A brand is often mischaracterized as “just” the logo or image of a company. While those elements are undoubtedly essential, they are only a small part of who you are as a brand. In order to build a successful brand, you need to start from the foundation.
What exactly is branding?
A brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers
The most common example on how to illustrate branding is water. Water has the same composition but companies have bottled and branded water. Some sell very high, while some sell cheap. Some are mineral and some are distilled. Some help with oxidation and some comes from a very rare source (really?). But they are still the same water, right? But their brands are stuck in our heads so we can’t say so otherwise.
When we recall a brand, we recall a name. We visualize a logo. We picture their products and how much they charge for. We create an estimate of our budget and balance it with priorities and stability. Brands help us recall what type of product or services we want to purchase and what we need or want. They help us in our decision making. Every business may have the same products and services, but with an established brand, it will always be different.
Why is branding important?
Your brand makes you unique. It makes you stand out. If perhaps you made a new concept or new product that has never been seen before, then maybe, perhaps you will stand out. But still, you need marketing for it to be known. And to efficiently market, it needs to stick to its brand. It needs to tell the world why it is unique. It needs people to feel its effectiveness and worth in order to be recognized.
Branding helps people resonate with you. Having a logo, a name and a well written menu of products and services will help people know you and your business. But when people realize your goals, your company’s mission, your ideals, your product’s history, your story, it connects you with them.
Branding connects you with your audience on an emotional level. It helps people have that sense of belonging to one solid community. Having a common mindset within the company helps with its growth. For example, in every construction company, safety first is a must, same goes for every industry. Having that common attitude for safety lessens accidents and prepares for the worst.
Branding keeps you focused on your goals. Whenever you run out of concepts or ideas, having a brand guideline will definitely help. Recalling why you started your business will help you with that needed push. What problem did you want to solve? What messages do you want to convey ? Having found your reasons is synonymous to having found your path.
Imagine a scenario where you need to re-brand because your business does not gain any more revenue. Did you perhaps make a mistake with your goals? Or was it defining your audience the problem? Then you’ll probably think of creating a new image, new logo, new brand, new and improved services, new products. But if you have a well established foundation in the first place, you can just maybe tweak where the main problem lies instead of having to build everything from scratch.
Building your brand
Branding helps grow your business if you know how to build it. There are a lot of guides and tutorials available online to help you build your brand. But remember that there will always be NO exact template in building your brand.
Your brand is uniquely you. It is your own. But it does not necessarily mean that you will be building your brand all alone. That is where different branding agencies come in. They will help you with naming, visual designs, creating contents, research, communications, guidelines, identity, positioning and management.
As a branding agency, we help people and businesses know their “Why?”.
Here are just simple questions when building your brand.
- What problem are you trying to solve?
- What is your story as a founder?
- What is your cause?
- What do you do?
- Whom do you serve?
- How do you help them?
Businesses regardless of size needs guidelines. A clearly defined brand makes strategizing not only easier, but also extremely effective. Brands that know their identity can let people know what to expect from them. This sets clear standards as to how the team should market their brand. Thanks to that, your marketing process can go smoothly, and you won’t see ideas that are all over the place and struggle to form a coherent message.
Regarding your brand’s appearance, do not beat around the bush. Stay simple and straight to the point but don’t forget to keep in mind how restrictive said guidelines are. If your guidelines are too strict, they can severely limit creativity and design potential. On the other hand, too loose guidelines can quickly turn messy and result in a brand that has no idea what it is.
With that out of the way, always keep in mind that your brand will be a flag that you will be waving around proudly. As such, you will only want the best for it. Not only that, your brand is what gives your target audience a reason to choose you. So do your best to come up with a powerful brand.