“What’s your brand?” “Is this on brand?” As savvy consumers, the endless discussion and utilization of “branding” may seem hackneyed, especially in today’s climate. Yet branding is not going away. In our blog waaaayyyy back in January about the biggest marketing trends of 2020, branding was front and center.  According to Sprout Social, it’s still super important to consumers – the site reports that 64% of consumers want brands to connect with them, and 66% of consumers say they feel connected to a brand when they trust it.

The experts at Single Grain put it this way: “The reason (digital) branding is so important now is because of Google’s E.A.T. ranking factor, which stands for:

  • Expertise: the page needs to have quality content written by an expert writer
  • Authority: the site itself needs to have some authority on the subject
  • Trustworthiness: the site needs to have other authoritative links pointing to it from trusted sites”

Putting considerable thought into branding is a wise move for any business, even in the best of times. But what about during, oh, say, a pandemic? Forbes.com talked with author Anne Bahr Thompson, whose book Do Good: Embracing Brand Citizenship to Fuel Both Purpose and Profit presents a five stage “path of brand citizenship” that she developed based on an extensive study she led.

The five stages in Thompson’s model are: trust, enrichment, responsibility, community, and contribution. She writes, “it’s about ‘moving across the ME to WE continuum of Brand Citizenship, behaving responsibly while enriching users’, employees’ and shareholders’ lives alike.” 

At Tree Ring Digital, we’re particular fans of Donald Miller’s Building a Storybrand,  in which the author uses the seven universal elements of powerful stories to teach readers how to dramatically improve how they connect with customers and grow their businesses.

So, in answer to the question posed in the title, yes, branding does matter – perhaps now more than ever. When it comes to branding, the bottom line is that it’s an essential tool in the arsenal of any business, and it dictates the way your (potential) customers relate to your business. Who are you in their story? Don’t leave the answer to that important question to chance. 

Need helping defining your brand? Let the experts at Tree Ring Digital help.