What is branding?

Branding is more than just a logo, name, or color palate. A brand represents your entire company as a whole. From a client’s perspective to the products and services you offer. A brand represents your business.

If you are a small business, having focus and direction in building your brand is especially important to avoid wasting limited resources. You can start creating, developing or improving your brand strategy by focusing on these three core elements of a brand: Promise, Positioning, and Performance.

Brands are a combination of tangible and intangible elements, such as the following: Visual design elements (i.e., logo, color, typography, images, tagline, packaging, etc.) Distinctive product features (i.e. quality, design sensibility, personality, etc.)

Branding - Affinity Aesthetics

Branding is the process of creating a brand name, logo, and visual identity for your business. When your customers see the logo, they’ll immediately recognize the product or organization. Branding helps people identify and recognize your products and organization. It’s what makes your company different from the competition.

Branding helps you connect with customers emotionally. It helps your consumers know what to expect by making your products easy-to-choose. When done right, branding can also increase sales by as much as 200%.

Branding is what makes your company different from the competition. It’s what gives your products and organization a recognizable identity, and it’s what makes your customers feel like they can trust you.

Branding is a vital part of every business because it helps people identify and recognize your products and organization. You want to be able to stand out from the crowd, so branding helps you do that by creating a memorable identity for yourself and your business.

Branding also helps you connect with customers emotionally. When people are choosing between different products, they want to feel confident about their choice—and branding can help them make that decision by making it easy for them to decide which product is best for them.

Branding helps your consumers know what to expect by making your products easy-to-choose. Customers want to be able to find exactly what they’re looking for when they come into your store or visit your website; branding helps customers identify what kind of product you offer simply by looking at the name or logo on a package or website.

At [company name], we believe that branding is an essential part of your business.

Because it’s what makes you different from the competition, and it’s what helps people identify and recognize your products and organization. It’s what makes sure that consumers know what to expect by making your products easy-to-choose. And it’s what connects with customers emotionally—which is what branding is all about!

We will help you craft a brand that is recognizable, memorable, and speaks to your target market in a way that makes sense to them. We’ll make sure that everything from your logo to the color of your packaging gets right up there on the shelf next to the competition—so you can win more customers who are already looking for exactly what you have to offer!

Branding is the process of determining a name and logo that represents your organization. It’s what makes your company different from the competition and helps people identify and recognize your products and organization.

Branding provides you with a piece of mind because it helps consumers know what to expect by making your products easy-to-choose.

Branding is the most important part of any business. It’s what makes your company different from the competition and helps people identify and recognize your products and organization. It’s also what makes you memorable to customers.

We offer a variety of branding services that will help you connect with customers emotionally, giving them a piece of mind knowing they can trust you. We’ll make sure that your brand is unique, memorable, and meaningful so that when people see it, they know exactly who you are!

“Brands are essentially patterns of familiarity, meaning, fondness, and reassurance that exist in the minds of people.”— Tom Goodwin”

Branding is important because not only is it what makes a memorable impression on consumers but it allows your customers and clients to know what to expect from your company. It is a way of distinguishing yourself from the competitors and clarifying what it is you offer that makes you the better choice. Your brand is built to be a true representation of who you are as a business, and how you wish to be perceived.

There are many areas that are used to develop a brand including advertising, customer service, social responsibility, reputation, and visuals. All of these elements (and many more) work together to create one unique and (hopefully) attention-grabbing profile.

Our definition of branding, even if seemingly more ambiguous than the other, gives much more sense to the concept when diving deeper into its meaning. Here is a rough breakdown:

1. Perpetual process
Branding is a perpetual process because it never stops. People, markets, and businesses are constantly changing and the brand must evolve in order to keep pace.

2. Identify, create, manage
There is a structured process to branding, one where you must first identify who/what you want to be to your stakeholders, create your brand strategy to position yourself accordingly, and then constantly manage everything that influences your positioning.

3. Cumulative assets and actions
Your positioning must be translated into assets (e.g., visual identity, content, products, ads) and actions (e.g., services, customer support, human relations, experiences) that project it into your stakeholders’ minds, slowly building up that perception.

4. Perception of a brand
Also known as reputation. This is the association that an individual (customer or not) has in their mind regarding your brand. This perception is the result of the branding process (or lack thereof).

5. Stakeholders
Clients are not the only ones that build a perception of your brand in their minds. Stakeholders include possible clients, existing customers, employees, shareholders, and business partners. Each one builds up their own perception and interacts with the brand accordingly.

