Branding is a disciplined process used to build awareness and extend customer loyalty. It requires a mandate from the top and readiness to invest in the future. Branding is about seizing every opportunity to express why people should choose one brand over another. A desire to lead, outpace the competition, and give employees the best tools to reach customers are the reasons why companies leverage branding.
By a very basic definition, branding is a marketing strategy that actively shapes your brand in consumers’ minds.
Type of branding:
- Co-branding: partnering with another brand to achieve reach
- Digital branding: web, social media, search engine optimization, driving commerce on the web.
- Personal branding: the way an individual builds their reputation
- Cause branding: aligning your brand with a charitable cause; or corporate social responsibility.
- Country branding: efforts to attract tourists and businesses.
Who does it affect?
- Consumer: a brand provides consumers with a decision-making-shortcut when feeling indecisive about the same product from different companies.
- Employer/shareholders/third-parties: Besides helping consumers to distinguish similar products, successful branding strategies are also adding to a company’s reputation. This asset can affect a range of people, from consumers to employees, investors, shareholders, providers, and distributors.
- Your brand is the set of perceptions people have about your company. But branding is the set of actions you take to cultivate that brand.
Why you need to do “branding”?
- Help stand out from the competition: It builds on the ways in which you are different and unique. It persuades your customers to choose your products or services, not your competitors.
- Build the brand recognition: Branding is presenting through impactful logo, website, and other brand assets. And you can ensure that perception and experience stay consistent across all your brand touchstones.
- Spark a connection with your audience and turns that audience into loyal customers:The most successful businesses are the ones that foster an emotional connection with their audience. That emotional connection is what transforms a prospect into a customer and a customer into a brand enthusiast.
What are the elements of branding?
- Mission statement and brand values: Your mission statement and brand values are the foundation for your branding. Your mission should be a short and succinct statement that defines the present state and purpose of your organization. Meanwhile, your company’s vision is its heart, providing an inspirational and motivational snapshot of what you seek to achieve in the long term.
- Brand guidelines: 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.
- Logo: Your logo is the face of your company and designing your logo is arguably the single most important branding you’ll do for your business.
- Website: Designing your website is also a key branding step. Your website is your brand’s digital real estate and when your customers visit, it should be visually engaging, easy to use, and most important of all a reflection of who you are as a brand.
- Additional assets: There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to branding Depending on your business and industry, you might need additional assets like business cards, product packaging or event flyers.
- Wheeler, Alina (2012). Designing Brand Identity: An Essential Guide for the Whole Branding Team, 4th Edition.