What is branding?
Branding is more than just a company name and logo – branding entails creating an entire brand entity.
As marketing has naturally evolved to find its place in the digital world, “brand” and “branding” have become more sophisticated as the terms now refer to a range of emotional connections to the entity behind a company.
A brand expresses value, is its own language and combines design, tone of voice and company culture to engage, attract and retain customers.
This is why it is important for every company to have defined brand guidelines in order to provide clear, reliable and enduring guidance on how to use the brand elements and design.
Why is branding important?
Branding is important because it can impact how a business operates as well as the way consumers connect with and view the brand.
Here are a few reasons branding is important:
Branding Outlives Products & Increases Financial Value of the Business
A strong brand has the potential to be valued at even more than the hard assets of a business especially if someone is seeking to borrow funds for expansion, roll out to an IPO, or sell the company. This is because brands have the ability to shape perceptions and influence buyer purchasing behaviour making products and services less substitutable. A brand is essentially an intangible asset (name, term, design, symbol or any other feature) identifies one seller’s product from another and is often a corporation’s most valued asset because it creates economic value by generating higher returns and growth, and by mitigating risk.
Brands are valued following the International Organization for Standardization’s ISO 10668 standard which maps out the appropriate process of valuing brands by adhering to six key requirements:
- & Financial, Behavioural & Legal Parameters
Emotional Branding Helps Consumers Connect With Your Product & Services
A company’s logo and colours and key messages have been proven to impact people physically and sociologically by utilising Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to connect with consumers. I recommend reading this blog on Instapage for more information on “Emotional Branding”.
Branding Impact Expertise, Authority and Trust in the Industry
People trust brands that look professional and feel professional. In my blog “Effectively Using Psychology to Benefit Your Marketing Activities” on LinkedIn, I highlight a bit more about how businesses can use theories in psychology to make ensure their brand feels considered and trustworthy.
Branding Guides Your Marketing Activities
Proper branding helps you establish what you want to say to your customers, how you want to say it and when. Having everything you need for your brand from the beginning ensures all communications from your brand are consistent and understood. For instance, we utilise the keywords from a brand’s core services, like HD Brows, highlighted in their branding packet to conduct our SEO activities. We also use it to ensure the tone of voice of all of the content for our client Jacada is consistent across the site.
Branding Inspires & Motivates Your Team
Branding isn’t just about the key messages, values and “image” of a company – it is also about the goals of the owners and what they strive to achieve whether that be helping reduce the human effect on climate change or helping addicted parents become rehabilitated like our client ICENI. When employees are informed of these – and have the opportunity to be a part of the big picture – and know what they are striving for – they feel inspired.
What is the brand role?
For StrategiQ, our brand influences the opinion of those who come in contact with our communications, so it’s important for us to maintain consistency and deliver the right messages.
Brands who do this well will:
- Maintain authenticity and build brand equity
- Reflect quality and care throughout communications
- Create positive customer experiences that reflect our brand values, resulting in company profitability
Good brands also:
- Clearly articulate their key messages
- Utilise colours and imagery to emotionally connect to customers
- Establish their trustworthiness and expertise in the industry
- Effectively motivate buyers to make purchases in addition to creating user loyalty
If you look through our website and social media or even talk to our employees, you should be able to see that our branding is represented in a largely consistent manner.
What are in the brand guidelines?
It’s easier to show than to tell! In our brand guidelines, we outline the core elements that make up our brand – many of which should be present in all company brand guidelines.
These include the way we look visually and how we sound through all mediums of communication; broken down into key design and messaging components.
What can go wrong?
Branding done poorly can mean:
- Competitors, clients and customers don’t understand your messaging
- Your business can’t communicate unique selling points
- Your brand won’t foster a positive perception and appeal
If your goal is to achieve higher turnover and build relationships with your target audience, you need a strong brand image. Your employees need to be equipped to tell your story and you need to make it easy for others to connect with your story. Why do you do what you do?
What can we offer?
As a fully integrated marketing agency, we can help you ensure that a clear branding plan has been created before marketing activity commences in order to demonstrate the consistency and clarity of a company’s core messages.
When we analyse your business we are looking to answer the following questions regarding your brand:
- Are you happy with how your brand looks and feels and do you emotionally connect with it?
- Does the brand relate to your target audiences? Will they instantly “get your brand and connect with it” without having to overthink it?
- Does the brand share your USP and the uniqueness of what you are selling/servicing and why these are important?
- Does your brand adequately reflect the promises you are making to your target audience and hold value for your team and shareholders?
- Does the brand reflect the core values that you want to represent to your customers and the world?
We will listen to your business needs very carefully. This awareness is the basis for the powerful brand strategies we have created, started from the considerations that guide the creative team to the core attributes our clients use to build, run sales and marketing programs.
If you would like a hard copy of our “Brand Guidelines – How we look and sound” or start making your own, please get in contact with us!