Everything You Need To Know About Branding
Branding is the process of developing a unique name and identity for a product or business. Branding ensures awareness and credibility for a brand, creates customer loyalty, among other advantages.
Building a brand takes time and involves a lot of resources. It is, however, an important marketing tool for stimulating recognition.
A product, service, person or place that is branded automatically develops a personality as well as reputation. Businesses and individuals can as such take advantage of the various types of branding that are available.
Brands are significant and branding is principal as it is the personality of your business. Your customers might not know what your product is, but once they are familiar with the brand name they can easily recall what you are talking about.
For instance, there are many businesses in fast food industries, but once you talk about pizza’s as a product, brand loyal customers will abruptly think of either Pizza Hut or Domino’s Pizza, that’s because they have created a brand image in the minds of the customers and people remember them no matter what.
Apple has done a marvelous job by keeping its brand name alive! Apple fans will remain Apple fans because they love nothing but the Brand only!
Once you are successful in creating a positive brand image and your customers know what your product is all about, that is all you want for your business.
“You have to stay true to your heritage; that’s what your brand is about.” — Alice Temperley
To comprehend what branding truly is, we need to get a reasonable thought regarding what a brand is??
Is the company the brand itself? Well… Not by any stretch of the imagination.
What is a Brand?
There are a lot of well-thought definitions of a brand but to put it simply, a brand is the feelings of the customers or users towards your business or company.
It is the factual and emotional thoughts that come into their mind whenever they hear the name of your company.
Just take a moment and think what comes into your mind when you hear these names? Apple, Starbucks, Adidas, Volvo? Whatever you feel about these companies is their brand. That being said, a brand is nothing physical. It is not the high rise building of your company, nor it is whatever you say you are. It exists only in the customer’s mind.
Brand is a relationship.
People need emotional navigation. Let’s take a tribe for an example. A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea.
People want connection and growth into something new. It’s like evangelism.
Evangelism means convincing people to believe in your product or ideas as much as you do, by using fervor, zeal, guts, and cunning to mobilize your customers and staff into becoming as passionate about a cause as you are.
Therefore a strong brand needs to stands out in a densely crowded marketplace.
Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.- Jeff Bezos
Then what is branding??
Branding is one of those concepts that has been widely misunderstood and misinterpreted by a lot of people if not by most of them.
Especially in the design community, branding is often used regarding as logo or identity design, which is not necessarily true. Some people also mix it up with marketing or advertising.
So before starting with what branding really lets us focus on what branding isn’t and dump all the misconceptions about branding which are stored in our mind.
General Misconceptions Of Branding
1. “We don’t need to be special, let’s fit everyone”
Let’s suppose you’re a speaker in front of two different crowds.
The first one is massive, you can’t really see where it ends or begins. You start speaking, but suddenly there are a lot of other people speaking the same things as you do. Some have microphones and others have massive amplification systems — not a lot of people can really hear you and their attention is constantly being disrupted by the other speakers.
The second crowd is small, but when you talk to them, there is no one interrupting you — they hear your voice perfectly. This is exactly what branding is all about. You don’t need to appeal to everyone in order to be successful. Keeping your message sharp and focused as well as settling for a niche market are much better ideas that will make you stand out in a crowd.
2.“Branding is just a name and a logo”
Actually, a brand is so much more than a name and a logo. While these two are undoubtedly important for your business, they are just a part of a bigger story.
Branding is all about the feelings, features, and emotions associated with your company.
3.“Branding will not make me any money”
That’s true, it won’t. The sales of your product or service will make you money. But branding is what will make the customers choose what you offer instead of what somebody else is offering. So like, in the long run, it will make you money!
4. “Branding is only about the product or service”
Think of customer service — the experience you get when getting your problem solved by a company representative can largely impact the way you perceive the entire structure.
True — the products or services are what drives your company forward, but it’s all about the aftertaste that a transaction leaves. Brand equity can be largely impacted by the quality of customer service.
Too many companies want their brands to reflect some idealised, perfected image of themselves. As a consequence, their brands acquire no texture, no character and no public trust.- Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group
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It is a disciplined process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product, company or service in the consumers’ mind.
Branding can be a genuine game-changer.
The discipline has come a long, long way, form starting out as the stamping of marks of ownership on the backsides of cattle…
Through the manufacture of identities for products competing on supermarket shelves…
To the creation of complex marketing and communications glue for countless global organizations.
Brand identity is often established after years of consistency in operation, business credibility, and strategic marketing. Innovative or niche products, creative content, unique business model and consistency in delivering quality service help develop the business credibility and branding foundation.
Brand resides within the minds of customers, clients, and prospects in the form of experience and perceptions, and it connects to some of them personally.
To succeed in branding, it’s important to understand the needs of your customers. You do this by integrating your brand strategies through your company at every point of public contact.
Almost every business or company that has become a brand-name started with a formal plan and a vision but started out small. Brand popularity attracts the targeted customers. Because of customer loyalty, brand popularity continues to mature.
Branding is about getting your target market to choose you over the competition. It’s a long journey that requires ongoing customer and market research, finances and strategic marketing.
To put it simply, Branding is a communication of characteristics, values, and attributes that clarify what this particular brand is and is not.
And it’s up to you how you communicate those characteristics.
So make sure you communicate what you wanted to be associated with.
Whether it's your company, a product or you as a personal brand.
If people believe they share values with a company, they will stay loyal to the brand.- Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks
Types Of Branding:
This is the most common and easiest type of branding. Product branding is a symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products. Product branding is very easily noticeable when you walk through a supermarket filled with different products as most products are branded with a unique color, design, and logo.
