How Does Branding Affect Consumer Purchasing Decisions

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The impact branding has on purchasing decisions is incalculable.Your brand is the public face of your product, your company and your corporate identity. What are you all about? What are your values? Your brand says it all. How you present your brand to the public influences consumer purchasing decisions in many ways, but there are a few primary areas where that impact is most significant. Let’s examine those more closely to help you better shape your brand to evoke those critical purchasing decisions that are the lifeblood of your business.

 

Branding Affects Consumer Purchasing By:

Spreading Familiarity/Recognition

According to market research, about sixty percent of all consumers prefer to purchase products from familiar brands they recognize from advertising on marketing channels like TV and internet ads. This tendency to “go with what you know is why building a trusted brand that has instant recognition is so critical. Without knowing a brand and its products consumers are far less likely to make a purchasing decision. 

Why? They lack the confidence of knowing a product will meet with expectations. They don’t recognize the brand, and so have no idea what to expect. Increasing your marketing reach via TV ads, product videos and social media are the first step to building brand recognition and that ever so important feeling of familiarity.

 

Building Integrity, Trust And Credibility

The integrity of your products and their ability to meet or exceed buyer expectations are the linchpins of establishing public trust in your brand. Everyone wants to know “will this product do what it says on the box?”

If it doesn’t, you’ve broken their trust and potentially lost the customer’s repeat business. That’s why twenty-one percent of consumers state they buy new products from brands they like or recognize as trustworthy. Consumers want the reassurance that only comes with knowing that they have indeed gotten their money’s worth, and that your product provides an effective solution for their problems. Your credibility is in question when you first start out, or when products do not perform to expectations. This is where branding can significantly help inspire purchasing decisions in a powerful way.

One method for establishing consumer trust and industry credibility is third-party, transparent product testing. This is especially true of children’s toys and other products for kids. Having direct feedback from actual parents who have tested the product themselves directly impacts your brand’s trust. 

It is much easier to inspire purchasing decisions for kid's toys and games when your buyers are looking at a certification or seal of approval from a trusted third party. Parent Tested Parent Approved (PTPA) Seal of Approval is one such product testing indicator that inspires trust. Regardless of the industry, there are other third party entities who are happy to provide product testing services. Through their approval and endorsement, your brand develops integrity and credibility while earning the trust of your customers.

 

Creating Word-Of-Mouth Campaigns

“A satisfied customer tells a few people. A dissatisfied customer tells everyone.”

It’s an old saying, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Your brand’s reputation via customer social circles should not be ignored. The better your image and reputation, the more referrals and repeat customers you will generate. Creating a trusted brand allows you to generate dialog between those who are current customers and those who are in the process of making a buying decision. While many prospective buyers primarily do online research on products, they still ask their friends and family what they know about specific brands offline. 

For example, a recent survey indicates more moms shopping for toys for their children prefer to shop brick-and-mortar stores versus online purchases. The in-store experience allows them to observe what other customers are buying and what they have to say about their preferred brands. Clearly, word-of-mouth still possesses significant influence on purchasing decisions. 

If you align your brand objectives and image with to leverage this human connection between customers and potential customers, you will find it effective for inspiring purchasing decisions. Referral coupons, VIP club memberships and other brand associated programs are all excellent ways to encourage these word of mouth interactions.

 

Establishing A Positive Social Media Presence

You also have the opportunity to double down on your branding efforts to network existing and new customers via social media channels. Generating fresh content on social media showcasing your products and presenting product demonstrations draws a following. Those who are interested in the product or know someone who might be interested leads to viral sharing, the internet age equivalent of word-of-mouth.  

Social media channels also expand your presence and brand recognition as you show up on followers' news feeds every time you post new content. People start to look for you every time they open the Facebook or Instagram apps on their smartphone, and every time they use a web browser to check social media accounts on their laptop.  

The more exposure potential customers have, the more likely they are to check out what you have to offer. Combined with your hard-earned reputation for integrity, trustworthiness and credibility, you start to observe more and more interest in your product build over time. When the time comes to make a purchasing decision, those buyers are going to see your brand name on the product, recognize you from your ads, social media and word-of-mouth campaigns and know your reputation. The combined effect is certain to make them choose you over the competition. However, without that branding groundwork in place, chances are they aren’t going to look for your products over anyone else’s.

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Forming Emotional Connections

This is by far the most potent bond a brand can forge with their customers making a purchasing decision. Your branding (when aligned correctly) assures the customer that they aren’t just purchasing a product: they are buying an experience for themselves, another person or a loved one. 

That purchase for that first toy for a new pet isn’t another online or in-store transaction: that’s a day they’ll remember. The memory of their cat or dog happily playing with their new stuffed friend is going to stick with them. A couple buying furniture for their first home isn’t just filling out an order form, waiting three to five days and unpacking the shipping boxes. That’s a core memory they will treasure. Your brand will become an integral part of those moments. Do not ignore the power and responsibility your products and brand create for your  customers. 

Every stick of furniture, every toy, every appliance and every tool that is sold becomes part of their story and yours. Your brand creates the emotional connection of a shared narrative. Television advertising is the most effective medium for this type of branding, and the fact that people remember those commercials decades after they aired only reinforces that fact. 

Remember, the image you present of a trustworthy and credible authority that directly affects their daily lives will create a lasting impact, and when they decide it’s time to buy again, they are going to choose you.

 

Showing Corporate Responsibility/Accountability

Finally, your branding influences buying decisions in how customers see you conduct business. Sourcing materials, responsible waste disposal, product testing and safety, manufacturing ethics and methods all factor into what products customers choose when making purchasing decisions. With the expansion of the buy local and hand-crafted market in the past decade, more and more people are holding the brands that produce their favorite products to a higher standard. 

If your ethics are publicly called into question regarding any of your production or operations chain practices, many customers (especially parents) will boycott your brand in a heartbeat. Overcoming this perception of being an irresponsible corporate citizen can take extensive and prolonged damage control efforts by public relations until the public’s ire dies down. 

Proactive reputation management is crucial to the impact of branding on customers making purchasing decisions. Be public and transparent about your sourcing, lead initiatives in the industry that are eco-friendly, and always include the local community in your planning and development for the future. 

Demonstrating that you are the brand that cares is what will make you a brand apart, and draw customers looking for what you have to offer who might otherwise not consider you as an option. Conscientious consumers command significant spending power, and failing to align your brand with their ethics cuts you off from a significant potential market.

Final Thoughts

How you brand creates a powerful impact on consumer purchasing decisions in uncountable ways on both micro and macro scales. If you want to drive growth and continue to scale up your business, you need to ensure your branding is aligned to present an inspiring image that is trustworthy and authoritative. Combined with a great product and excellent service, you have a near unstoppable trifecta for success. If you haven’t already, review your branding plan and spend some time refining your image to inspire those purchasing decisions by your target customers. The growth and progress it will bring is nothing short of amazing.

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