According to Oxford Dictionary “branding” is best defined as:
In marketing branding is better defined as:
Being able to define your business and its purpose can have a significant impact on your ability to build a customer base. Before you can start creating your brand, learn what a brand is and how it fits into your marketing strategies.
How to build a brand
In order to build a brand, businesses should complete these four steps:
1. Define your company’s identity
Knowing what you want your company to represent and what you want its purpose to be is the first step in building a brand. By envisioning what you want your company to be, you can start planning to make it a reality. For example, the owner of a makeup line might decide that they want their identity to be based around three principles: environmental responsibility, value and versatility. With your company’s identity in mind, you can plan marketing strategies for your products. In the case of the makeup line owner, these strategies might include an advertisement that promotes organic ingredients or tutorial videos that show three different ways to wear blush.
2. Highlight your target audience
Honing in on your audience is important when cultivating your brand identity. Consider your audience’s age, gender, socio-economic status, culture and even geographic location. These factors will help influence the way you present your company to the public. For example, if you own a car dealership in Albany, New York, you may identify your audience as men and women between the ages of 25-65 who are typically middle and upper class and live in and around Albany, New York.
3. Organize your company around desired identity
Structuring your company in accordance with your brand can help ensure that the promises you promote are being upheld. For example, a national bank says that they provide quality customer service 24 hours a day. To uphold this claim, they need to make sure that they have experienced, well-trained customer service representatives available day and night.
4. Don’t be afraid to revise
Once you commit to a certain company image, don’t be afraid to revise it. Your brand can evolve as your company grows and as you establish yourself within your industry. For example, a travel agency has branded itself as an aid for domestic and international vacations. However, after seeing a trend in study, work and volunteer abroad programs, they expand their services to helping people plan and execute educational experiences abroad.
Why is branding important?
Branding is important for the following reasons:
- Establishes your company within an industry: The right brand identity can potentially help you get established within your industry. This can also help you compete with those who offer similar services as your brand gets more recognition.
- Conveys your purpose to consumers: Your brand is also important because it helps convey the value that your products or services can provide for consumers. For example, if your cleaning products company has the slogan: “Less time for cleanup, more time for fun,” then you imply to consumers that your product line helps clean up messes fast so customers can do more of what they enjoy.
- Increases company awareness: Having a strong and recognizable brand could potentially attract new customers.
- Reminds existing customers of your products and services: Your brand can also help remind existing customers about what you have to offer. For example, if you own a pest control business, running advertisements or revamping your logo could remind previous customers that you provide organic pest control for their lawn.
What makes a good brand?
Here are two key components that help contribute to a good brand:
- Logo: Your logo is an important part of your brand because it’s a visual representation of your company. A logo typically includes a specific color scheme, shape or image. In some cases, a logo can be your company name with a font and color that reflects your company culture.
- Slogan: A slogan is a brief, clear message that showcases your company’s values. Your slogan should help establish an emotional connection to your company. You can have more than one slogan if you offer a variety of different services.
With a complete understanding of what a brand is and why it is important, you might ask:
- Is branding important in digital marketing too?
- How do I execute a digital branding strategy?
Basically, it is time to consider the degree of branding you need to accomplish your business and brand awareness goals.
Rebranding is something to ponder seriously, in 2018 the Forbes Agency Council suggested you consider 13 questions before rebranding.
If you worked with an agency like Monkeyhouse to develop a brand identity, you have already invested on a building solid brand identity.
Sometimes, as your business grows or morpses, updating ayour brand is necessary. This is especially true with digital brand. However, you want to be certain a brand enhancement still reflects much of your current identity.
- To keep up with new market/consumer trends
- To realign brand with offerings
Risks & Considerations:
- Losing the essence of your brand
- Making a change that audiences disagree with
- Poor timing that fails to earn publicity
The complete repackaging of a company’s digital identity, which may include a new brand name and significant changes to appearance, essence and personality traits.
When to Rebrand?
- If a brand inadequately represents your product or service
- If a brand no longer resonates with audiences
- If your target market has changed
- If your company has changed (growth, merger, acquisition, etc.)
Risks & Considerations:
- Alienating or confusing your existing audience
- Inadvertently complicating the brand message
- Negatively impacting company culture
Creating a brand from scratch because one does not currently exist.
When to Build From Scratch?
- If you are launching a new business
- If you are dramatically altering an existing business
Risks & Considerations:
- Underestimating budget, time and effort
- Failing to create a brand that resonates with target audiences
- Lacking audience insights
- Designing the brand for you, not the audience
Digital branding can be a powerful competitive advantage that enables your business to grow in size, influence and profitability.
However, with great power comes great responsibility. In the same way that business leaders pay careful attention to how they present themselves and interact with colleagues and cohorts, the same focus must be given to the digital branding process. Image truly is everything and, thanks to our increasing level of connectedness, one branding mistake can destroy the public’s perception of your company in an instant.
It is extremely difficult for many business leaders and owners to emotionally detach from their life’s work and step back far enough to see what the company looks like from the audience’s point of view. This is why, according to Deloitte’s most recent CMO Survey, executives are increasing their brand spending and outsourcing more marketing efforts to branding experts like Monkeyhouse Marketing.
When you are ready to evaluate your branding or rebranding needs, contact Monkeyhouse Marketing for a strategic look at your brand identity.