What is branding?
Branding is the act of creating a brand. The process involves:-
- Positioning your company or product in the market (carving out your own place)
- Devising brand strategy (how you will reach your goals)
- Creating your name (your verbal identity)
- Designing corporate identity or product identity (your visual identity)
- Writing brand messaging (verbal and written tone)
- Setting brand standards (how you keep your brand consistent and strong)
Also known as Brand Development. Most businesses when they’ve worked with an experienced professional will not have to undertake the process for roughly 10-20 years. In the life of a 50-year business, it should appear in the company only 2-3 times total.
When a company’s brand becomes outdated in 20 years, then you may once again need to take on the process. If you create new products, you get to work on the process of branding on a more frequent basis.
Once the process is completed, the word ‘branding’ has no continuing relationship with your brand. Unless you work on it again with a new product.
Why Is Branding Important?
Branding is absolutely critical to a business because of the overall impact it makes on your company. It can change how people perceive your brand, it can drive new business and increase brand awareness.
Branding Gets Recognition
The most important reason branding is important to a business is that it is how a company gets recognition and becomes known to the consumers.
The logo is the most important element of branding, especially where this factor is concerned, as it is essentially the face of the company. This is why professional logo design should be powerful and easily memorable, making an impression on a person at first glance. Printed promotional products are a way of getting this across.
Branding Increases Business Value
It is important when trying to generate future business and a strongly established brand can increase a business’s value by giving the company more leverage in the industry. This makes it a more appealing investment opportunity because of its firmly established place in the marketplace in many ways such as Flyers, Brochures, Flex, Banners, etc.
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Branding Generates New Customers
A good brand will have no trouble drumming up the referral business. Strong branding generally means there is a positive impression of the company amongst consumers, and they are likely to do business with you because of the familiarity and assumed dependability of using a name they can trust.
Once a brand has been well-established, word of mouth will be the company’s best and most effective advertising technique. It has various products to do so such as customized t-shirt, caps, promotional pens, calendars, etc of your Brand.
Improves Employee Pride and Satisfaction
When an employee works for a strongly branded company and truly stands behind the brand, they will be more satisfied with their job and have a higher degree of pride in the work that they do. Working for a brand that is reputable and help in high regard amongst the public makes working for that company more enjoyable and fulfilling. Having a branded office and Uniforms for the staff can often help employees feel more satisfied and have a sense of belonging to the company, which can be achieved by using promotional merchandise for your desktop.
Creates Trust within the Marketplace
A professional appearance and well-strategized branding will help the company build trust with consumers, potential clients, and customers. People are more likely to do business with a company that has a polished and professional portrayal. Being branded gives the impression of being industry experts and makes the public feel as though they can trust your company. Using Letterheads, Corporate Packaging of your Brand, customizing Uniforms, would also gain trust.
Branding Supports Advertising
Advertising is another component of branding, and advertising strategies will directly reflect the brand and its desired portrayal. Advertising techniques such as the use of promotional products by trusted companies make it easy to create an appealing advertising strategy.
5 Main Branding Types and Benefits
1. Product Branding
The main aim of the company is to promote the newly launched product in the market, in the minds of consumers. It’s important to create an emotional connection so that the sales targets are accomplished.
The company indulges in various marketing activities such as advertisements on television, newspapers, social media, and brochures to create awareness in the market to stand out in the competition.
2. Corporate Branding
The concept of it can be described as when the company is new in the industry and wants to promote itself as a corporate firm with its values, objectives, fundamentals, Product Materials, and objectives to curate a distinctive identity in an industry as a whole. It has a direct benefit to the sales of the products and services that the company offers as once the objectives of corporate branding to establish, the consumers will definitely wish to try out the offerings such as Mug, Calendar, T-shirt and other useful materials by the company.
3. Cultural Branding
The theory of cultural branding is done by travel and tourism companies. When a specific culture of any, region or a country is to be promoted to the target audience.
Co-branding is the case when there is a usage of two or more brands on one specific product. Also with an objective to design a high quality and high-performance product.
5. Competitive Advantage
When the marketing department of the company is taking care of the factors such as what is the brand positioning and brand strength, unique selling propositions, frequency of branding, marketing, and promotional activities, of the competitors in the market and the tastes and preferences of the target market along with the rational and authentic branding plan and that gives a competitive advantage to the company.
Why should you use Offline Branding to promote your business?
If you use quality, professionally designed printed media as part of your branding process (such as printed flyers/press advertising/brochures, etc.) the customer is more likely to engage with your brand in some way, for example by using a voucher or visiting a website link that you have provided.
