Branding is one of the perhaps most important marketing terms for you to understand. A brand is the accumulation of your business’ name, design, language, products, and online presence. In other words, your brand is how your audience perceives you.
Branding as a marketing strategy is a very conscious effort to match that perception with your vision. There is no escaping the need to distinguish your brand in today’s economy and put it front and centre when it comes to your interactions with leads and customers.
We’ll dive into what branding is, why it is essential, and what it takes to shape your brand.
What is Branding?
Branding consists of all the attributes of your business that make it unique from any other. Through branding, you set expectations and communicate what your business is all about.
At first glance, those that aren’t in the know often mistake branding for a logo and a website. But there is much more to branding than that. It consists of nearly any aspect of your business that will be perceived by customers or shareholders.
Some of these aspects are:
- Your products and services
- Your name
- Your logo and website design
- The language utilised in your ads
- The personality conveyed through your social media presence
- Your mission statement and story
Branding isn’t about fabricating an image that isn’t real. It’s about communicating what is great about your company in a cohesive manner, so it is visible to the world.
Good branding is built over time. Brand agencies can create a brand strategy that needs to be upheld by every part of the business. Just think of major brands like Apple, where every aspect of their brand works hand in hand, year after year. From their sleek, minimalistic designs, to their continuous message of innovation and style.
Or imagine Scotch Tape, which has been so successful at establishing its brand that its name is often used interchangeably with the product itself!
Who’s Branding for?
All businesses benefit from a strong brand. This is not just for the benefit of the business owners or the company itself. Two major groups are impacted by branding:
Customers: Your customers’ buying decisions are affected by your branding. You can also help push them to come back for more if the branding experience was cheery enough.
Your brand is a memorable aspect of your company. If your audience can be impressed by the image you put forward, they can become loyal customers and even brand ambassadors. 89% of shoppers, in fact, stay loyal to brands that share their values.
Consistent presentation of a brand has been observed to increase revenue by as much as 33%.
Employees: The other significant group branding effects are your own employees. Branding defines your internal company culture and the values most important to you. This affects what sort of candidates you attract to open job roles, and how your employees feel about you as an employer.
9 out of 10 candidates claim they would apply for a job if the employer’s brand is actively maintained.
Why it Matters
When it comes to your bottom line, branding can’t be overlooked. We’ve already touched upon how good branding can actually make you more money and secure more applicants. But the opposite is also true for inadequate, inconsistent, or non-existent branding.
It only takes about 0.05 seconds for your customers to form an opinion about your website. And if you don’t appear credible, you might lose as much as 81% of your consumers.
Branding isn’t just a nice thing to have. It is vital to your business’ success and survival in the long run.
Achieving Consistent, Professional Branding
There’s a lot that goes into branding. It takes experts in various fields to make the most of your branding strategy. You’ll need not just marketing strategists but also great copy-writers and designers. Whilst it’s possible to build a brand on your own, a branding agency can help you create a powerful image. They bring together knowledge from all relevant fields and apply years of experience with modern brands to give your business a competitive edge.