What is Branding?

Branding is one of the most misunderstood aspects of marketing. It’s often reduced to its visual components (logo, design, packaging) and viewed as a superficial exercise that doesn’t add value.

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The truth is, branding provides many benefits for businesses. Branding attracts customers, builds trust, and keeps your business top-of-mind.

What Is Branding?

Branding is the process of building a positive perception for your company, products and services. It involves creating a clear vision, connecting with consumers and creating a lasting legacy.

A strong brand gives your business an identity that sets you apart from the competition in a saturated market. It also supports your marketing efforts by promoting consistency. It can include everything from your logo/visual identity to product design and packaging, campaigns, website, UX and even retail environments.

It’s in the little things that powerhouse brands excel at. A gorgeous logo, clever tagline, authentic manifesto and consistent voice are just a few of the elements that help to distinguish them from other competing businesses in their market.

Branding also helps to build customer trust. Consumers are more interested in buying from companies that share their values and beliefs, so it’s important to be able to communicate these things effectively.

In addition to the above, branding is also about ensuring that all employees are on board with your vision and values. Whether they’re posting on social media or answering customer questions, it’s essential that all employees are aware of and can articulate your brand message consistently. It’s also helpful to have a brand style guide that includes all of your visual elements so that anyone who is interacting with your brand can be sure they’re representing it correctly.

Defining Your Brand

Branding is one of those buzzwords that gets thrown around a lot, but many business leaders could be stumped to answer the question: “What is my brand?”

A clear brand definition will give you a solid foundation for creating your marketing strategy and building your business. It will help you decide who to target and how to differentiate your product from the competition.

To get started, consider your business’s unique value proposition and core values. These are what set you apart from the rest and can be used to define your brand image. For example, if your company culture is known for being family-friendly, this can help build your brand image as a business that supports its employees and their families.

Next, try to imagine your brand like a person and how you would describe them. This is a concept known as brand anthropomorphism and can be useful in defining how your business acts, speaks, dresses, communicates and impacts the world. Once your brand is defined, make sure all of your team members understand it and use it consistently. This will ensure a consistent and cohesive brand experience for your customers. It will also help them build positive associations with your business.

Developing Your Brand Identity

A business needs to understand its audience and competitors in order to cultivate a brand identity that sets it apart from the rest. This helps businesses create a unique value proposition, which draws in customers and generates a positive perception of the brand.

The next step in creating a strong brand identity is defining the core values and personality of a business. This can be as simple or complex as you’d like it to be, but it should help distinguish the business from its competitors. For example, Glossier’s minimalist and inclusive branding appeals to its target market of young beauty enthusiasts. And crowdspring’s mission to provide high-quality, affordable marketing services to small businesses and entrepreneurs ties into its branding.

Developing a brand personality is one thing, but it’s equally important to be consistent in how the brand identity is used throughout all areas of a business. This includes everything from email signatures to social media posts. Keeping a consistent, professional look and feel across all marketing materials is crucial to building trust among consumers.

A distinct brand identity is also key for businesses looking to establish an emotional connection with customers. This can be achieved through a variety of marketing tactics, including storytelling, showcasing customer testimonials, and creating a social media presence that’s engaging and authentic. In addition, a distinctive brand identity can increase the perceived value of products and services, allowing companies to charge premium prices.

Creating a Brand Style Guide

When it comes to ensuring consistency across different platforms, creating a brand style guide is key. This document should contain a list of all the visual and verbal elements that define your brand identity. It should include your color palette, voice and tone, and even how you want your physical collateral to look. It should be a living, breathing document that evolves over time and can be easily updated to reflect new decisions or examples.

Your brand style guide should also be a reference for anyone working with your brand. Your team can use it to ensure all marketing materials match your company’s image and message. It can also help everyone understand how to best use your branding assets, so they can all work together cohesively.

A brand style guide can be as comprehensive or as simple as you want it to be. For example, WeWork’s 106-page brand guide includes every possible use case of their branding elements to eliminate any room for misinterpretation or miscommunication. Another great example is Ivy Lane Events’ bold style guide that reflects their edgy, dark events.

Branding is a crucial component of any business, whether you’re a large corporation or small startup. Establishing a clear and distinct identity sets you apart from competitors and drives customer loyalty. Get started with our free brand guidelines template, or book a demo with Bynder to see how dynamic, web-based guides can make it easy to safeguard your brand and keep all stakeholders on the same page.