1. Create memorable messages that people actually absorb
Many companies run annual marketing campaigns that involve some sort of physical item alongside the printed marketing material. For example, they might send out a branded mug, pen or bottle opener with a printed flyer/card. Combining print and promotional goods in this way makes the receiver feel incredibly “special”. Every time they go to use the branded item or look, they’ll remember, positivity, of your brand.
2. People automatically look at things that are placed in their hands
Whether you post a leaflet through someone’s letterbox or hand them one in the street. People will automatically look at what’s on the paper as soon as it touches their hands. With digital advertising, it’s all too easy to ignore the ads down the side of your screen. But when you’re actually touching something you can’t ignore it.
Offline Advertising produces a better person-to-brand connection
When customers were surveyed as to which items they would miss the most if they were moved to digital-only? Participants not only listed the obvious choices of books, magazines, and newspapers but also marketing materials such as business cards and catalogs!
A study completed in 2015 by the United States Postal Service showed that print advertising was leaving more of a positive and lasting impression on the customers.
- Subjects spent longer reviewing physical media than digital
- Printed media evoked higher emotional reactions
- Physical media led to subjects having a great desire for the product
- Subjects attached high subconscious values to products shown in the printed advertisements
A week later, subjects were able to recall and remember printed media more effectively than the digital counterparts
Social media and online digital are useful marketing tools that can help you draw customers in, but the tactile feedback that comes with a quality printed piece of graphic design is a great way of getting them across the line – or rewarding them for choosing you.
Every new brand needs to go through the initial stages of an establishment to make its target audience aware of the various products or services that they offer.
Every brand creates its branding and marketing strategy, but at times, what they do not understand is to not to go the same path as other brands.
The most important aspect of any branding or marketing strategy is to do in-depth research.
You do research on the following factors:
- Brand industry
- Target audience
- Area of establishment
- Potential consumers
- Expectations from the brand
- Quality of products or services
The Essential Branding Tools
Many marketing and branding tools can be used in the brand establishment, such as:
1. Audio Branding
The latest path to branding is audio branding.
Audio or ‘sonic’ Branding enables a company to have a recognizable sound attached to its name.
It allows the user to know a brand without even seeing it.
It is not an easy task to accomplish because many factors are needed to be considered before giving your brand a sound of its own, such as:
- Type of brand
- Target audience
- Copyright issues
Is there a brand that you know from its sound?
Ring any bells?
You need to understand that if you give any particular sound to your brand, then your brand will be associated with it.
The brand needs to answer the following questions before specifying a tone to it like:
- What does its brand stand for?
- How much is the attractive differentiation that can lure the customers?
- What is the sound of the competitors and how is it different & unique?
The sound shall convey a positive feeling about the mission of the brand to let the customers know why they shall choose you over others.
The following brands are the best examples of audio branding I bet you will hear the tune in your mind while you read the names:
- 20th Century Fox-
- McDonald’s- I’m loving it
Audio Branding can be used to complement the visual representation.
It taps on two of the human senses and increases the chances of brand recognition.
The customers are just like us; they buy what they see and hear, and a catchy jingle could result in a significant improvement in the sales of the brand.
Slogans and radio ads are part of audio branding!
2. Video Branding
After the invention of the camera and then the internet, video branding is the most used tool of branding because it allows the brand to express its objectives in the most subtle manner.
There is no limit to video branding because it accommodates audio as well as visual content, which enables more reception in the minds of the customers.
As mentioned above, video content is boundless and can be used for many purposes like the following:
- Allows the brand to showcase its products or services
- Acts as a platform to convey messages and values
- Can be used to communicate with the customers directly
- Can be used as tutorials for more convenient use of products & services
- It helps the brand to tap into different genres of mindsets and capture all alike.
The most loved aspect of video branding is the fact that it can market what the brand wants, directly to the customers.
You can control the length, content and everything else according to the message that needs to be conveyed.
Television advertisements and web ads are part of video branding!
3. Visual Branding
Visual Branding is the Logo Design, Poster Designs, pamphlets, Brochures, Catalogs, Table calendar and other visual-textual content that helps the brand to enable customers to identify it.
It is the first thing that catches the eye of the client and as it has fits the adage, “The first impression is the last impression”.
It means that it is important to have a good first impression so that the customers can identify the brand by looking at the logo design or the color combinations used.
The following can express the above in a better way:
- When you see a big yellow ‘M’, the first thought that comes to the mind is McDonald’s.
