What is branding?
Branding, by definition, is a marketing practice where a company creates an identity for itself that is distinct from other companies in the market. It can be in the form of a name, symbol or design. It directly impacts your reputation and how you connect with your target market.
It can be mainly broken down into 3 stages- brand strategy, brand identity and finally, brand marketing.
Why is it important?
Branding affects how people perceive your company, increases brand awareness and creates brand loyalty. When the company delivers a clear message and builds a professional profile, it develops trust among customers. Additionally, a good branding increases one’s business value, making it more appealing to investors and other companies for collaboration.
How should you brand?
A well-executed branding is clear and concise. Use brand-defining keywords to describe your company and use them repetitively in your narrative. It should not be overly complicated to prevent confusion. Instead, be precise in the message you are trying to deliver and be consistent about it. The message delivered has to include a purpose, direction or value that will stick with the company throughout. This message will then speak specifically to the unique needs and concerns of your target market.
Branding is a useful tool to build an emotional connection. A company can connect with their customers by sharing the values they stand for, frequently engaging with their target audience and ultimately leaving a memorable impression. It is a gradual process, but it eventually builds brand intimacy with your customers. Forging emotional bonds requires a company to be grounded in a strategy and has communication tools that resonate with the right audience and invite engagement. According to a mix of surveys and research done by MBLM, a brand intimacy agency, tech companies such as Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Netflix ranked high on brand intimacy. For example, Netflix does this by developing their algorithm to cater specifically to their users’ preferences, attempting to be anticipatory by giving show recommendations and understanding their user base well. In doing so, they have established themselves as an entertainment staple in people’s lives, rendering their service as invaluable to their customers.
Finally, rebrand if necessary. It is acceptable to rebrand your company, especially if you feel the need to alter your company’s reputation. Many big names such as Wendy’s, Burger king, Microsoft have tried to partially rebrand by refreshing their logo. Rebranding does not have to be a hardcore revamp of the entire company’s image. Instead, little evolvements are important to the long term sustainability of your brand, making sure it stays relevant over the years.
Wendy’s logo change in 2013
Burger King’s logo change in 1999
Keep in mind that you should only consider rebranding when your company’s vision, mission, values, logo or design no longer accurately reflect what your company stands for.
In conclusion, branding is a core marketing strategy and cannot be neglected, even for smaller companies. It aids in generating business growth, connecting on a personal level and helps you to stand out in a saturated market. As Jeff Bezos says, “Branding is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” So, it would be good to take the time to carefully curate a brand image to leave a memorable impression or even hire a marketing agency like Bluehive to guide you in building your portfolio. We have experienced brand consultants who will aid in developing your brand strategy and more.
You can also check these helpful websites out to find out more on building a strong branding:
- How to create a brand identity: https://www.columnfivemedia.com/how-to-create-a-brand-identity
- Rebranding: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/rebranding
- 6 critical components of a strong brand foundation: http://www.cogostrategy.com/blog/6-critical-components-of-a-strong-brand-foundation
- Branding trends in 2020: https://www.personadesign.ie/7-key-branding-trends-in-2020-to-grow-your-business/