What is branding?
A brand is created to visually represent your organisation and to differentiate you from your competitors. The term ‘branding’ describes the process that your organisation goes through to establish what your final brand will be. Therefore, the perception stakeholders have of your organisation. Branding can also be used to describe the overall suite of elements that make up your brand, which can include your visual look and feel, values, goals, guidelines, and the experiences that you provide internally and externally.
Why is branding important?
Contrary to popular belief, branding and brand strategy are not reserved for big corporations with large budgets. Branding can play a vital role for organisations of all sizes, big and small. Your branding can change perceptions, generate new business, build loyalty, and increase your organisation’s value, but it can also have the opposite effect.
Without branding, your organisation is no different from your competitors, which can negatively impact your organisation’s long-term sustainability and profitability. Branding is about more than just a strong name or good product. Your brand identity provides a clear promise to your consumers, detailing who you are and what you can do for them, and helps to forge emotional connections with users.
It’s also important to note that brand reputation is built regardless of whether you actively seek to create it or not. Those that harness branding can reap the rewards, as explored below.
Benefits of branding
- Increases awareness and promotes recognition
- Builds trust and credibility with consumers
- Creates customer loyalty and long-term relationships
- Increases the level of repeat business and word of mouth referrals
- Decreases likelihood of losing customers to your competition
- Helps you differentiate yourself from your competitors
- Increases the rate of new business
- Showcases your values and beliefs, which can be good PR
- Provides motivation and direction for your staff
- Increases employee engagement and retention
- Helps attract top talent
- Creates clarity and purpose for marketing strategies and campaigns
- Provides business value
Building your brand
When it comes to building your brand, here a few things you should get straight first:
- Your company brand isn’t just your logo – it’s your core values, beliefs, tone, use of colour, symbols and more.
- It must be authentic – there’s no point lying about who you are; your entire team from the top down must believe in your values for your brand to be believable; otherwise, your consumers will hold you accountable.
- What do you stand for? – make sure your brand is an extension of who you are, what you believe in, and what your long-term goals are.
- What do your customers say – use customer feedback to help you set yourself apart from your competition; it’s not just about what you think makes you different.
When creating a brand, you aim to paint an image of a credible, dependable organisation made up of thought leaders and experts in their field who can address your customers’ needs in a better way than your competitors. To be successful, your brand must:
- Deliver your promise clearly and succinctly
- Convey trust, honesty, and credibility
- Forge an emotional connection with consumers
- Build loyalty
- Motivate consumers to take the next step
Creating a brand identity is key for all businesses of all sizes. Branding is more than just a logo; it encompasses everything your organisation stands for and what it wants to achieve. Without a strong brand image, it’s much harder to differentiate yourself from your competitors. Successful branding will help you win new business, retain your existing customers and employees, and attract top talent to your team. If you want to build a brand but you’re not sure what to do next, please get in touch.
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