Why is branding important and what role does it play in the success of your business?
For many, branding is an afterthought. However, a company wouldn’t exist without having an identity to live by, otherwise known as branding. Effective branding helps make companies more memorable and helps make an impression on their current and prospective customers.
Think of Coca-Cola, Starbucks, Apple or Airbnb. They all have iconic branding, and as soon as you see their logo, you know who they are. In fact, consistently presented brands are 3.5 times more likely to enjoy excellent brand visibility than those with an inconsistent brand presentation.
But being remembered isn’t just the only reason branding for your company is important. Branding shows the outside world what you are about and what your values are. A strong brand identity improves trust among your customers and helps build long term relationships with them.
In this article, we will look at what branding is, what different types of branding look like and why it’s important for your business.
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What is a brand?
In 2009 world famous marketing guru Seth Godin wrote this about 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. If the consumer (whether it’s a business, a buyer, a voter or a donor) doesn’t pay a premium, make a selection or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that consumer.
As you can see a brand is much more than a logo, color scheme or name. Your brand is what the outside world feels about your business. When a person thinks about a particular product or service, the idea that comes into their mind or the feeling they have is your brand. A brand should be consistent and be strongly felt at every touchpoint of your business.
Developing your brand can be tough. The best place to start is to ask yourself this question – how do you want the world to think and feel about your business? Then work backwards to map out a step by step plan to build your brand.
What is branding?
Branding is a method that companies conduct to actively shape their brand. As a business,
branding can help you blow away the cobwebs and capture your customers’ attention. It helps by adding meaning to your products and services.
Branding involves a strategy that helps others identify your brand easily and trust yours over your competitors. The main purpose of branding is to attract loyal customers and stakeholders by providing a product or service consistent with your company’s promise.
For example let’s look at fast growing fitness franchise Orangetheory. The brand is built around community and revolves heavily around technology. The logo uses the renowned Orangethoery splat, which slots in with the workout’s splat points and pulls the focus back to the results you can expect to achieve. Every part of the brand from the concept to the design has been thought out meticulously and it shows through in a very polished brand.
Check out more about branding in our article on creating a branding framework for your business.
Types of branding
Branding can really help elevate your business, and there are multiple ways to do so. The most popular types of branding are:
Large corporations conduct this type of branding to make their name well known to the public. Corporate branding involves making sure the name sticks to a promise; the corporation lives up to its reputation by providing consistent positive performance.
It has a strong stance regarding the service they offer. There are many benefits to corporate branding, such as on name brand recognition, quick customer trust over new products, and familiarity.
This is the most popular type of branding. You can’t walk far outside of your home without seeing product branding happening. Product branding creates a strong brand by providing a memorable logo, phrase, and image that sets it apart from its competitors. One popular example is Nike’s swoosh logo which signifies performance and performance.
Irrespective of what industry you are in, you have to provide an outstanding service. This type of branding places a strong focus on your customer and how your service makes them feel valued. It often explores extra items or things to add to your service to ensure your customers stay loyal to you.
Geographic branding involves showcasing geographical elements such as cities, regions, countries, food, and more to associate with a company. This helps make companies more appealing to specific demographics.
Online branding involves a company building a presence and positioning themself to their audience online. Typically this type of branding consists in creating a website, social media channel, or publishing a blog.
Just like the name suggests, offline branding is branding that happens offline. Common examples of offline branding are merchandise, print advertisements, billboards, commercials, and more.
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Personal branding is for individuals or self-employed people like celebrities, actors, politicians, social media influencers, and more. It helps them become more famous and allows an audience to connect to you for what you want to be known for.
This type of branding provides the “less is more” experience. Minimalistic branding is not exactly true to its word. This type of branding does have the main principles of branding, except it’s clean, sleek, and simple. It’s a mixture of subtle design and a clear layout to provide a clean image.
If you or your company has strong social values close to your heart and want to show them, this is known as activist branding. It helps you channel your positive social impact into your identity online or offline. Over time your brand becomes synonymous with your social cause.
Why is branding important for your business?
Branding is not something your company should take lightly and should definitely not be overlooked. In fact, 77% of B2B marketers say branding is crucial for growth. Here are some of the key reasons what branding is so important for your business.
1. Larger identity and recognition
Do you want your company and products to be remembered by a mass audience? Branding helps people identify you easily without even having to try to. It provides more than just a logo, name, jingle, or anything else.
If your business has consistent elements, it will help stand out in a positive light to others. Often memorable brands have are consistent in the following:
- Logo, website, color scheme
- Customer communication
- Customer experience online and offline
- Sponsoring and partnerships
- Product packaging and design
2. Builds trust
Having trust from your customers is one of the most vital things you can have to survive as a company. Trust isn’t always easy to come by either, but branding is an effective way to develop your customers’ trust.
If you don’t have your branding elements on point, it’s going to be even more difficult to gain people’s trust. Plus, nowadays, people look for credibility and constantly search for reasons to justify their decision when buying from a company. If you have branding, it helps you have that authentic edge over your competitors that don’t.
It helps better your advertising
If you don’t have proper branding, you won’t achieve much from just advertising alone. The right branding complements your advertising. After all, advertising helps align with your business’s values and identity. Plus, having the right branding helps speed up your marketing strategies and arguably be less expensive.
3. Branding is a great morale booster for employees
Many businesses become so focused on their customers that they often forget another valuable asset, their employees. If you can manage your branding well, your employees will definitely want to be part of it.
Plus, if you have branding and place it on merchandise and give it to your employees, they will likely feel valued and part of your team.
If you can manage to find a way to motivate your employees through branding, it might save you money, as they may be content enough not to ask for a pay rise as much. Plus, if your employees love your brand, they will live by it more often, promoting it by word of mouth to other people and acting as unpaid ambassadors.
4. Boosts customer loyalty
With the right branding, you can increase your customer loyalty. If you have good branding, you will display a more personal and human side to your customer base. If you do this, it’s more than likely your customers will be able to connect with you more.
It also shows your more than just money and that you exist for a purpose. If you can evoke your customers’ emotions through your branding, you’ll most likely build a deeper connection with them.
5. It can build your financial value
If you are a company that trades or wishes to trade publicly on the stock exchange, you will find your business value based on your company’s hard assets. Most of the value calculated is from your company’s branding. Often a solid brand will help encourage future business and expansion of your company.
6. It helps you reach like-minded people
To survive in business, you need to be able to make money and know your niche. Branding helps tie your niche together and get like-minded customers. Whether you are a big company or a startup, having a strong mission, vision, and goals will help customers see your brand.
7. Builds confidence
Great branding helps create confidence in a company. It takes a lot to tell your customers who you are and why you are better than your competitors. However, having a consistent brand will generate confidence in you, your company, and your employees making new customers feel comfortable buying from you.
8. It tells your company’s story
Sometimes we don’t have the time to read on the go or listen to an advert. Our attention is scattered by so many things that we face daily. This is why having the right branding, such as logo design, colors, and taglines help tell people who you are without sharing much.
For your company to survive, you need to make a profit and have growth and loyal customers. Having the right branding tells customers a story about who you are and your values without saying much.
Branding also establishes credibility and a sense of authenticity, allowing you to be trusted over your competitors. This is so important in this day and age as there are so many brands online people can easily switch over to someone else.
If done well, it also helps you save time and money on your advertising. This way, you can create a compelling campaign.
To ensure your brand is consistent with your values, it’s always good to review it every 6-12 months. This will allow you to have a better idea of how your brand is seen within your industry.