Why is branding important?
Branding is absolutely critical to a business because of the overall impact it makes on your company. Branding can change how people perceive your brand, it can drive new business, and increase brand value – but it can also do the opposite if done wrongly or not at all.

“A good definition of brand strategy is the considered intent for the positive role a company wants to play in the lives of the people it serves and the communities around it.” — Neil Parker

Let’s set something straight: Reputation builds up whether the business does something about it or not. The result can be a good or bad reputation. Understanding and using branding only means that you take the reins and try to control what that reputation looks like. This is why it is recommended to consider branding from the very beginning of your business.

Contrary to popular belief, branding is not an “expensive marketing tactic that only big brands use”. On the contrary – branding has a lot to do with common sense and is heavily influenced by the market you’re in and the level you want to play at. Branding involves a consistent mix of different competencies and activities, so its cost can wildly differ from case to case. High-level consultants and flawless implementation will, of course, be more expensive than anything below it. Likewise, branding an international, multi-product business will be much more challenging and resource-heavy than a local business, for example. There is no one-size-fits-all approach.

Branding increases business value
Branding is important when trying to generate future business, and a strongly established brand can increase a business’ value by giving the company more leverage in the industry. This makes it a more appealing investment opportunity because of its firmly established place in the marketplace.

Interview: Brand Valuation & Measurement Standards, with Susan Avarde, Brandometry
The result of the branding process is the brand, which incorporates the reputation and value that comes with it. A strong reputation means a strong brand which, in turn, translates into value. That value can mean influence, price premium, or mindshare. The brand is a business asset that also holds monetary value in itself and must have a place of its own on a business’ balance sheet because it increases the overall worth of the company. Although this is a controversial topic and a difficult task for many companies, giving financial weight to the brand is as important as branding itself – this is called ‘brand valuation’.

Our ‘Brands in the Boardroom’ series makes an excellent point for the business side of branding.

Branding generates new customers
A good brand will have no trouble drumming up referral business. Strong branding generally means there is a positive impression of the company amongst consumers, and they are likely to do business with you because of the familiarity and assumed dependability of using a name they can trust. Once a brand has been well-established, word of mouth will be the company’s best and most effective advertising technique.

How Customers Perceive Brand Value

Just like with the reputation of a person, the reputation of a brand precedes it. Once a certain perception of the brand has been established in the market, an uncontrollable chain of propagation begins. Word of mouth will pass the perception on and further reinforce or tarnish the reputation of that brand. If the reputation is positive, potential new customers may come into contact with the brand, having an already-positive association in their mind that makes them more likely to make a purchase from this brand than from the competition.

Improves employee pride and satisfaction
When an employee works for a strongly branded company and truly stands behind the brand, they will be more satisfied with their job and have a higher degree of pride in the work that they do. Working for a brand that is reputable and held in high regard amongst the public makes working for that company more enjoyable and fulfilling.

As we have mentioned before, the stakeholders of a brand are not just clients, but also employees. We must be aware of the fact that human interaction is the basis of commerce, and employees are the first line of communication for any brand – the first ambassadors. Employees that have a good association with the brand will perpetuate that perception further down the line to the clients and partners they interact with. This can also translate into better leadership, more involvement, and better products and services.

For more about the effect of branding on employees and the subject of employer branding, we recommend Christopher Abelt’s expert articles.

Creates trust within the marketplace
A brand’s reputation ultimately boils down to the amount of trust that clients can have in it. The more you trust a brand, the better your perception of it, the stronger its reputation and, thus, the brand itself.

In Brands We Trust? – Branding Roundtable No. 29
Branding searches for the right way to earn and maintain a certain level of trust between the company and its stakeholders. This is done by establishing a realistic and attainable promise that positions the brand in a certain way in the market and then delivering on that promise. Simply enough, if the promise is being delivered upon, trust builds up in stakeholders’ minds. In highly crowded markets, trust is especially important because it can make the difference between intent (considering to buy) and action (making the purchase).

Branding in practice
The topic of branding is definitely not a one-pager. It’s an ever-evolving subject spanning many areas of expertise: business management, marketing, advertising, design, psychology, and others. Branding also has different layers, each one with its own meaning and structure. It is not the same as marketing but there are many common grounds between the two, which is why we cannot acknowledge or deny that branding and marketing are somehow subordinate one to the other. They are interdependent and their primary goal is to serve the business.

Brandingmag’s Roundtables are a great place to find some clarity and expertise regarding different aspects of branding, such as employer branding, country branding, brand design, brand governance, and brand valuation, to name a few.

Or, if you’re a busy marketer trying to hone your skills, tune in to our podcast, Branding over Wine.