This type of branding is very common among politicians, athletes, and celebrities. Personal branding makes it possible for famous people to reflect a good image of themselves to the public. Politicians, for instance, use personal branding to create a good impression and convince voters that they are right for an office.
This type of branding is used by businesses interested in creating and maintaining a good reputation. Corporate branding thus cuts across an organization’s services, products, employees, corporate culture as well as corporate social responsibility. Every activity carried out by an organization has a positive or negative effect on its reputation A wrong decision can, in fact, have an adverse effect on the corporate brand.
Retail branding is mostly used by industry giants to increase the interest of consumers and make product sales outpace the competition. A lot of money is spent to develop unique brand images that convince consumers to select their brand instead of others. Retail branding, however, requires a lot of planning. The right strategy needs to be adopted to ensure its success.
Co-branding is a type of branding that associates the brands of two or more companies with a specific product or service. It can also be described as a marketing partnership between two or more brands such that the success of one brand rubs off on the other. Co-branding is effective in building a business, increasing awareness and breaking into new markets.
“A brand is a voice and a product is a souvenir.” — Lisa Gansky
Why Branding Is Important??
Looking at the world today, it’s easy to understand why branding is now more important than any other time in the past. Branding is a combination of psychology and science, combined together into a commitment, as opposed to a brand. All products have a life cycle. But brands exist much longer than products. Brand transmission quality, prestige, and experience. The brand is valuable. Many businesses put the price of the brand into a balance sheet.
Why? You don’t need to look too far. When India’s Tata Motors bought the Jaguar and Range Rover from Ford, what did they buy? Factory? Resources? Worker? None of Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley helped Ford sell those brands to Tata for $ 2.56 billion, and those brands were worth more than all the other components combined.
Similarly, when Kraft bought Cadbury for $ 19.5 billion, what did they buy? Chocolate? Factory? Recipe? Specialist in candy? No, they buy brands.
Building an extremely important brand, a fundamental issue, is a core issue. Branding is building valuable values for businesses.
Branding helps people identify products
A brand is not just a name, a logo design or a distinctive color; Brand is a collection of customer feelings about products and services with full of physical and emotional aspects.
If considering the brand as a human. Everyone has a personality, an appearance, a dress style, a way of communication, they bring their own values, they have their own relationships and stories. It is these things that define who we are and with the corporate brand as well.
Differentiate your business from competitors
Becoming a “Love-mark” — a favorite brand is the ultimate goal of each brand.
Building a brand helps you differentiate the product of the business, which is why consumers enter the supermarket to pick up your product instead of many other competitors.
Customers are loyal and attached to the brand, not the product.
Attract talents for businesses
A strong brand makes talented young people aspire to join their team.
Google is a great testament to this, they post publicly what they provide employees from buffet 3 meals a day, unique work and entertainment space to extremely talented colleagues.
Google’s recruitment slogan is “Do interesting things.”
Build trust with stakeholders
Branding strategy not only contributes to increasing the number of customers or attracting talents for businesses, but it also helps companies increase the level of prestige, thereby attracting many stakeholders such as investors.
Business partners, suppliers, government, … Suppliers will want to work with companies known for their professionalism, investors will pour capital into high-profile companies.
With the rapid development of social networks today, it is very common for brands to build their positions on platforms like Instagram and Facebook
A strong brand provides your business value.
A strong brand will provide value to your organization well beyond your physical assets. Think about the brands that you purchase from (Coca-Cola, Wrangler, Apple, Ford, LG, VW)… are these companies really worth their equipment, their products, their warehouses, or factories? No, these companies are worth much more than their physical assets…their brand has created a value that far exceeds their physical value
Benefits Of Branding:
- Improves brand visibility and recognition
- Sets your brand apart from the competition
- Creates clarity as it establishes an understanding of who your brand is
- Develops trust and loyalty towards your clients
- Situate your brand’s reputation and role in the business world
- Helps clients know what to expect from your brand
- Represents your brand and its promise to your clients
- Builds financial value for your company
- Inspires employees through motivation and direction
- Generates new clients
- Brands help people accumulate experience and store knowledge. In some sense, a brand is a unite of memory.
- Brands serve as beacons in the sea of uncertainty. Brands help orientate and make better choices based on previous experiences.
- Brands function as social markers as well. Different people choose different brands by expressing their social position and values.
- Brands inspire people. Just think about Nike’s “just do it”. Brands can change life for billions of people.
- Brands build strong emotional relationships with customers.
- Brand develop a base of loyal customers and that means repeat purchases.
- Brands of well-known quality can command a premium because people trust them more than some unknown competitors.
For society in large:
- The technology of branding help creates strong social movements.
- One of the largest brands in the world used to be USSR — very comprehensively branded country with every single element of everyday life communicating one single idea — the inevitable victory of communism. Street names, city names, monuments, posters everywhere, obligatory manifestations and so much more. The USA used to be a strong brand as well — with freedom at its core.
- Since ideas in peoples heads (a.k.a. “brands”) determine their actions and attitudes brands create our reality in the most direct manner. Just consider this… until people thought that earth is flat they even did not think about circumnavigating it.
- The laws of branding are the laws of how people think. That pretty much sums up everything — the only thing that can get you to share of peoples hearts and minds is brand. Without a brand you cannot have nor control, nor power.
Zoning in on the true movers and shakers of our universe it’s not hard to see they have a lot of similarities. Be that as it may, if we were to narrow it even further on only one factor is incredibly in charge of their success, it would be their capacity to Create and Master an exceptional brand.
A successful brand is the main thrust that has propelled a considerable lot of our preferred billionaires from the startup stage to the highest point of the natural pecking order.