Branding is the process of researching, developing, and applying a distinctive feature or set of features to your organization so that consumers can begin to associate your brand with your products or services. Branding is an iterative process and requires getting in touch with the heart of your customers and your business. It’s important for a variety of reasons — I dive into these next.
Your brand is arguably one of your organization’s most important assets. It gives your organization an identity, makes your business memorable, encourages consumers to buy from you, supports your marketing and advertising, and brings your employees pride.
Branding can be the deciding factor for consumers when they make a purchase decision. In a 2015 global Nielsen survey, almost 60% of shoppers said they actively buy from brands they know, and 21% said they bought a product because they liked the brand.
Branding gives your business an identity beyond its product or service. It gives consumers something to relate to and connect with.
Branding makes your business memorable. It’s the face of your company and helps consumers distinguish your business across every medium (which I discuss later).
Branding supports your marketing and advertising efforts. It helps your promotion pack that extra punch with added recognition and impact.
Branding brings your employees pride. When you brand your company, you’re not only giving your business identity, you’re also creating a reputable, highly-regarded workplace. Strong branding brings in strong employees.
Branding Terms to Know
Here are some other brand-related buzzwords you should know. They further demonstrate the importance and value of branding your business.
Brand awareness refers to how familiar the general public and your target audience is with your brand. High brand awareness leads to brands being referred to as “trending,” “buzzworthy, or “popular.” Brand awareness is important because consumers can’t consider purchasing from your brand if they’re not aware of it.
👉🏼 Strong branding makes your business known.
Brand extensions are when companies “extend” their brand to develop new products in new industries and markets. Consider Honda lawn mowers or Martha Stewart bedding. Brand extensions allow companies (or individuals) to leverage brand awareness and equity to create more revenue streams and diversify product lines.
👉🏼 Strong branding brings in more money.
Brand identity is the personality of your business and the promise you make to your customers. It’s what you want your customers to walk away with after they interact with your brand. Your brand identity is typically comprised of your values, how you communicate your product or service, and what you want people to feel when they interact with it.
👉🏼 Strong branding gives your business more than a name.
Brand management refers to the process of creating and maintaining your brand. It includes managing the tangible elements of your brand (style guide, packaging, color palette) and the intangible elements (how it’s perceived by your target audience and customer base). Your brand is a living, breathing asset, and it should be managed as such.
👉🏼 Strong branding requires consistent upkeep.
Brand recognition is how well a consumer (ideally in your target audience) can recognize and identify your brand without seeing your business name — through your logo, tagline, jingle, packaging, or advertising. This concept goes hand-in-hand with brand recall, which is the ability to think of a brand without any visual or auditory identifiers.
👉🏼 Strong branding keeps your business top-of-mind.
Real-life brand example: Want to test your brand knowledge? Take this Logo Quiz by Business Insider to see how well you know your corporate brands. This is brand recognition at work.
Brand trust refers to how strongly customers and consumers believe in your brand. Do you deliver on your marketing promises? Do your salespeople and customer service go above and beyond? These things can create trust among your customers, which is important in a world where a mere 25% of people feel confident in large businesses.
👉🏼 Strong branding builds trust with your customers.
Brand valuation is the commercial valuation of your brand derived from consumer perception, recognition, and trust. This concept goes hand-in-hand with brand equity. A powerful brand can make your business invaluable to investors, shareholders, and potential buyers.
👉🏼 Strong branding increases your business’s value.
Want to build an effective, measurable brand? Download our free guide on How to Build a Brand in 2019.