Discover the concepts of branding and find out how to create and manage a brand that will help you reap its benefits and will propel your business to success.
What is branding?
Thinking of athletic shoes with complete apparel? Nike will come to most customers’ minds.
How about thirst quenchers? Coca-Cola, with the thoughts of sharing it with your friends and family, particularly during special occasions. It is even a great partner for burgers and pizza.
Salivating over a piece of pizza with that Coca-Cola? Pizza Hut or Yellow Cab may simultaneously come to your mind.
All these companies have more or less perfected the art of branding. Branding is never just the products or services you offer. It is a complete package, that great perception that you leave to your potential customers and long-time clients. Branding is that element that distinguishes you from your competitors, and it is that one factor that your consumers identify that product with you and you alone.
But these brands did not just appear out of nowhere, and they are known. These brands developed their reputations from scratch, and painstakingly build them up through the years. As Hubspot.com said, branding is the method of conceptualizing, developing, and executing a feature or features to your organization’s name, so that clients will start to associate your brand with your company’s products or services.
Why is branding important?
Your brand is one of the most important assets of your company. Your brand is your company’s identity. It is your promise to your customers and you need to always deliver that promise to not lose them. A strong brand is what encourages consumers to choose your brand and purchase them, and do not look for a substitute or replacement.
One of the deciding factors for customers to avail of your products and services, branding means that you need to fulfill your brand’s promise, as according Fundera 43% of consumers will always turn to their usual brand over other brands in the same industry.
Branding is your company’s identity. It is a chance for you to connect to your potential customers and loyal clients and ensure that they relate to you and your brand. As Fundera found out, 56% of customers will remain loyal to your brand, if the brand is relatable to them and share their value, or show them sympathy.
Your strong branding should also be the source of the pride of your employees so that they will continue to give exemplary services to your clients. Curatti found out that 73% of customers remain loyal to a particular brand because of the way that customer service made them feel, which is great.
Branding Terms to Know
The truth is branding is not an easy concept to grasp, especially with the fact that marketers and brand designers, and managers have their jargon. Below are some terms that you need to understand to have a better of what branding is.
Brand identity is not just the logo of a company. Brand identity is how you want the world to perceive your brand and all companies have one. Brand identity is composed of different elements, such as its logo, visual design, and color palette.
When a company launches a new product but belongs to a different category, a brand extension is born. Brand extensions are a way of leveraging your existing clients to support your new brand, and in turn, promote your products and ensure brand recall.
Your brand logo is your signature, your face, even. It is what you use so that clients can recognize your brand and associate it with your brand identity.
A color palette is the colors that are associated with your brand’s logo. You can choose a color palette base on your products and the emotions that you want your customers to feel, or the message that you want to convey.
A trademark refers to the act of formally registering any symbol, word or phrase, or visual design that you use to identify your products and services with. You trademark your brand name and logo to protect your brand’s rights.
Aimed as a guide to help you keep track of all your brand assets, a brand manual is also the outline of how you want to express your brand in different mediums, be it traditional or in the digital world. The brand manual will also help you and your teammates stay consistent in how you present your brand.
Consider your creative brief your roadmap, as it contains an overview of whom the project is, what are things you need for the project, and how to execute it. A creative brief is usually worked on by a team, like your project manager, marketers, advertisers, and even your clients.
These are fictional characters that you can develop to represent the people who purchase or use your offerings. These created personas can help you personalize the experience of your target market.
Your domain name is the title of your website, the one that you type in your URL bar. Domains help you create a great first impression to gain the interest of your potential customers.
Your brand positioning is how your clients perceive you, as opposed to your competitors. You can achieve this by marketing to a particular target audience or by highlighting your key difference or unique selling proposition.
A touchpoint is anywhere that a customer comes in contact with your brand. These may include interaction in your social media accounts, conversing with sales representatives, and other places where your brand is available.
Your brand’s value proposition is the statement of your brand’s benefits and these benefits are what convinces consumers to see the value of your brand.
Your voice is how you want your brand to sound to your customers. It is what shapes your brand’s personality.
The importance of branding in e-commerce
Contrary to what most people think, e-commerce is not just about selling. Getting involved in e-commerce also means that you are putting your brand in the online world.
It is imperative that you already worked out your branding strategy before launching your online store to ensure that it is aligned with your brand and your clients’ expectations. Oberlo claims that strong branding can be your business’ safety net against competing on price.
What Makes a Good brand name?
You need to choose a brand name that can communicate what your brand is about, and ensure that it is retained in their minds. As such, your brand should be: distinctive, memorable, authentic, transparent, and have a lasting impression. These qualities can help you in your quest to build that brand awareness, and stick in the minds of your target audience, as well as build trust and remain relevant in their minds, even if your company evolves or expands.
How to Build Your Brand?
You have a lot to consider if you want to build your brand. Below is a guide on how to ensure that you have strong branding.
