September 24, 2020 5 min read

Many people have a hard time putting their finger on exactly what branding is, but they certainly know it when they see it. When you see the Facebook F or the old fashioned camera icon of Instagram, you probably know exactly what that icon stands for and even what will happen when you click it. 

You are influenced by branding in more ways than you may realize. Branding is essential to your business for a number of crucial reasons. Here is a guide to branding to help you understand why branding matters to your business.

What Is a Brand?

A brand is a series of features that sets your business apart from other businesses. It is composed of a number of different aspects, including colors, symbols, a voice and tone, tagline, mission statement, and so much more. 

We also use the idea of a brand to explain our experience when we interact with a particular business. Another way of thinking about it is the term “on brand.” This phrase refers to a person or a company behaving in the way you’d expect them to. 

A brand is an expectation of how a company will behave and what they are. Brand defines your experience with a company as a customer, a follower on social media, an employee, an investor, or a person in the community aware of the business.

The Definition of Branding 

Branding is distinct from your brand. It's important to be aware of your branding process continuously, well after you have established what your brand should be. After all, a brand is a struggle to show consistency of your business character at the same time as you continue to grow and evolve. 

You want your customers to find you consistent, but not old-fashioned or failing to adapt. Branding is a constant process, but it is most essential when you're just building your business. Without a brand, your customers won't be able to distinguish you from your competition. Your employees won’t understand what the most important values of your business are without a strong brand.

Importance of Branding 

Branding is essential for any business, from the smallest one-person operation to the biggest multinational corporation. A brand lets your customers understand who your company is in a deeper sense than just what you do for them. Your brand communicates your values, builds trust, and explains why you're different.

You Want Your Customers To Know You 

If you think that your product or service is good enough to compete on the market without your customers really knowing who you are, think again. Over 50% of customers prefer to buy from a brand name they know and trust.

Consumers are getting more and more concerned about where their products or services come from. They want to support a company that they can believe in and trust. Brands enable your customers to know who you are and what you stand for. 

This makes it more likely that customers will keep buying from you. It also shields you from some of the market fluctuations that would otherwise affect your business. Customers who know and like your company and are loyal to you may keep buying from your company even if your competitors offer lower prices or other advantages.

Create Cohesive Marketing

Marketing can only be effective if it causes customers to buy your products or use your services. Marketing can only do that if customers remember the message that marketing is sending. 

You want to create cohesive marketing that stays on brand. A recognizable logo, identifiable colors, and a steady company voice all help to create a marketing scheme that will be more likely to make customers remember your company and purchase from you in the future.

Improve Employee Morale

You want your employees to feel that working for you is more than just a paycheck. A strong brand with well-supported core values lets your company know what you stand for and identify with what matters to you. 

You want your brand to guide your employee’s behavior and be a standard to which you hold all of your employees. Without a strong brand, employees are more likely to feel that they are just laborers and less likely take personal interest and ownership of their job.

Brand Concepts 

From a large point of view, brand seems pretty easy to understand. However, when you actually start to develop a brand, you may find that it is more confusing than you realized. Here are a few essential aspects of branding to be aware of before you start.

Brand Awareness 

Do people know who your brand is? Brand awareness is a measure of how well your audience and people in general know your brand. Brands that are very popular and have high awareness are likely to get lots of organic shares, and people are more likely to remember them. You want your brand awareness to be as high as possible.

Brand Recognition 

This concept is a little bit difficult to distinguish from brand awareness, but there is an important difference. Brand awareness focuses on how aware people are of your business name itself. If you have a strong presence in an area, there may be strong brand awareness of your business but still relatively little brand recognition. 

Brand recognition refers to branding elements like your colors, logo, values,  packaging, tagline, and voice. If customers can know your company name just by seeing your logo or hearing your tagline or jingle, you have good brand recognition. 

You can't have brand recognition without brand awareness, but brand awareness doesn't necessarily mean brand recognition. It's important to focus on both elements when developing your brand. 

Brand identity

When you think of the companies that you interact with, you probably have a more personal reaction to them than just a customer relationship. You may have a sense of a brand’s values, competency, and quality. 

You may know a brand that you love for its social values and customer service, but who you can expect to have some confusion and technical difficulties. Another brand might have bottom rate prices that you just can't beat, but has awful customer service and has a very unpleasant interaction experience.

Brand identity is communicated through every interaction that a consumer has with your business, from customer service representatives to store displays, to whether products or services are consistently up to par.

Brand Extensions

Brand extensions are when a brand diversifies into other areas. If you're a small company just starting out, you won't need to worry about extending your brand yet. 

However, it is an important thing to keep in mind even when you are first developing a small brand. Usually, when a brand extends, it maintains a lot of the branding, voice, and value of the initial brand while adopting some new branding as well. 

You want to build an initial brand that has the potential for good extensions down the road if you have big dreams for your company.

How to Build a Strong Brand

If you want a great brand, the first step is to develop a strong sense of your business's core values, identity, and mission statement. Next, get in touch with a great graphic designer and content creator to help you deliver your brand through all different elements of your business. You want the brand you’ve spent so much time creating to be translated into everything that you use for your company, from your logo to your font, and a good graphic designer who understands your values and goals can work with you to do that, while providing quality artwork that will impress potential customers at the same time. 

Sources

https://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/article/2015

https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi

https://www.inc.com/geoffrey-james


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