- And when you see a half-eaten apple, the first thought is Apple Inc.
- When you see a jaguar symbol, the first thought is the Jaguar car company.
All these examples show how important it is for a brand to have eye-catching visuals and a slogan, to help the customers to identify them.
Every element that you ‘see’ of a brand is considered to be the visual representation, even the videos.
The fact that video branding is a different point here is because the viewers will understand the importance of logo design and other collateral, which help a brand in its initial stages.
The logo and slogan are considered to be the two most important elements of brand establishment and require maximum focus.
The name is recognized and accepted with its logo and slogan, especially in its initial stages.
Try to think of how many brands you identify with the help of just their logo design?
4. Gifts and Take Away
There is much hype created alongside events, exhibitions, Trade Fairs because of the scale that it gives to a brand.
Brands sponsor events, exhibitions, Trade Fairs to market their names and products to the masses with the help of Exhibition and Trade fair Materials.
It allows the customers to have live entertainment experience and simultaneously be part of a particular brand or a group of businesses.
Events are of different types, such as:
- Trade Fair
- Corporate events
You can distribute your products such as Brochures, Catalogues, Flyers, Standee, etc at these events in live stalls, give them a taste of the brand and even share information about different products or services with the help of marketing materials.
The customers see the brand in a positive light because of the fun experience that they have in the event, exhibitions, Trade Fairs which helps the brand to lure them in to boost sales and create its identity.
5. Word of Mouth
Your brand is established when other people are talking (positively) about it.
Word of mouth promotion is considered to be one of the best and most useful forms of branding because it is more credible and the content goes viral on its own.
There is no perfect tool to exploit and achieve quick brand establishment, but the combination of the above tools helps significantly with the process.
It is like a recipe; all elements are as important as each individual.
The perfect mixture gives the perfect result.
5 Reasons Why Customer Feedback Is Important To Your Business
If you run your own business I know you do your best to please your customers, satisfy their needs, and eventually to keep them loyal to your brand. But how can you be sure that your efforts bring desired results? If you do not try to find out what your clients actually think about your service, you will never be able to give them the best customer experience.
Their opinions about the experience they have with your brand are helpful information that you can use to adjust your business to fit their needs more accurately.
1. Customer feedback helps improve products and services
Customer feedback is an insight into what is working well about your product or service and what should a company do to make the experience better. You might have the best expertise in the industry in which your company operates, but your professional knowledge will never be more valuable to business performance than customer insights. Their opinions help you ensure that the end product will actually meet their expectations, solve their problems and fulfill their needs.
2. Customer feedback helps you measure customer satisfaction
Customer satisfaction and loyalty is a crucial factor that determines a company’s financial performance. It links to many benefits, such as increased market share, lower costs, or higher revenue. Naturally, the best way to find out if you meet their expectations is to get their opinions. Using rating-based questions you can easily estimate the level of satisfaction and consequently predict your company’s financial condition in the future.
3. Collecting customer feedback shows you value their opinions
By asking your clients for feedback you communicate that their opinion is important to you. You involve them in shaping your business so they feel more attached to your company.
People always appreciate when you ask them if they are happy (or unhappy) with your service.
It shows you actually value their opinion and that you are here for them, not the other way around. They feel that your primary business goal is to solve their problems and fulfill their needs, not to get their money. It puts a customer in the central position of your company and this is the right way to run a business.
4. Customer feedback helps you create the best customer experience
Today’s marketing is heavily based on the experiences people have with products, services, and brands. They do not buy Apple products just because they are good. People want to demonstrate their status and affiliation to a particular group. They do not buy Nike clothes because they are durable. People buy the courage to extend their boundaries. Therefore, if you focus on providing the best customer experience at every touchpoint clients will stay loyal to your brand.
5. Customer feedback is a reliable source for information to other consumers
In the times of social media, consumers do not trust commercials or expert advice so much. Opinions provided by other customers who have already used a product or service are a more reliable source for information these days. When you look for accommodation in a city you visit or you want to find a nice new restaurant to have dinner with friends you read reviews beforehand. When you want to buy new shoes you ask for an opinion on Facebook or go to a trustworthy blog to read a review. Many companies today incorporate review system in their services and products. Think of Uber or Airbnb. They all do their best to ensure that poor service will be detected and excluded from their business.
Customer feedback is as important to your business as to other customers, so you should make sure that both you and your clients have easy access to opinions and reviews.
Also, there are many other factors that will help the brand to avoid failures.
Have you implemented any branding tools yet?
Do let us know in the comment section down below.
You can also have a look on Wikipedia