What is Branding?
Branding refers to the process of assigning a name, logo, or design to a company that makes it recognizable and gives it its own unique identity. It is through branding that you identify a company or a product and distinguish it from its competitors.
Branding not only gives an identity to your product or company but also allows your clients and potential consumers to understand what to expect from your organization. You build a brand by creating the perfect representation of what your business stands for and how you want your product or service to be positioned in the minds of the consumer.
What are the Elements of Branding?
Several different elements are involved in creating a brand, all equally important. To ensure that your company reaches its full potential, it is necessary to understand these various elements of branding.
Brand identity is how your company is identified by the consumer. It can be through a logo or other visuals. The brand identity should easily and quickly inform people about your product or service.
Being easily recognizable and memorable is one of the most important elements of brand identity. For example, the Nike logo is very simple but is widely and easily recognized by millions of people with its popular tagline “Just Do It.”
A brand image is the idea of the brand that develops in the minds of the consumer. It’s how they perceive the brand. The brand image also helps companies understand what the consumer expects from a brand. For example, Lamborghini has created an image of a luxury/sports car and hence does not manufacture budget cars.
Once your brand image is established, it’s tricky to change it. It’s crucial to have a clear picture of what you want your brand to stand for in the market.
This element essentially indicates which segment of the market your product is aiming to be in. Rolls Royce, for example, caters itself to a niche market — one with a very high purchasing power. That is what distinguishes Rolls Royce.
Brand positioning is how you make your product appealing to a particular audience; it’s how you create your market.
These are specific traits and qualities one assigns to its brand. Brand personality is creating a personality for your product and can even be likened to qualities that any human being would have. For example, Mountain Dew’s personality can be associated with ruggedness.
Every little aspect of the brand including the shape and color of the logo and the writing of the brand name creates the brand personality.
Brand equity indicates the brand’s value. It includes financial value such as market share and revenue along with aspects like patents and brand recognition. For example, Apple is a global technology organization that is perceived by people to be selling premium products of superior quality.
Therefore, sales aren’t the only thing that creates brand equity. Brand equity is also made through the image of the brand in the public domain.
This is a significant element as it affects the reputation of the brand. Brand experience is the entire process the consumer goes through, from purchasing your product to using it. For example, when you get coffee at Starbucks, you don’t base your impression of the brand only on the taste of the coffee but also on how courteous the staff was and how much time you had to wait.
Ensuring customer satisfaction is a fundamental part of establishing a brand. For the customers to have a good experience, maintaining uniform standards of performance is vital.
As the name suggests, brand differentiation means how unique your brand is in the market. For example, Subway lets its customers choose which ingredients they want to add to their meal. This customizability that the brand provides its customers gives the brand an edge over its fast-food competitors.
If you want your brand to grow, you must effectively communicate the benefits your customers will receive from engaging with your brand.
You can deliver this message through various mediums like advertisements, hoardings, pamphlets, and online campaigns. This process is known as brand communication.
The difference between what your brand proposes to deliver through its brand communication and what it actually delivers is known as the brand gap. A high brand gap is what tarnishes the reputation of the company.
It is crucial that a brand deliver what it promises. A bad product cannot be saved by extensive amounts of marketing and advertising.
Why is Branding Important?
Branding changes how people look at your brand, brings in new business, and improves brand awareness.
Branding Creates Recognition
It is only through branding that a company gains recognition among its customers. The most visible part of the brand is the logo. It is the face of the company, making it the most important element of branding.
The logo of your brand should be catchy and easy to remember. It must create a lasting impression of the brand at first glance.
Branding Brings in More Customers
Good branding essentially means that your company has garnered a positive impression among its consumers. This invariably means that your customers will refer your brand to their friends and family, thus expanding your customer base.
Branding Improves Business Value
A well-positioned brand sets itself up comfortably to bring in future business. Good branding can increase the business’ value in the market and make it an attractive investment opportunity.
Creates Trust Within the Market
Effective branding will help the company stand out from among its competitors and build trust with prospective clients and consumers. People are more inclined to do business with a company that delivers on its promises.
Having an established and known brand gives consumers the impression that you know what you’re doing and that your company can be trusted.
Branding Improves Employee Satisfaction
A well-defined brand means that the company’s work, goal, culture, and expectations are clearly communicated to its employees. This ensures higher productivity.
Besides, when an employee works for a company that has branded itself strongly, it instills a feeling of pride in them for the work that they do. A brand that is regarded highly in the market makes working in that company much more satisfying and enjoyable.
In a Zendesk survey, 87% of consumers said consistent branding across all online and traditional platforms was important. (entrepreneur.com)
A unique brand can not only elevate your company but also shape its future. After all, branding is how your company is perceived by the world.
Strong branding can create a positive and memorable impression of your company right from the start, and if you play your cards right, with increased brand awareness, your company can scale to new heights.