The Basics of Branding
Branding is what your business needs. Without branding your products or services will not be able to survive in today’s intensely competitive global market, but before planning and implementing an effective branding strategy, it’s important to understand what branding really is.
First of all, it’s imperative to comprehend the core concept of a brand and its significance to your business. In easy words, a brand is basically what you promise to your target consumers. It plays the crucial role of differentiating your business from the rest of the competitive herd. It helps your customers to understand the kind of expectations they can have from your products or services. Thus, in essence, a brand is a reflection of what your business is, what your business aspires to be and what others perceive your business to be.
Hence, a brand helps you to present your business or products to come off as the most trustworthy, the most innovative, the most premium or the one providing the highest value with the least cost or price range. Before going for any adjectives you want your business to be associated with, remember that you cannot be everything for everyone. You must choose exactly what you want to be for your valuable customers.
Branding is, therefore, one of the most imperative facets of businesses, regardless of their type or size. Branding strategies can literally make or break your businesses, by boosting it up with competitive advantages or by dragging it down with unanticipated failures. So having an effective brand strategy is no longer a good thing to have, but have grown to become a necessity.
Now that we have covered what a brand essentially is, let’s enter the topic of brand strategy. A brand strategy can be described as what, how, when, where and who you want to communicate and deliver your promise, that is, brand message to. Thus, the verbal and visual content of your promise, the techniques you use to communicate your promise, the distribution channels through which you deliver your promise and the timings of your promise are all indispensable components of your brand strategy.
Branding has a strong positive correlation to brand equity. When the strategic branding is consistent, powerful brand equity can be created which adds value to the company and its products or services. This increased value is what helps you businesses to charge premium price for their brands compared to the unbranded indistinguishable goods. This is predominantly due to the emotional attachment or perceived quality, apart from the features of the products or services themselves, which acts as the added value inherent in brand equity.
Simply knowing what a brand means and what a brand strategy signifies is not enough, if you don’t have any idea about how to define your own brand. It’s not something you can simply copy-paste from textbooks, directories or web sources. This crucial process requires adequate time, patience and effort from your side as it can be quite complex and time-consuming.
To make the brand definition process a bit easier, addressing and identifying these areas can help:
- Company’s mission
- Product or service features and benefits
- Existing views about the company of prospects and customers
- Qualities associated with the company
After the stage of brand definition, you need to think about the brand message and below are the most crucial factors to consider:
- Consistency – There must be consistency in everything you do regarding your brand – starting from something as simple as the color of your logo to something as abstract as the feel of the brand.
- Delivery – You must deliver what your brand promises.
- Integration – Each and every corner of the business must be linked to the brand in a way that every business element is integrated.
- Logo – This is the foundation of any brand and it’s important for you to make them visible everywhere.
- Message – Determine the main messages to communicate to the customers about the brand so that everyone knows about the characteristics of the brand.
- Tagline – The tagline used for your brand must be brief, meaningful, relevant and of course, unforgettable.
- Voice – Your brand must be reflected with the help of a specific voice which must be applied in every verbal, visual and written communication and promotional materials.
Once you have these factors in place, you must consider them with every communication. Think of this as your go-to guide when you wish to launch a new advertising campaign, a new press release or any form of communication.
Want to know more about branding or have questions regarding it? Simply comment and we will get back to you.