In this day and age we are surrounded and bombarded with all types of messages from people and companies who want to do business with us.
All this creates a lot of noise and for a new startup or venture and it can be difficult to breakthrough all of this noise.
The way that you successfully breakthrough all this noise and grow a business is by the use of effective branding.
Branding allows you to create an identity for yourself or your business that people will recognise the more that they are exposed to it.
In this guide titled ‘The Guide To Understanding Branding Basics’, we will be having a look at what branding actually is and some of the different types of branding.
I have worked with many businesses and entrepreneurs and made them realise the power of branding, so that they are able to breakthrough all of the noise in the marketplace that I have mentioned above.
One of the biggest problems is that most people think that they fully understand what branding really is, but often, they are misled and don’t know how to create effective branding for themselves or their business.
In this guide my goal is to provide you with a sound understanding of what I believe branding is.
Whether you have experience with branding or just want to know what branding actually is, or why branding is important then I hope this guide serves you well…
So we are going to start right from the top and then going to more detail around what branding actually is.
What Is Branding?
Before we can start using branding we must first understand what branding is and what the definition of branding is…
Entrepreneur.com define branding as:
Definition: The marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products
Reference: Entrepreneur.com branding article
Understanding The Term ‘Branding’
To make it a bit easier to understand what this means, here is a simple way to describe branding, from a visual perspective imagine that branding is like an image which becomes the visual representation of you and your business.
Typical visual branding consists of a minimum of a logo and a well defined brand style guide which contains rules set out to insure the visual consistency of a brand. This entails design rules from typography, spacing, colours and more elements.
However branding isn’t strictly just for, visual representation, branding actually has any more dimensions and dynamics to it. In this guide we will keep it simple, as I have made many other similar guides that look at different aspects of branding in more depth.
In a nutshell though branding can take the form of audio and even touch and smell which is absolutely remarkable and is the future.
Now that we have a little more understanding of what branding is (from a visual perspective at least), let’s go to the next section where we will look at the importance of branding.
The Importance Of Branding
Branding is important because it makes a memorable impression for customers and they know what to expect from your business. Consistent branding helps to build recognition and loyalty with your customers and makes your business and brand more attractive for customers to want to do more business with you.
Branding is important because it is the way that customers perceive you, and if they perceive you well then you stand a much higher chance of getting new and repeat business from customers. A company that doesn’t use or promote branding to expose itself makes it very difficult for potential clients to do business with them.
This means that not only are you missing out on potential sales revenue but you are also making it difficult for your own customers to identify you. One of the biggest values of investing in your branding is the massive leverage and power it provides your business if done effectively.
When it comes to branding, there are a few types of branding that exist and that are leveraged by businesses and individuals.
What this means is that you can brand almost anything. Different types of branding include product branding, service branding and personal branding just to name a few.
These various types of available branding make it possible for businesses and individuals, to take advantage of the power and leverage that branding provides.
Below I have broken down two popular types of branding that are relevant and current at this moment in time. These branding types are personal branding and corporate branding.
Personal branding is used among people such as athletes, politicians and celebrities. This type of branding is aimed at reflecting a good image of the person to their target audience.
Some of the most well-known personal brands that come to mind are Oprah Winfrey, Tony Robbins, Alan Sugar just to name a few.
When it comes to personal branding, the person themselves is the core asset and face of the brand. It has never been easier to create a personal brand due to the reach of social media and all of the branding tools that are available online to anybody in the world.
Creating a personal brand means that you can create a significant profile for yourself online where you create a following of many loyal subscribers who await your new services and products, this is powerful because essentially you have a customer base that you can sell to you straight away, without the usual lead times.
The same design rules still apply to all types of branding including personal branding. A strong and cohesive brand guideline document will ensure that your branding is working for you and not against you.
The second type of branding that is more common is corporate branding.
Corporate branding is used by businesses and companies of all shapes and sizes. To give you an example of corporate branding think Disney, Coca-Cola, Nike and other similar large Corporations.
These are a handful of companies that take branding very seriously internally and externally. Not only do you see there external customer facing branding to be strong and consistent, but also memorable.
These types of companies have mastered corporate branding. Now, corporate branding is also internal and cuts through the businesses products, services, culture and employees.
This level of branding makes sure that the business is living and breathing what they stand for as a company to its customers.
Large corporations are known to spend millions and billions on making sure that their brand is strong and protected.
To create and build a brand from scratch can take a lot of time and money depending on how exclusive, different and luxurious the brand aims to be. This not only comes down to creating a fresh design also comes down to testing colours, feedback and coming up with something unique and powerful.
Dedicated designers, design teams and agencies are the types of people whose job it is to design and maintain branding in all its glory.
To give you more of an idea of what strong branding looks like, I have selected three well known Brands and an aspect of their branding…
One of the worlds most well-known brands is Coca-Cola. Everyone recognises the logo shape and colours of Coca-Cola, so much so it sparks an emotional reaction to the majority of people as a high-quality drink that everybody can enjoy.
Another very popular brand is Nike, when most people think of Nike they think running shoe. Nike is well known for the swoosh tick shape in its visual representation.
Nike’s advertisements are most commonly sharp and vibrant.
The imagery Nike use is also very powerful and consistent with their brand.
One of my all-time favourite brands is Disney, in addition to its visual logo and design, Disney by most people is known for creating is special time for everyone in the childhood stages of their life, by showing and illustrating a positive mindset to life for all and that dreams can come true.
The thing about branding, and as Disney highlights very well is that as human beings we are drawn to brands and they have a very special place in our minds.
This level of ingrained branding is a result of years of consistent exposure to the brand. With this example of Disney, I want to point out that parents with young children, will have a nostalgic feeling towards certain Disney products that their own children are exposed to, because they remember similar (if not the same) Disney products from when they were younger themselves.
Brand identity is a term that gets used quite often and is quite simply a reference to what we had discussed a little earlier on in this guide, which is the part of branding that includes logos, colours, typography and other such elements.
Brand identity is a visual component of brand that represents everything that the business stands for.
In this guide we have looked at the definition of Branding and I hope it has helped you in some way.
Branding has many types but at the core it is essentially the same no matter what platform or medium it is applied to.
Creating a brand can be simple or have endless budgets, depending on at the level at which the company or individual is playing at.
One thing that will never change is, the more consistent exposure to brand that is received well, means that brand becomes recognised and welcomed, which ultimately means more sales and profits.