Determine your target audience
You must create a brand that resonates with your audience. Having a strong brand leads to awareness, being recognized, being trusted and you can convert all these to gain revenue.
Getting to know your target audience through the conduct of target market research is an essential first step in your branding process. Finding out what your target audience wants and work on them and integrate them into your brand.
Create your mission statement
The next step in your branding process is the creation of your mission statement. Your mission statement is the purpose and passion of your company. You need to be able to communicate your brand’s mission first before you will be able to create your brand. Every element of your brands, such as your logo, tagline, visual, personality, and voice should integrate your brand’s mission and vision.
Identify your unique values, qualities, and benefits
An essential part of your branding strategy is for you to identify your brand’s unique values. It will be helpful to list down what sets you apart from your competitors and how you make your customers’ lives more convenient or how your brand inspires them.
Crystalize your brand promise
One of the important branding strategies that are imperative for you to keep is ensuring that you deliver your brand’s promise. In fact, according to Accenture.com, 66% of consumers believe that being transparent is one of the most attractive qualities of a brand.
Perfect your visual assets
Creating your visual assets—this comprises your logo, visual designs, fonts, and other visual components. For online consumers, rely mostly on your brand visuals, and creating that perfect visual experience is important. It is important to radiate perfection when it comes to your brand presence to gain that positive first impression.
Define your brand persona
Your brand persona, according to weebly.com, is the collection of your brand’s personalities, characteristics, and values in which your brand shows to be able to connect with different audience segments.
It is a branding strategy wherein you will visualize your brand persona as someone you may know, he or she needs to be someone who would love your products or services so that you can create the perfect message for them.
Refine customer experience
Oberlo.com claims that 69% of consumers claim that the most important thing that a brand can do is to know them so that the brand can improve its customers’ experience. As such, refining your customers’ experience is an essential branding strategy. It will help you gain more customers if you make sure that all interactions with your customers are aligned with your brand promise. This covers all the processes of purchase: from promotion to buying, shipping, and after-sales communications.
Great Brand Names Examples
Great brand names usually have the following characteristics: distinctive, memorable, authentic, transparent, and have a lasting impression. Below are some of the great brands in the market now:
The Starbucks name before it struck gold with the single name is long and was not particularly easy to remember. Renaming it to Starbucks has paid off, as it is now a household name worldwide.
Amazon wasn’t always the great brand name that you know it. It wasn’t until it became the namesake of the famous rainforest, and offers a multitude of products that it became a great brand. Amazon is distinctive, brief, and easy to remember. The brand name lets you imagine a vast rainforest, as enormous as the number of products that Amazon offers.
The brand name Caterpillar has existed for almost a century now. The brand of heavy equipment is so well-known that customers can even identify the brand as its shortened version, “Cat.”
One of the most recognizable brands in the world, Nike answers all the requirements for a great brand name. The namesake of the Greek goddess of victory, Nike’s association with sports is perfect for its brand.
Branding is the heart and soul of your company. Strong branding is what you need to be successful in getting through your target audience so that they can be converted into loyal customers, and sales and revenues will follow.
You have to keep in mind that the market, be it digital or otherwise, is ever-changing. That is why it is important to keep in mind the branding strategies that we mentioned. Developing that strategy will be your blueprint, your guide on how you will execute your plan to reach your milestones and goals.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is branding and why is it important?
Branding is the method of assigning a meaning to a specific brand, company or organization, through the creation of an image to shape that particular brand in the minds of your target audience. It is a strategy developed by companies so that people can promptly identify and experience their brands. The great brand experience will hopefully urge them to purchase your product and become loyal consumers.
Why is it important to build your brand?
It is important to build up your brand because strong branding gives your business great value. Your brand identity can help you stay focused and will guide all your campaigns, as your company needs to embody your brand. A strong brand will help you connect with your customers so that they will remain loyal to you and all of your endeavors.
Why is marketing important in eCommerce?
Marketing is important in e-commerce as it helps in the creation of huge revenue for your company. Marketing allows you to gain customers through your strong brand value. Creating a strong brand is essential in the digital world, as consumers usually read reviews about a product before buying them, aside from hearing good stories through word-of-mouth or reading content created by the organization.
What are the elements of good branding?
Identifying your target market is important so that your messaging will also be crafted for them. Customers that share your brand values and brand identity will likely be the ones to emotionally connect with your brand. It is them, who will most probably be your loyal customers in the long run.
How do you define branding?
Your brand is the perception of your customers on what your business is. Strong branding is important, and you should make sure that it is well thought of and defined, as well as purposeful and strategic.
What is the importance of branding in marketing?
Strong branding proved to be one of the most important facets of your business. Your brand is your company’s name, logo, and imagery. Branding is the experience you provide to your customers, and what makes them want to come back for your product and services. Branding is when you tell a story that connects to your target audience, and convinces them to purchase your products.