What is branding and why does your business need it?

What is branding?

Branding is one of those marketing terms which has a vague definition. The question “What is branding” can be difficult to define. In simple terms, branding can be defined as a marketing practice in which an entity creates a design or name that can be easily recognized to belong to that company. A successful brand will help identify and distinguish a company’s products and services. When branding a business, you have to think “How will this branding impact your audience?”

Several areas are involved when creating a successful brand, which all come together to create an eye-catching and identifiable brand. When the word “branding” is mentioned, one of the first things that come to mind is a logo. Think of the most popular company you know, and you can probably identify their logo in a second. There is more to building a brand than just a logo. You also have to consider advertising and promotional creations, as well as many other things.

Why Is Branding Important?

Branding is important because not only is it what makes a memorable impression on consumers but it allows your customers and clients to know what to expect from your company. It is a way of distinguishing yourself from your competitors and clarifying what it is you offer that makes you the better choice. Your brand is built to be a true representation of who you are as a business, and how you wish to be perceived.

1) It creates recognition.

Think of Coca-Cola, and how easy it is for you to recognize the brand. From their handwritten logo’s font and color (which stands out no matter the language), to the unique shape of Coke bottles. When you build a successful brand, you become recognizable to your customers and competitors. This is the reason why you should create an impactful website, logo and other assets.

2) Branding makes you stand out

As a business, you have to realize that you have competition. This is serious competition, no matter your company or industry. You, therefore, need a strong brand to make you stand out. Your branding will impact customers, making them pick you instead of the competition.

3) Branding brings in new customers and keep them loyal

A good brand will always have a strong customer referral going on. The best type of advertisement is word of mouth. When others recommend your business to others, you get new customers. A successful brand will spark a positive impression among customers, making them more likely to recommend your business to their friends and family. In addition, strong branding builds trust among existing customers, making them ambassadors of your brand.

4) It brings about successful advertising

Advertising is a major component of branding. By coupling good advertising strategies with impactful branding, a campaign is more likely to be successful. In addition, a company’s advertising strategy will impact how prospective customers perceive the brand.

McDonald's golden arches advert
McDonald’s advert

5) Branding increases employee satisfaction and pride.

A happy employee is a hard-working employee. When an employee supports a company brand, they will have more pride and satisfaction with their job. A strongly-branded and reputable company will a source of pride to employees, as members of the public will hold them in higher regard. Companies, therefore, have to think about branding all the way, such as having a branded office/building and promotional materials (laptop stickers, branded T-shirts)

6) Branding creates consistency

For a successful business, you need to be consistent in the way customers perceive and have experiences with your brand. Branding creates a consistent brand experience for your customers. Whether on social media, in-person or on a website, keep your branding consistent. That way, you can ensure that the customer’s experience and perception stays consistent over several platforms.

What are the key elements of branding?

Elements of branding are the elements that a company should create in order to bring about more brand awareness and improve customer perception.

1) Logo

Have you ever seen a successful business without a logo? No. A logo is one of the first things prospective customers notice. Therefore, designing a logo is the most important branding a company needs. During the logo design process, you should consider how you want a customer to perceive your brand.

2) Website

In this digital world, every company needs a website. A website opens a business to the entire world.  Therefore, designing your website is an important branding step. A website should be easy to use, visually appealing and well-branded. Your website should resonate with your brand, especially in terms of its layout, colors, and fonts used.

Coca-Cola website screenshot | Coca-Cola branding
Coca-Cola website screenshot

3) Brand guidelines

According to 99designs, “With the mission and vision statement set as the pillars of your organization, your brand strategy comes to encompass everything in between. This will take the form of brand guidelines (also known as your “brand bible”). These guidelines are comprised into a tangible document that will reflect and support your business goals, differentiate you from competitors, resonate with customers, provide a template for decision-making and precipitate ideas for future marketing campaigns. It will also include all the stylistic elements of your branding, including your color palette, fonts, and an outline of your brand voice.”

4) Other assets

This includes, but is not limited to; event flyers, business cards, product packaging, laptop stickers, employee T-shirts. Depending on your company and brand, you should access which additional assets will suit your mission.

Google intern merch | Google branding
Google intern merch | Peter Goldsborough

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