Branding – The Basics
In the simplest terms, branding is a visibility- and reputation- building exercise to differentiate businesses from the competition. It involves the communication of the values, characteristics and credo of a business, with the intention to build trust and win consumer confidence.
How is branding achieved?
A company branding strategy mostly revolves around visual communications. The business logo, slogan, marketing materials, website, signage and uniforms are some commonly employed solutions. They collectively shape and define the identity of the business. As a brand is a powerful asset, efforts should be consistent with the vision of the business and image it wants to portray.
Branding vs marketing
Marketing is different from branding. While the former is a push, the latter is a pull. Marketing involves the active promotion of your offerings. A Brand, on the other hand, supports every marketing effort and encourages sales. It forms impressions, establishes your identity, and humanizes your brand. The goal is to make your business appear popular, influential and likeable, which can compel consumers to at least consider, if not buy, your product or service.
It underlies every marketing activity, and greatly influences consumers’ purchase decisions.
To illustrate with an example, effective marketing of Kellogg’s latest crunchy nut cereal may convince someone who has never tried a product from the food manufacturing giant to buy the cereal. But it is the Kellogg’s brand that will ultimately determine if you continue buying crunchy nut and possibly, even try out other Kellogg’s products. Business branding is a strategic approach premised on the strength of your offerings, your promise of reliability, your customer support, the experience at your retail outlet, and how you run your business.
Why branding is important
It is a key ingredient determining the success of a business. A strong brand not only builds public confidence and gives sales a boost, but also attracts quality employees and strategic business partners. Once you have achieved successful branding, half your marketing battle is won. It is a powerful motivator placing you above look-alike products or your closest competitors. Consumers will instantly recognize the packaging of your laundry detergent, face cream or electronic cigarette on supermarket shelves, and instinctively reach out for them.
Effective branding creates loyal customers and brand ambassadors. The return on branding efforts is immense and critical to the growth and sustenance of your business. An experienced branding agency can be a vital partner who helps your business receive public respect and flourish.
About the author
Mark Buckingham is a partner with Mark 2 Creative; a dynamic Sydney based integrated marketing agency. We are experts in brand and digital delivery, and are able to seamlessly merge the two disciplines together to deliver cutting edge solutions that set us apart from the competition. Our imaginative and innovative approach provides our clients with a real presence in their marketplace that gives them exactly what they need from their marketing – more business.