Branding is somewhat of a peculiar concept. Most people confuse branding with a brand and define it as the process of being notable or reputed or even influential. While those aspects are definitely a part of it, they do not wholly define branding, In essence, branding has everything to do with how you are being perceived or how your images or services are being perceived by people.
Branding is highly subjective in nature and is prone to massive fluctuations with respect to several factors. Companies take branding very seriously and they have tight regulations and guidelines with regard to maintaining or enhancing their brand.
Branding and Perception
“Products are made in a factory but brands are created in the mind“
For individuals, branding is about shaping public perception according to how you want to be seen. It could be argued that personal branding is more important now than ever before because of the increased importance of social media in our lives. Platforms like Twitter and Facebook provide individuals with a direct means of communication with a large number of people and this gives them a lot of power to shape public opinion.
In simple terms, branding is the process of creating a unique identity for a product or company. This identity is then used to differentiate the product or company from its competitors in the market. Branding can be applied to both physical products and intangible services. It is important to note that branding is not just about creating a name or logo for a product or company. It is much more than that. Branding is about creating an emotional connection between the customer and the product.
What Is A Brand?
“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories, and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another”
A brand is defined as a “name, term, design, symbol, or other feature that distinguishes an organization or product from its rivals in the eyes of the customer.” In other words, a brand is anything that customers use to identify a product or company and distinguish it from its competitors.
However, this definition of brand leans toward and is similar to the word “trademark”. The simplest way to separate them is: Trademarking establishes ownership whereas Branding establishes perception and connection. Over time, marketers realized that there is a specific perception in customers’ minds associated with the qualities and attributes of each product or service.
A brand is much more than just a name or logo. It is the sum total of all the associations and emotions that customers feel when they think about a product or company. A strong brand has a clear identity and purpose that resonates with customers. It stands for something and has a unique personality. Customers should be able to tell at a glance what a company or product is all about.
Why Branding Is Important and how does it influence your business?
“Your brand is the single most important investment you can make in your business”
How important is it for someone to remember your name? All the efforts you take in speaking well, dressing well, getting yourself groomed, and your body language; isn’t it so that when you tell people your name, it occupies that impression you have created with all these other factors. Your brand is very similar to your name. Your brand is meant to be a representation of who you are and how you wish to be perceived. All the efforts you take to make that impression detail how you want your branding process to be.
How you brand yourself or your company influences how people perceive you. This can drive your business and your branding strategy determines whether it increases your brand value or decreases it. Branding has a very close correlation with reputation. Understanding and using this correlation to your advantage is critical for any business or individual.
Here are a few reasons why branding is still so highly emphasized upon:
- Branding increases business value: In many cases, a brand is worth more than the sum of its parts. For example, Apple was recently valued at $1 trillion. This value is not just based on the products they produce but also on the intangibles such as customer loyalty, positive customer experiences, and a strong emotional connection to the brand. A strong brand value has the reputation and value that comes with it. This reputation translates into value. This value can mean influence, high customer lifetime value, and customers who are willing to pay a premium for your product.
- Branding builds trust: People are more likely to do business with brands they trust. In fact, studies have shown that up to 60% of consumers are willing to pay more for products and services from brands they trust. Ultimately, it translates to the more you trust your brand, the more you value it, and the better your perception of it. Branding searches for the right way to earn and maintain a requisite level of trust between the company and its consumers. For example, People know that Apple products are top-quality. This is a sort of blind trust that has been built over years, contributing to the longevity and relevance of the brand.
- Branding creates customer loyalty: A strong brand can create customer loyalty that lasts a lifetime. In fact, studies have shown that up to 80% of customers are loyal to brands they trust. This is especially true in today’s social media-driven world, where customers can connect with brands and provide feedback instantaneously. A brand that is able to create a strong emotional connection with its customers is much more likely to inspire loyalty than one that simply offers a good product or service.
- Branding differentiates your business: In today’s competitive marketplace, it’s more important than ever to differentiate your business. A strong brand can help you do that by communicating what makes your business unique. A well-defined brand also makes it easier to target your marketing efforts and attract the right kind of customers.
- Branding improves advertising and drives sales: Branding and advertising are interdependent on each other. A solid and cohesive branding strategy lays the foundation for a strong advertising campaign. This, in turn, means that a strong brand can increase sales, both by attracting new customers and by motivating existing customers to buy more. In fact, studies have shown that up to 30% of customers are willing to pay more for products from brands they trust.
- Branding improves employee satisfaction and pride: Employees who feel proud of the company they work for are more likely to go the extra mile to ensure customer satisfaction. Branding can also help attract and retain the best employees. Branding can make it easier to enter new markets: A strong brand can give you a competitive advantage when entering new markets.
How Can You Influence Your Brand?
