Branding 101: Top 4 Tips to Understand Branding
Picture this: you’ve decided to build a business, you know what you want to call it and what you’re going to offer. You just need a logo and you have a brand ready to go, right? Sound familiar? Ok — let’s stop right there.
We have said it before and we’ll say it again — your logo is not your brand, and a brand is so much more than a logo. Don’t get us wrong — a thought-out, well-designed logo is essential for your brand, without a doubt. But a logo should be simple, considered and distinct. You can’t let a logo do all the heavy lifting, because a logo can only take your customers so far.
So, what is branding then? We’ve compiled four insights to help you quickly improve your understanding of just what branding really is.
Branding: a definition
Let’s start off by looking at basic definitions of branding.
If you look at the origins of the term, branding is the act of marking something with a branding iron. This is perhaps where the logo and visual identity element of branding was born too. But since this time, branding has evolved to incorporate a range of distinctive qualities, both tangible and intangible, that make up a brand.
The tangible side is often what you can see: colour choices, fonts, textures, shapes, logos, images and layouts. These features we consider as brand identity.
The intangible elements of a brand can include: culture, story, vision, purpose, values, tone of voice, positioning and personality. These are generally thought to come under brand strategy.
As you can already tell, there is a lot more to branding than what meets the eye.
1. Branding is how people perceive you
Once you send your brand out into the world, it’s with the people to decide what to make of you to an extent. But while you can’t be in charge of the narrative around your brand at all times, you can help to massage perception in the right direction.
The experience the public has of your brand start long before they’ve spoken to you or used your product or service. This means things like your visual identity, website, social media, marketing material and style of communication are vital from the get-go. That is to say, your branding is vital from the get-go.
2. Branding permeates every touch point
How your website reads, the content you post on social media, the way your team communicates with customers, how a customer feels when they think of your brand. All of these things are branding.
Branding has an impact on every single part of your business from the moment a potential customer comes into contact with your business. Getting it right and keeping it consistent ensures you avoid customer confusion and cement yourself as an authentic and trustworthy option.
3. Branding is how you connect
When you develop your branding effectively, you take a journey. This journey sees you get to know yourself and your audience deeply. With the insights gained through the branding journey (when it’s done the right way), you can discover how to make a meaningful connection with your target market.
The emotional connection an individual makes with your business is really an emotional connection with your brand. Generally speaking, customers have the freedom of choice when it comes to products and services which means what they’re really looking for is a brand who ‘gets’ them.
When you can position your brand in a way that demonstrates your understanding of the challenges, needs and desires of your target market, you can reap the boundless rewards that come with customer loyalty.
4. Branding is as much for you as it is for your customers
Branding is an investment in connecting with the right people in the right way, but the journey is worthwhile for you too.
Think of branding as a journey of self-discovery. It’s not uncommon for businesses to go into a branding workshop with us with an idea of who they are before coming out on the other side completely enlightened. And for the better!
Where to begin?
It’s never too late to get stuck into your branding, and there is so much to be gained for your business from doing so. Plus, the cost of getting it wrong is too great to ignore the importance of undertaking a thorough and honest branding journey.
You can read more about branding and what we do on our blog, otherwise let’s have a chat about where your brand is at.