Every day, we interact with numerous businesses across different platforms. From social media to television ads and even in our inbox, we’re constantly interacting with various brands knowingly or unknowingly.
How did we reach the point where our relationship with brands has become so intuitive that we don’t even realize it anymore?
It all comes down to how companies position their brands to be part of their customer’s core identities. Wondering what exactly is branding, what its essential elements are, and how it can help your business? Read this comprehensive guide until the end.
What is Branding?
Before we dive into branding, let’s get to know what a brand is. Generally, a brand consists of a name, slogan (catchphrase), logo, brand voice, and more. In short, it refers to the overall experience an individual goes through when interacting with a business.
Speaking of branding, it is a constant marketing practice to shape a brand. There is so much, which goes into branding. The primary aim of developing a successful brand is to research, create, and apply a set of features to a brand so that people can associate with its products or services.
Branding is an on-going process that requires you to win the head and heart of your existing and potential customers.
Why is Branding Important?
No matter which industry you belong to, branding is crucial for the growth of your business. Branding has the potential to change how people perceive your brand. Not only does it provide your company with an identity and increased business value, but a brand also encourages people to shop from you.
According to an article published in Forbes, consistent branding over different platforms can boost revenue by 23%.
There is no question that brand identity is one of the most crucial factors guiding a consumer’s decision when making a purchase. After all, humans are creatures of habit. We naturally gravitate towards the familiar. In a global Nielsen survey, 60% of consumers admitted that they only shop from brands they know.
Key Elements of Branding
Branding is a complex process. Therefore, familiarity with the different elements of branding is a must for developing a successful strategy. We put together a list of some of the most important items below:
Brand identity is the way people emotionally connect with your brand. It could be your logo or any other associated visual. Case in point: Nike’s famous Swoosh logo. Though it’s pretty simple, it’s immediately recognizable worldwide.
That’s the idea that your brand creates in the minds of your target audience. For example, BMW has cultivated the image of a luxury performance car maker all across the world. As a result, they could never start producing a budget-friendly vehicle even if there was a market for one. That would permanently ruin the reputation they’ve nurtured among their loyal fanbase over the decades.
As the name indicates, brand equity may include a financial value such as revenue, market share, etc.
Brand awareness is the extent to which your brand is recognizable among your target audience and the general public.
A brand’s personality is not unlike that of human beings. Every aspect of your brand, including typography and color of the logo is considered as brand personality. And because of brand personality, we associate with a particular brand. For instance, we associate McDonald’s with unhealthy eating habits, (an image they’re trying hard to shake) and Apple with upscale sensibilities of the creative class.
Brand extension is when a company plans to go beyond its origin and explore new fields. One of the biggest examples is Google. Started as a search engine, today it offers various services including emails, cloud storage, advertising, mobile operating systems, and more.
How to Create an Effective Brand
Find Out The Purpose Behind Your Brand
Brands without purpose will fall sooner or later. Don’t forget, a brand without purpose is little more than an advertising campaign that doesn’t have any inspiring ethos. So, before you launch your brand, discover the purpose behind it. The following questions can help you define a brand purpose.
- Why do you exist?
- What problem do you solve?
- What makes you different from others?
- What values do you inspire in consumers?
Determine Your Target Audience
Clearly identifying your product’s target audience helps you create effective marketing strategies. A target audience is a set of individuals sharing similar characteristics and requirements that your product is capable of serving.
You can determine your target audience based on age, gender, race, geographic distribution, interests, ‘ spending power and habits, and life status (college student, new parents, working women).
These questions will also give you ideas for your brand’s tagline, voice, slogans, visuals, messaging, and more.
Define Your Unique Values
In a competitive world, it is essential to define your unique qualities and values. Though you should not imitate big brands in your industry (the point is to distinguish yourself from established competitors), you can find inspiration in their marketing strategies. Create a list of things that set your business apart from others.
Here, we’re not talking about product features but about how your product and service can improve the lives of your customers.
Create Visual Assets
Once you know your brand’s objectives and your target audience, you should move on to creating visual assets. By visual assets we mean, logo, typography, color palette, iconography, and other optical components.
When you create these elements, don’t forget to build a set of brand guidelines. It will ensure that all your visual components are used consistently and accurately on all platforms. 51% of marketers prioritize making visual assets as part of their marketing strategy.
Find Your Unique Brand Voice
The voice of your brand will depend on your audience, mission, and industry. A brand voice refers to how you communicate with your customers and how they respond to you. Your brand voice can be technical, promotional, friendly, witty, service-oriented, and conversational.
Go for a brand voice that you find will better connect and resonate with your audience. Otherwise, they might ignore your product, or even turn against you. Create a consistent brand story for all your advertising campaigns and social media platforms. Also, give your audience a chance to get familiar with your brand voice.
Implement Your Brand Across Different Platforms
As soon as you complete with creating your brand, you should put your branding to work. Here are some tips for implementing your brand across different platforms.
Implement your logo and color palette across your website (wherever necessary). Your site is an integral part of your business identity, so make sure it reflects your brand perfectly.
All your social media profiles must cover imagery that reflects your brand.
In case you sell physical products, their packaging should reflect your branding in design, color, size, and feel.
Some Amazing Tips for Branding
No matter what the size of your business is, branding is crucial to entice your customers. Below, we have put together some fantastic branding or rebranding tips for small businesses.
Introduce Your Brand as a Person
It means your brand must have an identity (who it is), personality (how it interacts with customers, and experience (how people remember it).
Remember, the purpose of your brand is to form an engaging relationship with your customer. And one ideal way to do this is, treat your brand as a person.
Pay Attention to Consistency
One of the major mistakes that most small businesses make is, they don’t maintain consistency when it comes to branding. Not only does it weaken their brands, but also confuses their customers.
Don’t forget, when your brand has a uniform presence across different platforms, customers will come to expect it from you. Fortunately, brand guidelines can help you maintain consistency.
Create an Effective Brand Strategy
Create a compelling brand strategy according to your target audience. A brand strategy should be created, keeping your brand’s purpose and competitive awareness in mind.
Get Professional Help
Say you have a vision in your mind of your company’s mission, you understand who your customers are and know how to reach out to them – sometimes it’s still worth reaching out to the professionals to help transform your vision into a viable strategy and create the design language that most effectively transmits your values. You can check out how to choose the right design agency for more on that.
We can’t emphasize enough how crucial branding is to achieving success in the hyper-competitive modern era. A well-thought-out and memorable brand help attract new customers and retain loyal ones. It also speaks volumes about your company’s credibility.
Your brand is literally the first impression that customers get of your company and it is what makes your business stand out among your competition.
Some people make the mistake of thinking that a brand is just a logo. It’s much more than that. It’s your company’s mission, values, and product communicated in a unique voice.
Hopefully, this guide gives you in-depth knowledge of branding, its elements, and how you can implement it to grow your business. For more such posts, follow our blog.