We want to help you to understand the basics of branding in business in order to give you the edge over your competitors and to grow your business sales. In this article, we'll discuss the following:
If you don't take anything away from this article except this point, you'll do well: Your brand in business is the biggest asset your company will own—and the most valuable.
What is branding in business?
Branding is one of those subjects that is often overcomplicated unnecessarily. It is, by definition, a practice in which a company creates a name, symbol or design that is easily identifiable as belonging to the company. Those last 7 words are key: "easily identifiable as belonging to the company." It's all well and good having a business name or logo but if your target audience cannot easily and consistently understand these elements as being attached to your company, there's a problem.
Having a consistent brand in business helps to identify a product or service and distinguish it from others. Branding is important because not only is it what makes a memorable impression on consumers but it also allows your customers and clients to know what to expect from your company. It is a way of distinguishing yourself from your competitors and clarifying what it is you offer that makes you the better choice. Your brand is built to be a true representation of who you are as a business, and how you wish to be perceived.
There are many areas that are used to develop a brand including advertising, customer service, promotional merchandise, reputation, and logo. All of these elements work together to create one unique and (hopefully) attention-grabbing professional profile.
"A brand does not exist within a company or organization. A brand exists in the minds of your customers. A brand is the sum total of impressions a customer has, based on every interaction they have had with you, your company, and your products." Lucidpress
Value of consistency
Brand identity should be applied across all channels consistently. It is the way that your business becomes recognizable. This includes your logo, colours, fonts, website design, content, advertising, print or packaging, and more.
In fact: consistent brand presentation across all platforms can increase revenue by up to 23%.
Your brand strategy is how, what, where, when and to whom you plan on communicating and delivering your brand messages. For example, where you advertise is part of your brand strategy. Your distribution channels, and what you communicate visually and verbally are also part of your brand strategy, too.
Consistent, strategic branding leads to strong brand equity, which means the added value brought to your company's products or services that allows you to charge more for your brand than what identical, unbranded products command. The most obvious example of this is Coke vs. a generic fizzy drink. Because Coca-Cola has built powerful brand equity, it can charge more for its product and customers will pay that higher price.
The added value intrinsic to brand equity frequently comes in the form of perceived quality or emotional attachment. For example, Nike associates its products with star athletes, hoping customers will transfer their emotional attachment from the athlete to the product. For Nike, it's not just the shoe's features that sell the shoe.
There are huge benefits to having a strategy for your brand in business and without it:
- You will not stand out from the competition or truly connect with customers or clients for the long-term,
- You'll be spinning your wheels and exhausted with why you're having trouble establishing, growing, or even maintaining your business,
- And you'll spend more time, effort, and money relying on marketing and advertising that has no unique message.
Brand cheat sheet
Whilst it isn't comprehensive, here's a cheat sheet to get you up and running quickly and efficiently:
- Get a great logo - Place it everywhere.
- Develop a tagline - Write a memorable, meaningful and concise statement that captures the essence of your brand.
- Write down your brand messaging - What are the key messages you want to communicate about your brand? Every employee should be aware of your brand attributes.
- Integrate your brand - Branding extends to every aspect of your business - how you answer your phones, what you or your salespeople wear on sales calls, your email signature; everything.
- Create a "voice" for your company that reflects your brand - This voice should be applied to all written communication and incorporated in the visual imagery of all materials, online and off. Is your brand friendly? Be conversational. Is it ritzy? Be more formal. You get the gist.
- Design templates and create brand standards for your marketing materials - Use the same colour scheme, logo placement, look and feel throughout. You don't need to be fancy, just consistent.
- Brand identity document - These are so valuable. You'll be able to bring together all of your templates, colours, fonts, etc. into one document that'll inform everything you do moving forwards.
- Be true to your brand - Customers won't return to you--or refer you to someone else--if you don't deliver on your brand promise.
- Be consistent - I placed this point last only because it involves all of the above and is the most important tip I can give you. If you can't do this, your attempts at establishing a brand will fail.
"We don't want to scare you, but customer expectations are on the rise — most customers have come to expect great design." Lucidpress
You're not alone in this venture of branding in business. Irrespective of the size of your business or start-up, our team is available to support by providing expert guidance, answering specific questions related to your context and creating the perfect brand that reflects your business.
We've got a number of branding packages available and here's what you'd get with them:
- High-quality designs that are consistent and true to your company values
- Expert advice from individuals who've worked with numerous brands
- All the time in the world. There's no rush and we'll work at your pace
Learn more about our branding services and get in touch with us today about beginning your next project.