We live in a world of brands. We see them every day. We eat brands, we wear brands, we use brands, we even smell brands. But what exactly is a brand? Why is it important? How can you build one? This page will tell you all about brands.
What is branding anyway?
According to the google dictionary, branding is defined as ‘the act of marking someone with a branding iron’. What at first glance might sound a bit confusing in this context is actually not too far off from what branding in the marketing world is all about.
In a much less painful, but equally effective manner, just as a farmer marks their cows to be able to identify them, a marketer tries to differentiate their products from their competitor’s.
She does so by communicating the attributes and characteristics that should pop into a consumer’s minds when the name of her company is mentioned.
Essentially, in the process of branding, you are trying to ‘mark’ the idea of what your business is about in people’s minds. What should your company be defined by? Which characteristics do you want a customer to name when talking about your brand? What makes you unique?
Who was first: branding or marketing?
Before I let you dive deeper into the topic and explore the world of branding in more detail, one last set of pressing questions remains to be answered: How are the concepts of branding and marketing related? Is branding exclusively a result of your marketing efforts? Would you have a brand if you didn’t define it?
Well, people would ‘create’ your brand based on their attitudes towards and opinions about the product. But then, you wouldn’t be able to steer this brand. And let the popular voice decided what you should be seen as. Do you really want that?
Furthermore, customers are not really quick in changing their attitude towards a brand on their own. That can be in your favor, in case you messed up and the quality of your product or service is decreasing, while you are still seen as a high-class player by your customers. On the other hand, they are also slow to recognize improvements and enhance their opinion about you. This is where (at the latest) you need to step in and take control over the situation.
Unlike in the chicken-egg debate where the outcome remains unclear, we can here clearly conclude that branding was first. It sets the general direction of all the future marketing undertaken by a business. It defines which values, which target group and which design we should follow.
Now, you should be ready to look at your branding in a more critical manner. Find its weak spots, highlight its strengths, make sure you exploit its maximal financial, reputational and psychological potential! Be in charge of what people think of you, and don’t let them define you.
Why is branding important?
Your brand is an intangible, nonetheless vital asset of your business. By giving an identity to your product or service, a brand has a huge impact on many parts of your business.
A financial impact first, because having a renowned brand allows you to price your product or service higher. There’s also an impact on customers because a brand helps create preference. And let’s not forget the impact on the market: if your product sells a lot, it can become a category leader and sell even more.
On the customer’s psychology, a brand has many benefits:
- Familiarity: your product is easily recognized
- Trust: the brand acts as a quality token
- Low-risk perception: it’s a popular brand, so it has to be good
- Simplify choice: when facing many choices, customers will go for what they know or recognize
On this page, we share a series of articles that can help you navigate the complex world of brands.
How do you approach the branding process?
We live in a challenging business period. New trends. Fast pace.
This impacts brands. Sometimes your brand is outdated and you have to rework it. When you face a branding or rebranding project, there are 4 steps to follow if you want to go fast and steady:
- Identity & Positioning
- Visual universe & tone of voice
- Change management
Our detailed article will walk you through the four steps. It includes a free checklist to evaluate the state of your brand today.
Branding in the age of online communication
The world has changed, and marketing has to adapt. Today, consumers are pretty much aware of most old-time marketing tactics. So how can you be relevant? How can your brand catch the attention and spark the interest of your target group in a context of defiance toward marketing efforts?
In this detailed article, we go through a handful of branding approaches, from blanding to love brands. We also share our own approach, Superhero branding. The article includes a free test to help you know if your brand is ready for the age of online communication.
A story of logos
Let’s be clear: a brand is much more than a logo. Still, a logo is very important because it’s the first visual element that everyone will see. So yes, a logo can communicate a lot about your company.
All the more reason to choose it wisely. In this detailed article, we show some professional logo styles explain why you should NOT use them for your own brand. Follow our advice to keep your hands off these common logo design mistakes.