Trademark of a commercial product
The brand is a primary commercial identification and / or the set of various identifiers with which a product is related and offered. That is the basic definition, but there is much more to it than that.
Branding is what your business needs to overcome clutter and capture the attention of your ideal customer. It’s what transforms new buyers into lifelong customers and turns an indifferent audience into evangelists for your brand. It’s what you need to stand out, make an impact, and take your business to the next level.
In other words, if you want your business to be successful, branding is non-negotiable.
But why, exactly, is it so important is it? Implying? And how do you rate your business in a way that has a real impact on your audience?
What does it mean?
It has been around since 350 AD and is derived from the word “Brandr,” which means “to burn” in Old Norse. By 1500, it had come to mean that ranchers burned cattle to indicate ownership, a precursor to the modern logo.
However, today it is much more than just a look or a logo. It has come to mean the emotional “instinct” reaction that a company can elicit from its customers.
It is the set of perceptions that people have about your company. But it is also the set of actions that you carry out to cultivate that brand.
In other words, your brand is a noun, but the brand is a verb. When you design a logo, when you develop the voice, that’s branding, when you meet with your marketing team to brainstorm an ad campaign, that’s branding.
¿Why is it so important?
It’s important because:
- It helps you stand out from the competition. It doesn’t matter what type of business you have, what industry you are in, or what type of customer you are pursuing; if you are in business, you have serious competition. It helps you establish the ways that you are different, special, and unique. And show your clients why they should work with you instead of your competitors.
- Create brand awareness. If you want to build a successful brand, it must be recognizable. The right branding – including designing a striking logo, website, and other brand assets – helps you create a distinct style and increases your brand’s recognition in the marketplace.
- Create a consistent brand experience for your customers.For your business to be successful, you need to provide a consistent experience to your customers, regardless of how they interact with your brand, whether it’s through your website, at an in-person event, or by following their social media accounts. Branding allows you to control how people perceive and experience your brand, and you can ensure that perception and experience remain consistent across all your brand touchstones.
- Spark a connection with your audience and turn that audience into loyal customers. The most successful companies are those that foster an emotional connection with their audience. That emotional connection is what turns a potential customer into a customer and a customer into a brand enthusiast. And how do you create and build that connection? Different branding strategies – such as packing an emotional punch with your brand’s voice or harnessing the psychology of color when designing your logo – can help you connect with your audience on a deeper level and create a sense of loyalty to your brand.
What are its elements?
Here are the branding elements you’ll need to create to cultivate how customers perceive your business:
- Mission statement and brand values. Your mission statement and values are the foundation. Think of your mission as the brains of the operation – a short, succinct statement that defines the current state and purpose of your organization. Meanwhile, your company’s vision is your heart, providing an inspiring and motivating snapshot of what you seek to achieve in the long term.
- Guidelines. With the mission and vision statement established as the pillars of your organization, your brand strategy encompasses everything else. This will take the form of brand guidelines (also known as your “brand bible”). These guidelines are made up of a tangible document that will reflect and support your business goals, differentiate you from your competitors, resonate with customers, provide a template for decision making, and precipitate ideas for future marketing campaigns. It will also include all of your brand’s stylistic elements, including your color palette, fonts, and a summary of your brand’s voice.
- Logo. It is the face of your company and your logo design is possibly the most important brand you will make for your business. During the design process, think about who you are as a brand and how you want your customers to perceive you. Use it to drive your design strategy.
- Website. Designing your website is also a key step. Your website is your brand’s digital real estate industry, and when your clients visit it, it should be visually appealing, easy to use, and most importantly, a reflection of who you are as a brand. Similar to your logo, see your brand guide for choosing your web design elements (such as layout and fonts).
- Additional assets. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to branding. Depending on your business and industry, you may need additional assets such as business cards, product packaging, or event flyers. Assess your business and its unique needs, and then develop additional brand assets accordingly.
Better branding means better marketing
As a general rule, products have limited life cycles, but if handled well, they last forever. And once you’ve identified exactly who you are as a brand, it becomes a lot easier to market it.
Your brand guidelines, along with ongoing market research and analysis, should give you a tactical advantage in determining the best way to market your products. Do you focus on traditional marketing like radio and billboard, or is your potential client more influenced by viral YouTube videos and Snapchat filters? Marketing can be a combination of tactics, but be careful of spreading yourself too thin. By continually consulting your brand guide, you should be able to focus your efforts on the tactics that really matter.
At the end of the day, marketing is the process that brings you leads and sales, but branding is the foundation on which you build your reputation and customer loyalty.
Strengthen the business with your brand
The only thing you want to remember is that the mark is a verb. It’s an action. So while it may seem daunting at first, considering all the planning, assets, and staff that go into cultivating an unforgettable brand, it’s also enriching. Instead of letting others tell your story, you are talking to the brand.
If you ever feel lost in the process, remember that support is always at hand. Once you’ve established your brand vision, enlist the help of a professional designer to bring your brand to life.