January 17, 2022
What is Branding and why does it hold importance for your business?
Investing a little time and resources into establishing a brand is essential for any company looking to sell a product or service successfully. The term branding is ambiguous in its nature – difficult to define and fully understand even amongst the savviest of marketing heads – however, having a basic grasp of the concept can make the world of difference for your business.
So, what is the difference between a product and a brand?
A product is simply “anything that can be offered to a market to satisfy a want or need, including physical goods, services, experiences etc.” (Kotler & Keller, 2015).
On the other hand, a brand is a less tangible idea. The American Marketing Association defines it as “a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s goods or service as distinct from those of other sellers”. It is more than just the physical features of a product; it is also the association and emotional cues triggered by the way in which they are marketed.
The biggest brands in the world can be identified by a mere colour or logo. We all know the meaning of a bright yellow ‘M’ emblazoned on a red background for instance; we’re all familiar with the swoosh tick paired with the slogan ‘Just do it’. Strong branding can set products of similar quality apart and can be the difference between the consumer choosing you over your competitors in a saturated market.
But, why is branding so important?
- Establishes customer loyalty and trust
- Creates a memorable impression and reputation
- Differentiates you from the competition
- Helps your employees understand your brand ensuring continuity
- Drives new business and increases brand value
- Provides a USP (unique selling point)
Branding is not a luxury marketing tactic only the huge global players are using; get yourself familiar with the relevant tools and techniques as early as possible in your company’s journey. Here are some ways in which branding can be achieved:
Define who you are as a company, your purpose and values. Identifying these early on can help your employees with consistency and structuring future innovations, as well as helping your audience find you. If, for example, sustainability is one of your brand’s core values – communicate this! Using words such as ‘eco’ in your brand name or slogan will reflect this value and resonate with the environmentally conscious consumer.
This covers everything from your name to tone of voice to your visual identity. Visuals such as your logo design, colour palette, and typographies used, will influence the consumer’s opinions of your company before they even know what you are all about!
Advertising and Communications
Consider the vast spectrum of communication methods available to you, from TV and billboard ads to social media and mobile apps. Generally, a young audience will spend a lot of time on hand-held devices, so using platforms such as Instagram to communicate with them is likely to yield interest and results.
Sponsoring and Partnerships
For larger brands, sponsorship deals and the use of high-status celebrities in their advertising can be super beneficial. This may not be a viable option for you; consider working with smaller influencers or cross-marketing with other brands instead.
Product and Packaging Design
Design has the ability to communicate a lot. Humans are fickle; attractive packaging or merchandise will draw a consumer’s eye on a retail shelf.
In-store Experience and Customer Service
Think about Apple for instance; their physical stores have a very distinctive bright and futuristic appearance, and they are known for their personalised and attentive customer service. Positive experiences in physical stores are likely to be shared, therefore forming a reputation.
If you are just starting out, or looking to improve upon your current branding, consider your target audience and ask yourself these questions to get the ball rolling. Will my audience instantly understand and relate to my brand without it needing too much explanation? Does my branding reflect the uniqueness of what I am offering? Does my brand accurately reflect the values that I want to convey to potential customers?
It’s a chicken or egg type scenario – your perceived customer will shape your branding, and your branding will also shape the kind of audience you attract. It is essential to plan and think carefully about who your customers already are, and the wider audience you would like to reach.
Remember, branding is a constant and ever-changing process; assess and audit regularly to build upon and maintain your brand identity, ensuring you evolve and grow with the changing world around you.
What can we do for you?
Hopefully you now have an idea of some of the basics to consider when it comes to establishing your brand.
The Services we offer here at Sirman and Lee include:
- Brand consultation
- Branding workshops
- Logo creation
- Brand guidelines
- Email signatures
- Flyers, posters and brochures and much more….
You would be in the capable hands of Ben, our lead creative with over 15 years’ experience under his belt; his attention to detail ensures creative design solutions that can build a brand identity positively. Check out some examples of our previous work on branding with our clients:
Noble Steak: noblesteak.club
Whisky Exchange: whiskyexch.com