6 mins read
Branding is a seemingly simple term that consists of a noun (brand) and a suffix (-ing). An obvious guess might be that it is something related to brand creation. Yet, this assumption is only partially correct. Branding isn’t only the construction of a brand that once completed, is job all done. Branding is the numerous other maintenance activities that ensure that your brand stands tall and firm against the competition, for years to come. In simpler terms, it constitutes everything that you do with and for your brand. To get a clear picture of what makes a good brand and good branding, be sure to check out our post on the elements of branding that make a business, a brand.
Branding is an ongoing exercise that doesn’t end once your brand has risen to fame. To ensure that your brand comes out on top, and retains its position in the market and your customers’ minds, you need to be clear on the reasons why you need branding in the first place. Reiterating the need for branding, these pointers can help you uncover the truths behind why it works so well:
It only makes sense that the bigger your brand, the bigger the profit it will bring to your business. But in a crowd of brands, how do you think your customer will recognize you and choose you above others, carrying you to the center stage? It’s only through excellent branding that your customers hand-pick you in the vast marketplace. It goes a long way to influence your customers’ decisions and sway it in your favor by subtle acts, here, there, everywhere. Branding then holds a lot of say in your customers’ buying decisions. So if your eyes are glued to the bank, branding’s the surest way to make your brand bigger and better.
Branding has far-reaching effects. As brands try to make themselves more human to be more relatable to their customers, they get more than profits – they get trust, recognition, and fame. To understand the role of your buyers in your branding better, we can refer to an enlightening statement by Tesla’s founder, Elon Musk. He says, “a brand is just a perception, and perception will match reality over time.” That means that a brand is only as good as what your customers think of your brand, and not necessarily what you build it to be. Since good branding is what portrays the brand as robust and reliable, it is imperative in making a strong case for your customers’ verdict in your favor. It is what paves a clear way for them to connect emotionally with your brand. For instance, Uber’s 2018 rebranding initiative is an excellent example of branding-done-right. This initiative gave Uber a clean and clear logo, making it instantly more accessible and trustworthy for the audience.
It’s not surprising that branding is often confused with marketing, as the two concepts overlap continuously. But the fact of the matter is that branding is an umbrella term that covers marketing within it; they are not mutually exclusive. The same is the relationship between marketing and advertising. But at the helm, it’s branding that lays the ground rules for your marketing and advertising campaigns. Branding can be compared to a house-building process: First, you lay a solid foundation, then continue to build the house (brand) brick by brick (campaign by campaign) until it becomes a well-known, towering entity in the customer’s horizon. Like mortar between the bricks, your branding vision holds your marketing and advertising strategies sturdily together. It builds your brand’s vision from the ground up, enabling you to have a stable base for all future expansion.
Your customers are attracted to your brand because you offer them something unique, or uniquely offer something common. But keeping them interested in the long haul is a challenge that can only be won by good branding. As your customers seek your brand for an emotional connection, they expect authentic and unforgettable experiences. And branding elements like logo, taglines, and brand aesthetics strengthen your brand vision, crafting real and wholesome experiences for your customers. For example, Disney’s branding is always on-point as it weaves unforgettable experiences for every visitor. From the playful and whimsical logo to the Disney adventure parks that delight both kids and adults, Disney’s branding offers its customers something memorably magical.
Branding allows you to clearly communicate your message to your customers – what you are here to achieve and why. To do so, brands often create an identity to express themselves coherently. This means aligning your vision, message, personality, and every other element of your brand, so that it can be perceived as a complete whole. You do all this to let your customers get to know you well, but what about you? Do you know yourself enough to successfully convey your message to them? Fortunately, the process of branding in itself takes care of that. As you go ahead with the branding activities and study your target audience, you get to know your brand better and adapt it to maximize its impact on the people. As you employ branding strategies to target and engage your customers, you get ample room for thought to know your brand inside-out. This way, you get to discover your potential and harness it in the right way to the right audience. Talk about hitting two birds with one stone.
As we pointed out earlier, branding doesn’t stop once you have built a strong brand. As every direct and indirect interaction between your customers and brand adds to your brand image, they automatically form perceptions about you and have expectations from you. To fulfill your customers’ expectations, you need to stay true to your brand. Branding is a constant yardstick for consistency that carries out this job by aligning your logo, tagline, and all other characteristics of your brand. It even integrates your brand and your business seamlessly into one, measuring up your consumers’ wants and translating them into needs. A great example of a brand that has its personality woven through its every fabric is Zappos. Zappos has built an unmistakable reputation as a customer-friendly brand, whose employees stand for everything it stands for, and go at great lengths to confirm it.
In the boundless ocean of brands, some are surfing the tide while others are simply trying to stay afloat. And then there are those brands that got submerged under the weight of expectation and competition a long time ago. If you don’t want to experience the same fate, and wish to ride the tide of time and change, branding is your ultimate weapon. But remember, just branding is not enough. What you need is a strong branding strategy that is coherent, consistent, and cognizant. At SimplePlan Media, we take care of everything branding, from inception to strategy to execution.