You may have heard something about marketing “branding,” but maybe you don’t truly understand what that that means exactly.
Some people think branding is like positioning, but it is actually different. The main difference is that positioning is a fluid concept. In other words, you can position yourself at different times in different markets as different things. Branding is more set in stone– it’s a hard-core recognition factor.
Branding is more about following rules because if you don’t follow those rules, things don’t look the same and people won’t remember you. When you put out your marketing pieces, you want to create a similar look and feel so that people remember you. And you want that similar look and feel on every piece you put out.
The good thing is that you get to make the rules… colors are the same, style of lettering is the same, logo, etc. However, there is some flexibility as long as you follow the rules. You can’t go too far out of bounds, but you can change some things within the framework of what others can still recognize.
Branding in your marketing has to make you feel something. A technology company can’t have an old-style font — you might not think that they are very advanced.
A brand consists of eight basic building blocks:
- The name
- The logo (brand icon)
- The brand’s colors
- The slogan and brand messaging
- The sound of the brand
- The overall look and feel = the brand’s position
- Packaging the brand
- The brand experience
A brand is a greater sum of its parts. It is always more than just the nuts and bolts, the pieces; great brands are always the result of the whole equaling more than the sum of its parts.
Branding is about making the consumer or buyer more hip, more in the “know,” more cool than anybody else. We are a generation and a nation wanting to be special. We want to be richer, more beautiful, better dressed, and more effortlessly gorgeous than any other generation that we know.
Benefits of Branding
Your business needs to create a positive image in the minds of consumers. Contrary to what most people believe, branding isn’t just a logo. Your business’s purpose, focus, and image all combine to create your brand. Why should you make this effort? Below are a few benefits:
- You are remembered: It’s hard to remember a company with a generic name. You may not be able to distinguish their purpose and business focus. And why would you call a company if you couldn’t tell what they did? Branding your business ensures that consumers will know what you’re about.
- You gain customer loyalty: The fact is, people build close bonds with brand identities. Consumers want quality products that they can trust. So, your business should have an identity that your customers can cling to. If your company delivers great products and services and has a great brand identity, people will remember you. Additionally, they will often refer you to friends and family.
- You become well-known: You want the people who have not done business with you to still know who you are and what you do. If they see your ads on billboards, hear them on the radio, see them on television, or any other media, they will know your brand identity. And when the time comes that they need your product or service, your company will be the first to come to mind.
- Consumers pay for image: We are a very brand-aware society. People commonly associate brand names with quality and may only buy certain brands for that reason. If people only want one brand of a particular product, they are willing to pay a higher price. Having a great brand will make your company have a superior image and cause consumers to forget about the competition.