What is branding?
Let’s take a look at the three major reasons why branding can add value to your business:
Brand recognition is one of two components of brand awareness. The other component is brand recall. Brand recognition is exactly what it sounds like: the ability of a consumer to recognize one brand over other brands. In other words, it’s the ability of consumers to identify your product by its attributes and design elements. Design elements include such things as shape, color, illustrations, and graphics.Study.com
Take the example of Apple’s brand evolution
In 1976, Apple’s first logo looked nothing like the logo we see today. The first logo pictured Isaac Newton sitting beneath a tree with the apple hanging from it, just about to fall. Yes, it was creative but it also didn’t instantly convey the true message.
You could now say that the simpler logo could mean a lot more, such as the apple is the source of all knowledge in the biblical story of Adam and Eve. It is also something you give to the teacher. The apple keeps the doctor away. The apple is even most often the symbol for the first letter of the alphabet.
While the rainbow logo was to represent the full-colour monitors, it was quickly superseded by the need to look sleek and streamlined. These days too, the rainbow means something else.
What about the “bite” out of the Apple?
Some observers claim the bite is actually a play on words with the “byte” as in gigabyte, others say it is the bite of knowledge. It could just be a way to add interest to a simple logo.
In any case, Apple is one of the most recognisable logos in the world, and an example of beautiful branding across all collateral and media.
Your brand stands out from the crowd of competitors because of the way you present it. And you don’t have to have a big logo, you just have to make sure people remember it.
Can a customer quickly identify your brand because of its unique logo? Did you create a unique logo that serves as the face of your company? It may look simple, but remember that a logo must be powerful enough to leave a good impression of your business.
How can I optimise my branding?
Be consistent in everything you design
Choose a clear set of guidelines for logo usage, colours, fonts, image treatments, advertising, website and marketing standards that deeply and clearly reflect your branding ethos. Show consistency not only across all visual assets and collateral and also with the branding message.
Make sure that every aspect of your business shows that you live and breathe your brand message. Do you want to be known for your prompt services? Then, answer sales calls immediately, deliver the products on time, and never ever be late on your meetings. If you want to be known for creative thinking, make sure your staff are allowed to dress creatively and the workspace offers creative workstation options.
Choose the tone of voice of your company
“Tone of voice” reflects the “personality” of your business comes through in your words, written and spoken. It’s not about what you say, but rather the way you say it. he voice of your company will be “heard” through all written communication visual imagery of your content on social media, paper and print, TV and radio ads and other channels.
Create a great logo and put everywhere
The more people see your logo and branding and have a positive association with the brand the more likely people are to remember with fondness. Put it on t-shirts, badges, cups, trucks, cars, invoices, social media, ads, promotional items and other applications people with remember or keep.
Create a memorable, meaningful and concise tagline
Think about the consistent brand messages below and how they shape our feelings about the product:
- Nike – “Just Do it”
- Apple – “Think Different”
- L’Oreal – “Because you’re worth it”
- KFC – “It’s finger lickin’ good”
- Coca-Cola – “Open Happiness”
- Dunkin’ Donuts – “America runs on Dunkin’”
- McDonald’s – “I’m lovin’ it”.
Write down the attributes of your brand and share with employees
What is the message of your brand? Make sure that everyone else working for you knows about it so that they can live up to the message. If you’re communicating a message about loving your pet, then make sure that no one in your company is cruel to animals.
Brand trust and credibility
What sets a scam site from a reputable one? Its credibility. If you have a legitimate business it is important that your website, logo and all content you post are polished, legitimate and reliable. If you want to command respect and show “authority” make sure you have customers reviews on full display, ensure nothing has typos or grammatical errors. Be transparent about your processes. Treat the client or customer as king/queen.
Building trust in a brand is about reliability and trust. Delivering consistently strong customer service, on-time delivery, great user experience on your website, consistent messaging in the way you treat staff and consistent design across all materials.
If they don’t buy from you the first time, try employing different tactics to get their trust and don’t stop until they become your loyal customers. How many times have you passed by a restaurant before you finally decided to give it a try? Sometimes we make impulsive shopping decisions, but at other times—we study our options, and we finally yield to advertisements, especially if we cannot ignore the brand’s message anymore.
Do you want to get referral business? If you can’t recall a brand, no matter how good the product is, then it will be difficult for you to refer it to your friend or a family member. Make it easy for a satisfied customer to give you referrals through strong branding strategies that would definitely leave an impression in the mind of your customers.
Integrate branding in your conversion strategies
Take time to fully understand your brand and how people see it. Make sure that all aspects of your company, from production to marketing and customer service accurately represent your brand. And make a strategy that will help you best express it in order to realise your goals. It is also important to check out your competitors. What do they have that you don’t? And, what can you offer your consumers that these brands cannot?
Also, it is important to study not only the customer demographics but your target persona. Doing market research would be very useful at this stage. It will help you get to know your customers better. You can use your findings to formulate a branding strategy which is suited to their needs.
Last thoughts: why branding is a vital piece of the marketing puzzle
Branding creates conversion and loyalty. But beyond that, it builds relationships, fosters trust and personal spaces no one else has the privilege to conquer. How many times have you felt your heart flutter upon seeing a particular advertisement on TV? What memories do you recall when you see the logo of your favourite food outlet? That’s what branding is all about.
Branding goes beyond the logo, graphics and content. Branding speaks and lives on even when there is only one satisfied customer.