Branding is an essential part of the marketing plan that companies, businesses and organizations use to differentiate themselves from competitors and remain relevant in the minds of consumers. It is an important part of a marketing strategy because a well-established brand will show consistency and gain consumer trust. In this article, we discuss what branding is, its importance and the branding methods companies implement.
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What is branding?
Branding is a marketing practice in which companies and organizations create a product name, associated symbol, characteristics, colors and design that are easily identifiable with the product to maintain a cohesive image for the public. Various elements like market research, data analysis, customer service, promotional merchandise, online presence, logo and slogans all work together to create a brand identity. Branding is the process of shaping and creating the brand with the desired image associations and then maintaining that image and reputation.
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Why is branding important?
Branding importance lies in the influence it has over the consumer decision-making processes. A brand's position in the market will impact consumer purchases and overall business revenue. Successful branding can help create a successful company and propel already successful companies toward greater success. Branding is important because it can:
Recognition is how a company becomes identifiable in the minds of consumers. Branding through the use of elements like logo and colors helps establish an identity different from similar products and services on the market, assisting a brand in becoming successful and chosen above its competitors.
Attract new customers
Strong branding leaves a positive impression and communicates a sense of consistency and dependability among customers looking for trust in a product. A solid brand generates natural word-of-mouth advertising, which is a marketing strategy that costs a company nothing but results in higher amounts of new customer generation.
Retain existing customers
After establishing a solid brand, branding helps to retain existing customers by providing consistent quality consumers come to expect.
Increase business value
In working to generate new customers and retain existing ones, successful branding increases business value by providing a company with stronger leverage in the industry.
Connect with the target audience
Through marketing research and data collection, branding helps you connect with the target audience and establish yourself as an expert in the industry through consistency and presence. Becoming easily identifiable solidifies a deeper connection to consumers and communicates your company's ideals and values.
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How companies create branding
Companies, businesses and organizations can use different elements of branding to build an identity and establish trust. Some methods you can use for branding are:
Brand definition and identity
Know who you are as a brand by establishing your mission, values and personality and keep them consistent in every interaction you have with customers. Establishing what you want to accomplish, why you want to, and how you will communicate your message to customers are all key components of branding.
Brand position is how you plan to differentiate yourself from the competition. It is what makes you unique from others in what you can offer to customers. Developing a distinct value-based positioning idea will create your authority within the market and set you apart.
Your logo design and colors are a visual representation and symbol of the values your company holds. It stands as the face of the company and is one of the primary methods consumers use to identify your brand. Your logo should be unique, quickly identifiable and relatable. Choose a logo carefully to include all of your target audience and build a foundation of trust for your customers.
Slogan or jingle
This can be a phrase, sentence or musical melody connected with your brand. If your brand aims to maintain a calm presence within the market, your jingle or slogan should communicate that ideal through sound. Consistency in your message is key.
Product and packaging design
Product packaging and design are part of the brand experience for customers. If your branding is focused on being environmentally conscious, then product packaging should be something recyclable with little to no plastic, showing consistency in values and maintaining trust with customers.
Website and online presence
As one of the most representative forms of your company or business, your website is a source of interaction between your brand and customers. Consider aspects like word choice, images, fonts and colors and how they all work to communicate a message to your target customers. Maintaining an online presence through various social media platforms will also help to establish and continue to reinforce your brand identity through branding. Even taking into consideration the individuals who use your product and vouch for it should support your overall brand image and personality. If you enlist a brand ambassador, or if you decide to be your own, be sure to keep in mind that as a representative of your company, the ambassador should also strive to maintain the brand image in every interaction, post and message with customers.
The price of a product subconsciously communicates a value to the customer. Carefully deciding on pricing and position within the market will help to establish your purpose and further your message to customers. Placing a large price on common products like shoes or jackets communicates the idea that an item is luxurious and valuable. Deciding on a more conservative price for an item can indicate to customers the quality is dependable but not an indulgence. This method can create a more consistent purchasing system for customers wanting more for their money.
Establishing a solid and consistent brand is something that happens slowly over time, but it can greatly benefit a brand's success and longevity.