In today’s market, branding is the name of the game and it can make or break your small business. However, many business owners don’t know what true branding is, nor do they see how it can boost their bottom line. Successful branding is essentially about creating an image for your company that’s unique and memorable to your target audience so that they can recognize your company among a sea of look-alike companies and similar products.
So if you’re asking yourself, “What is branding?” Don’t worry; we’ll take a look at brands, branding, and how effective branding can help your business.
What Is a Brand?
A brand is an interesting concept — it’s not something you can touch or even see. Brands only exist in consumers’ minds; it’s what they associate with specific products, slogans, or logos. So a can of Coca-Cola, the Apple logo, or McDonald’s golden arches are not brands. Even though the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, these are all particular aspects of a company’s brand. Even the name of a product is not a brand, but a brand name. For example, Air Max is the brand name, but Nike is the brand.
Good brands are built up over years and decades (sometimes even longer!), and that’s due to strong brand management.
The Difference Between Brand and Branding
Branding is the collection of actions or initiatives that a business undertakes to build a strong brand. It’s a marketing strategy that establishes your company name with a certain feeling or perception. In other words, it’s giving power to a brand.
This means consistent brand voice is important to building a relationship with your loyal customers. The most successful brands can accurately convey the message that they wish to portray — this is known as “brand awareness.” Having these loyal customers practicing brand loyalty is valuable not just for the bottom line, but for bringing in new customers.
Types of Branding
There are many types of branding, but they all exist to accomplish the same goal. Different types include:
- Personal Branding – Branding for individuals or celebrities, mainly through social media channels. Methods include engaging with one’s followers and posting videos and images.
- Corporate Branding – This is how large companies both market themselves and stay competitive. It’s also a representation of a company’s values and purpose.
- Product Branding – This is branding for a specific product or product line. Through market research, product branding tries to get a product to those most likely to buy it.
Building brand equity, or positive thought in the minds of consumers, is the ultimate aim of all forms of branding.
Brand management is a set of actions taken over time to maintain brand equity and continued awareness of a brand in the minds of consumers. Continued innovation is key to keeping consumers interested, but a consistent tone of voice is important to make sure that a brand is always perceived how a company wishes it to be.
Creating Your Brand Identity
Brand identity is all of the visual aspects that a company utilizes for branding. This includes logo design, color palette, fonts, and typography. All of these branding elements establish a visual identity and build brand recognition for differentiation between similar products.
Whether a business is marketing itself through print, TV ads, or social media, the brand message must be consistent. You don’t want to have a potential customer experience mixed messaging — if they’re confused about your brand image or whether your product is the right choice for their lifestyle, they will find one that is.
Brand identity is crucial for entrepreneurs and startups entering the marketplace with a new brand to quickly set them apart from the competition.
Establishing Your Brand With Lift Marketing
It doesn’t matter whether your brand is decades old or “brand new,” the pros here at Lift Marketing will get your brand on the right track, whether that’s establishing a new brand or undertaking a rebrand. We have all of the branding tools at our disposal to outfit your business with everything it needs to compete. Contact us today!