in the structure such as visual inconsistencies, inauthentic messaging and lost opportunities for meaningful engagement with your audience.
In the absence of storytelling, a business is more likely to find itself in a creative slump in the long run. Even with the best data-driven strategies, there will come a point when customers will no longer want to be sold a product or service. Today’s shoppers seek brands that offer community and purpose that they can align with.
You could be a small, medium or well-established business — but without a brand strategy, you’re missing out on the opportunity to create life-long customers. Branding is a great way to ensure your investment goes a long way in terms of earning customer loyalty and with that, a sustainable ROI.
There are many case studies that demonstrate the importance of brand loyalty. As a demographic, Hispanics and Latinos are fiercely loyal to the brands they love. In addition to bringing strong customer lifetime value, they are also more likely to ‘influence’ friends and family — acting as your brand’s advocate.
The Hispanic Marketing Council predicts that Americans under 35 could be a multicultural majority as early as 2023. Branding, with a focus on the multicultural market, presents muchas oportunidades to tap into this fast-growing demographic with a high purchasing power.
Branding encourages futuristic thinking. As minority business owners, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day. Branding can help you take a macro view and continuously capitalize on growth opportunities — whether that’s leveraging cultural insights to authentically engage with multicultural consumer segments or exploring new avenues for growth through social listening.
A Quick Branding How-To For Minority-Owned Businesses.
Own your story. Lean into your culture and life experiences to create something truly authentic. Don’t be afraid to look or sound different. On the contrary, embrace it and share it with your audience. When you use your unique voice to engage with your community, you’re more likely to gain their trust, and in-turn – their business.
Craft unique and culturally-relevant content. There is a growing multicultural consumer segment that’s currently alienated and underrepresented in the media. With culturally-attuned branding and campaigns, you can show up authentically for yourself and your audience. From a business standpoint too, the better a brand captures cultural nuances in its communication, the longer it will stay relevant and relatable.
Think about your vision and values. Why does your brand exist? How does it make people’s lives better? Write a manifesto to share your purpose. Branding is not only a great way to connect to customers, it can inspire a sense of camaraderie among employees and in turn strengthen your company’s culture.
Some Final Thoughts: Businesses Sell Products. Brands Solve Problems.
The late Harvard Business School marketing professor, Theodore Levitt coined the term ‘marketing myopia’ to comment on the nearsighted focus on selling products and services — attributing it to the short life cycles of businesses. His argument, “People don’t want a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole!” is at the very heart of brand storytelling.
A strategic approach that prioritizes building reputation, awareness and affinity is vital to the long-term success of your company – even when its impact is not easily quantifiable. However, in the last few years, there has been a significant shift from brand-focused strategies to data-driven ones such as paid ads, SEO, SEM. The lure of quick, high-impact actions that drive measurable results such as a click, lead or sale can be hard to resist – especially if you’re a small business that wants immediate results for your investment. But a strategy that’s solely about “buying customers” rather than building relationships is not sustainable in the long run. Because no matter how compelling your ad is or how many keywords it targets, if your audience doesn’t believe in your brand, they will be less likely to buy into your message.
A brand-focused strategy that reinforces who you are and what you stand for should go hand-in-hand with performance-focused ones. When customers are emotionally invested in your brand, they will be less likely to make the switch when a competitor comes along. Remember, consumers aren’t just “targets,” they are people. And in that sense, brand building is relationship building.
If you’ve been thinking about brand development, the time to make a move is NOW.
Headturn Creative is a 100% minority-owned creative agency that aspires to turn the spotlight on Latino-owned businesses and the amazing work they do. We empower businesses to represent themselves authentically and take up space – online and everywhere.