Why Branding is so important to businesses
Creating an effective and representative Brand for you or your business is more crucial than ever. In a world where more people are self-promoting or starting up businesses, Branding will, at its core, help you to stand out from the crowd. Branding is the process of creating the brand identity of a company. This process also delivers materials that support the brand, like a logo, tagline, visual design, or tone of voice.
What is Branding?
Branding is a process. Some argue that this process is never-ending and to some extent this is true! Throughout the process of creating your Brand Identity, you establish your visual style, your tone of voice to clients, your goals and aims, and how your service will help others. The typical deliverables from the Branding process are logos, taglines, visual designs, key phrases (and more if you feel it is needed to harness your brand’s energy!).
Why Do I Need A Brand?
A stylised and well-thought-out Brand gives meaning to your business and services/products. It does so by helping customers quickly identify and recognise your business through their experiences with you and your Brand, and therefore encourages them to continue to choose your services over your competitors. If your customers receive a great service or love your products, they’ll associate anything linked with your Brand as something they trust in terms of quality and their overall happiness.
Creating a Brand that you love and stand by can also enhance your and your employees’ mentality when working. As with all people, if you don’t like or feel connected to the Brand, it won’t inspire you and certainly won’t inspire those who work for you. Encouraging that sense of pride and inspiration will only do wonders for you and your team – bettering your customer interactions, promotions, and all-around motivation.
Isn’t this the same as Marketing?
Simply put – nope! Both Branding and Marketing are essential for business growth and success, and the two very easily combine however the core principles of each vary. In layman’s terms, Branding is your identity and Marketing is the strategy with which you communicate.
Some handy principles of the two disciplines:
Provides the Brand Identity
Encourages customer recognition and trust through your story and background
The Brand Strategy is there to support your identity and story
Explains why your business is here!
The focus is on how your customer base feels about your business.
Provides a connection from the Brand to the products.
Encourages customer recognition and trust through activity.
The Marketing strategy is there to support your products and services
Supports your brand by giving customers initiatives
The focus is on your audience and what they do with your business.
Things to consider when creating a Brand
The key steps to creating your Brand:
Determine your target audience.
Your Brand needs to resonate with your audience for them to feel a connection to you. To provide a service, you need to know who it is that you’re targeting and selling to.
Establish your mission statement.
Think of this as the first step to building your brand manifesto – why did you start your business? Your mission statement will help to define what your business is passionate about and what its purpose is.
Define your values, features, and benefits.
There are so many businesses out there, and realistically you’ll have quite a few competitors to contend with – so think what makes you different. What is it about your business, products, service, etc that will make people choose you over others? Are you eco-friendly? Is your product different in any way? How do aim to provide a better service?
Create your visual assets.
This is the exciting part of your Branding process – the visuals are the initial part that gets recognised so think carefully about your fonts, colour palettes, logo style and even iconography if you feel it is needed. There are templates and services online, however (of course) I always recommend using a professional Designer to ensure your assets are of a high standard, unique and most importantly, workable.
If you find yourself worrying about ideas, I’ll be posting some top tips in future blog posts so make sure you check them out. Or if you want help in creating your dream brand, fill out my Brand Enquiries form online and I can guide you through.
Find your brand voice.
This is how you communicate with your customers – how would you want your Brand to sound if you had a conversation with it? Whether it is in your Instagram captions, email marketing campaigns, or other avenues, your tone of voice can be what wins over customers. In my experience, I always gravitate towards the more relaxed, fun campaigns than I do the sophisticated ones. However, as with Marks & Spencer, the classy (almost flirtatious) wording has given their food range a much more high-end reputation. So it is definitely worth thinking about!
After you have created your Brand strategy, you need to implement it! Creating an effective Brand Strategy and Brand Guidelines will help you keep your business style consistent and trustworthy. Think about what you need and for what method of marketing – are you building a website? Are you promoting on Instagram? Are you investing in Email Marketing? If so, what assets will you need for these channels?
You can even start to think of merchandising, product packaging, company stationery and more – just get your Brand aligned and the rest falls into place.