” If you dont give the market something to talk about, they’ll define your brand for you”
Influence refers to altering perception, which forms the basis for establishing a said brand. Here are a few ways you can influence your brand:
Brand and customer clarity:
In creating a customer base and inspiring loyalty through your brand, the first step is to have a clear brand story and message you want to tell them. The story should clearly tell the customer who you are and how you can help them get what they desire or want. Creating a customer persona is critical to reaching your ideal target audience.
To further illustrate this concept, let’s say you are a luxury watch brand. You want to be known for your exquisite craftsmanship and high-quality materials. You would not want to be known for having the lowest prices or being the most affordable option, as that is not what sets you apart from the competition.
When you know your target audience, you can speak to them directly and let them know what sets you apart from the rest. This allows you to create a connection with your consumers and turn them into lifelong fans of your brand.
Thus, defining your customer base, and knowing everything about them and what they need, allows you to refine your brand and maximize it to expand the influence and enhance your perception of your brand
Positioning your brand
Brand positioning in the market is key to understanding how customers will react to it and what they will think of when they see it. You have to decide what you want your brand to represent and how you want it to be seen by potential customers.
Your brand’s positioning should be a strategic decision that takes into account your target market, your competition, and what you want your brand to achieve. Essentially, positioning your brand has everything to do with your purpose and your reason for being. This is a critical piece of information your customer needs to know in order to invest in you—whether it be monetarily, emotionally, their loyalty, etc.
Differentiating yourself from your competitors is very much a big part of brand positioning and your purpose is a critical part of it. Your customers need to know what makes you unique, what are your strengths, and why should they choose you.
Brand Personality and values
These are another big part of your brand. This is what makes you relatable and humanizes your brand. It’s the voice, tone, and messaging you use across all channels.
Your values are a North Star for your brand and act as a filter for the type of content you produce, the partnerships you form, and the overall tone of your marketing. As people resonate with your vibe, your personality, and your values, they begin to become curious and interested. Once they breed this interest, it translates into a form of loyalty toward your brand.
Therefore, values like what you stand for, what you are about, and what you stand against are values that your potential customer base might resonate with.
The heart and soul of your brand that you want to communicate to your audience. It’s the set of human characteristics that make up your brand’s personality. It lives in the hearts and minds of your employees, customers, and fans. It is not what you do, but how you do it that makes up your brand essence.
It can be a one- to three-word statement that defines what your brand is about. Here are a few examples to better understand this:
Apple: Think Different
Coco-Cola: Sharing happiness
What are the different types of Branding?
“Your personal brand serves as your best protection against business factors you can’t control.”
Different businesses will have different branding needs, and as such, there are a variety of different types of branding that can be employed. Below are some of the most common types of branding:
- Corporate Branding: This type of branding is all about the image of the company as a whole. It is about establishing a certain reputation and associations in the minds of consumers.
- Personal Branding: This type of branding is all about creating a certain image or reputation for an individual. This can be helpful for individuals who are looking to advance their careers.
- Product Branding: This type of branding is focused on individual products or product lines. The goal is to make each product appear unique and differentiated from competing products.
- Service Branding: This type of branding is focused on creating a strong, favorable reputation for the company’s services.
Branding & Design
“Branding is the process of connecting good strategy with good creativity”
A pretty face is not all there is to a strong brand. However, everyone loves a pretty face, which is pretty important to branding.
There are many different aspects to consider when developing a brand. The colors you use, the fonts, the style, the voice, everything matters and creates an overall feeling for your brand. You want to be sure that everything you put out there is an accurate reflection of who you are and what your business is about.
Your visual identity should be consistent across all platforms, from your website to your social media accounts to your physical location. This includes using the same colors, fonts, and logos. Your overall aesthetic should convey the same message and feeling no matter where someone encounters your brand.
To create a visual identity that you just cannot ignore, you need a strategic intentional brand design.
Here are some indicators of a good brand design:
- Well researched: Your color palette, typography, and iconography should all be carefully selected to represent your brand’s personality and target audience. More importantly, these selections should be informed by insights from market research, customer research, and internal research.
- On-strategy: A great brand design is one that aligns with your business goals and objectives. Every design decision should be made with the intention of achieving your business goals.
- Flexible: A good brand design is one that can be applied across a variety of touchpoints and mediums. Your brand should be recognizable whether it’s on a business card, a website, or a billboard.
- Consistent: A good brand design should be flexible. However, it should also be one that is consistent across all touchpoints. Your brand should have one look and feel that is carried out consistently throughout your entire marketing initiative.
A good brand design is one that is aligned with your business goals and objectives, is flexible, and is consistent across all touchpoints. Branding is an important part of any business, and should be given careful consideration to ensure that your brand is best representing your company.
If you’re not sure where to start, there are plenty of resources available to help you. There are branding experts who can help you develop a strategy, and there are also many books and articles on the subject. At Pixelstreet, for example, we are a web design company that specializes in helping businesses with their branding, and we would be happy to chat with you about your specific needs. Feel free to contact us today!