Branding, branding, branding. People talk about it all the time, but what really is it and why is it so important. You actually only have to look at companies like Coca Cola to see how important branding is and take note and learn lessons from them to get it right for you.
A product like Coca-cola is such an excellent example because it’s so recognizable, yet all it is is a drink. While there is more to that in the company now, that’s not what people know it for, they know it for the traditional full-fat coke.
The company has been going for over 130 years, and while it did not achieve its success overnight, it also hasn’t changed much and is one of the most iconic brands of all time.
Is it Recognizable?
While branding does have a lot to do with the logo because that is the thing the consumers recognize, there is also a lot more to it than that. The definition of branding is “a marketing practice in which a company creates a name, symbol or design that is easily identifiable as belonging to the company.”
Branding helps people to identify products, and it helps to set them aside from other similar products and services. Branding almost like a first impression, it needs to make a memorable impression on your consumers, but it also needs to tell your customers and clients what they can expect from you and your company.
It needs to show a clear message, a clear story, and somehow say to your customers that your product is better than anyone else’s.
Your branding needs to be recognized, maybe not straight away but ultimately it needs to build recognition for your company or product and no matter how good your marketing is, if your branding is no good then you may find it difficult to get recognized and have success.
How often do you buy something because a friend has told you about it? Word of mouth is an excellent way of advertising, in fact, it’s probably your best method, and to get that you need to have good branding. Your branding needs to stick in people’s’ minds and be at the forefront.
When does a friend ask if you know of a particular product, which is the one that sticks in your mind? Even if you’ve not used it yet. People will recommend your business or product if they think it already looks good. They will also recommend it if it comes to mind, so if your branding is easy to forget, then it won’t work.
Even if you are a new brand, you need to make yourself look like you are a well-established one.
While branding isn’t all about the logo, the logo is an essential part of it. As mentioned before, it is essentially your company’s first impression to people; the first thing potential customers will see.
Your logo needs to make a statement; it needs to be attractive; it needs to be iconic. You need to be really careful about your logo because it sticks; it’s not something you can easily change.
Now if your logo is your first impression, your website is your shop window. But it’s far better than a shop window as its interactive; your customers can go in a window shop but find out so much more about you than they ever could from a shop window.
If you don’t have a website, if your website is slow, dated, doesn’t have much information on it or is challenging to navigate around then people will leave and go to a competitor who does have a good website.
People will now judge you from your, and if it looks like you haven’t put much effort into it or can’t be bothered to have a good website, then this will give the impression of your whole business.
Your Stationary And Merchandise
When people want to save money it’s things like the stationary and merchandise that are the first to go, but it is an integral part of your brand, and if the competition has their own merchandise then they’re going to stand out more than you will.
Your merchandise can even be another business stream for you depending on what your business is but for example if you have a coffee shop then selling your own branded reusable coffee cups is the obvious thing to do.
Tote bags, pens, mugs, etc. are also trendy too and even better if you can use eco-friendly materials. You can find out tips for selling merch online, which will help you to see if this is an option for you and your business.
Remember, merchandise is free advertising too, it attracts more customers, and it is an easy way to spread the word about your company.
Figure Out Your Brands Purpose
If you’re not sure on what you want for a brand, then you need to start by figuring out your brand’s purpose which outlines “why” you exist, it is the meaning behind your company or product.
- Why did you start it?
- Who is it for?
- Who are you serving?
- What gap are you filling?
You always need to know the meaning behind your business and keep it at the forefront of your mind so that you don’t lose focus and get carried away in a different direction.
Once you’ve figured this out, you can then decide on your brand values which explain the ethics and behaviors that you will use to get to where you want your business to go.
Then you can work out your brand mission, which defines what it is that you need to do to reach your goals.
It might outline specific tactics or initiatives you have in mind, and finally, your brand vision is the goal, it describes where you want to end up and what it is you are aiming for. Stick to the purpose, values, and mission, and you will reach your vision.
What are you doing to get your branding right?