What is branding?
Branding is the process where a business makes itself known to the public and differentiates itself from competitors. Branding typically includes a phrase, design or idea that makes it easily identifiable to the public.
How to build a brand
- Define your company’s identity
- Knowing what you want your company to represent and what you want its purpose to be is the first step in building a brand. By envisioning what you want your company to be, you can start planning to make it a reality. For example, the owner of a makeup line might decide that they want their identity to be based around three principles: environmental responsibility, value and versatility. With your company’s identity in mind, you can plan marketing strategies for your products. In the case of the makeup line owner, these strategies might include an advertisement that promotes organic ingredients or tutorial videos that show three different ways to wear blush.
- Highlight your target audience
- Honing in on your audience is important when cultivating your brand identity. Consider your audience’s age, gender, socio-economic status, culture and even geographic location. These factors will help influence the way you present your company to the public. For example, if you own a car dealership in Albany, New York, you may identify your audience as men and women between the ages of 25-65 who are typically middle and upper class and live in and around Albany, New York.
- Organize your company around desired identity
- Structuring your company in accordance with your brand can help ensure that the promises you promote are being upheld. For example, a national bank says that they provide quality customer service 24 hours a day. To uphold this claim, they need to make sure that they have experienced, well-trained customer service representatives available day and night.
- Don’t be afraid to revise
- Once you commit to a certain company image, don’t be afraid to revise it. Your brand can evolve as your company grows and as you establish yourself within your industry. For example, a travel agency has branded itself as an aid for domestic and international vacations. However, after seeing a trend in study, work and volunteer abroad programs, they expand their services to helping people plan and execute educational experiences abroad.
Why is branding important?
Branding is important for the following reasons:
- Establishes your company within an industry: The right brand identity can potentially help you get established within your industry. This can also help you compete with those who offer similar services as your brand gets more recognition.
- Conveys your purpose to consumers: Your brand is also important because it helps convey the value that your products or services can provide for consumers. For example, if your cleaning products company has the slogan: "Less time for cleanup, more time for fun," then you imply to consumers that your product line helps clean up messes fast so customers can do more of what they enjoy.
- Increases company awareness: Having a strong and recognizable brand could potentially attract new customers.
- Reminds existing customers of your products and services: Your brand can also help remind existing customers about what you have to offer. For example, if you own a pest control business, running advertisements or revamping your logo could remind previous customers that you provide organic pest control for their lawn.
What makes a good brand?
Here are two key components that help contribute to a good brand:
- Logo: Your logo is an important part of your brand because it’s a visual representation of your company. A logo typically includes a specific color scheme, shape or image. In some cases, a logo can be your company name with a font and color that reflects your company culture.
- Slogan: A slogan is a brief, clear message that showcases your company’s values. Your slogan should help establish an emotional connection to your company. You can have more than one slogan if you offer a variety of different services.