What Is Branding, Really? - The Ultimate Guide
There’s a lot of confusion about what branding is, how it works, and why you should care about it. It makes sense; not only is it a complicated topic that can seem like a black box at times, but it’s also the result of a lot of moving parts. That’s why we’re breaking down everything you need to know about branding to avoid getting duped or misled when it comes to the topic. Let’s take a look at what branding is, how it works, and why it’s such an important part of your marketing strategy.
What is branding?
Branding is the process of building a strong foundation for your business by establishing a strong name, logo, and creative messaging that people associate with your company. Brands aren’t just about your products and services, though. They’re built around a combination of factors that includes your overall message, how your company is perceived by the public, and how it distinguishes itself from competitors.
So, what makes a good brand? We’ll let a few experts explain:
"Branding is everything that you stand for, everything that your business represents, and everything that your business is known for. People will remember what your company stands for, so make sure that your brand reflects the values that you want to instill in your customers.” - Branding expert and author Avinash Kumar
“Brands have the power to influence the emotions of consumers and move them to act. They are not just a set of words that describe or sell a product or service, but are woven into a story that people want to be part of.” - Erin Lampe, MBA, MBA Candidate, University of South Carolina
Why is branding important?
So, you’ve discovered that branding is a thing, but why is it so important? Let’s break it down.
- First and foremost, brands are a reflection of the businesses that they represent. Of course, it’s important to consider the specific products and services that you offer, but the majority of your brand should come from your mission, vision, and values. People can pick up on this immediately, so if you try to shoehorn a generic message into your brand, you’ll end up throwing people off.
- Plus, your brand story is what drives your marketing strategy. Your brand identity is the umbrella that protects your logo and visual messaging from the elements, and it’s what sets you apart from your competitors.
How branding works
Now that we’ve covered what branding is, we can dig into how it works and what you need to know. First of all, your brand is a promise to your customers. It represents what you stand for, and it communicates what you’re willing to offer customers. Your brand also gets established in the minds of people who see it or hear it, so you want to make sure that it’s clear, recognizable, and anchored in the minds of your audience. Your brand identity is what ties it all together. It’s a series of visuals that create an overall vibe and help customers quickly identify your business, especially when it’s on the internet. Your identity should be easily recognizable and convey a tone of professionalism Your logo is basically your brand. It’s what makes it clear that you’re talking about your company and what it does. Your logo is also an indicator of quality because it’s what people will see most often. Your brand message is the rest of your brand identity. Think of it as the words and images that wrap around your logo to communicate what you stand for and what you want your customers to get out of their experience with your business.
How to build a strong brand identity
Now that we’ve covered the basics of branding, let’s talk about how to build a strong brand identity. Your brand story is the foundation for your brand identity. It’s the story that your logo and visuals are woven into, and it sets the stage for the tone and vibe of your brand. Your logo is an essential part of your brand identity. It should reflect your brand, convey your brand’s message, and look professional. Your tagline is another essential part of your brand identity. It should be short, simple, and give your brand’s message without overstating it. Your product imagery can also be an essential part of your brand identity. Your visuals should help customers visualize what they’re buying and should look professional. Your website is another important part of building a strong brand identity. You want it to convey the brand identity that you’ve built over time, so keep it updated with your brand’s voice and messages.
How to build a strong brand identity
Now that we’ve covered the basics of branding, let’s talk about how to build a strong brand identity.
- First, make sure that your brand identity is strong. You want your logo, visual elements, and brand message to be strong so that they define you and tell your story. If any of these parts of your brand identity is wrong or lacking, it can limit the impact that your brand has
- Next, make sure that your brand is consistent. You want your brand identity to be consistent over time, across all of your marketing channels, and across all of your products and services. Consistency is key to building brand equity, which is why you want people to be able to pick up on the same things each time they hear from you.
- Finally, make sure that your brand is believable. You want your brand to be real, which is why it needs to be believable. You want your customers to see what you’re offering and how it’s different from your competitors. You also want to avoid coming across as too salesy or pushy. You want people to pick up on your genuine enthusiasm for what you do, so make sure that your passion comes across in your branding.
The 3 core components of a strong brand
Now that we’ve covered the basics of branding, let’s talk about how you can build a strong brand identity.
- Your brand's name is an essential part of a strong brand. It should be memorable, consistent, and easily recognizable. You can't establish a strong brand identity without having a solid brand name.
- Your brand's logo is another essential part of a strong brand. It should reflect your brand, convey your brand's message, and look professional. Your logo is your most recognizable visual, so make sure that it’s good enough to represent you and your company.
- Your brand's tagline is another essential part of a strong brand. It should be short, simple, and give your brand's message without overstating it. Your tagline should be clear and concise, and it should convey the tone and vibe of your brand.
- Your brand's product imagery is also an essential part of a strong brand. Your visuals should help customers visualize what they’re buying and should look professional. Your product imagery is the visual representation of your product, so make sure that it’s clear and accurate.
Making the Right Decision
Branding is the name, logo, and other design elements that create a distinctive image for a company. It’s crucial for elevating your business to create an emotional connection with your customer or client that can help them trust and recommend your services. If your customers don’t know or remember your brand, then they won’t trust you. Thats why when you're looking for Branding Companies in San Antonio or other local cities it may be worth looking at their logo, messaging, and overall image. If their branding doesnt stand out to you, then they might not be the right fit. Make sure you decide wisely because branding changes can be expensive and time-consuming.