What is branding and why is it so important for your company to action?Branding is more than a logo stamped across various marketing material. Branding extends beyond the visible elements and should be integrated into all aspects of a business. Strategic branding involves numerous decisions that should aim to manage a positive image for your organisation, whilst increasing awareness through a single, uniform voice expressed through multiple communication channels.
This article discusses what branding actually consists of, why branding is so important and ways to better enhance strategic branding initiatives.
What is Branding?
Branding may be a name, term, sign or symbol intended to identify the services or products your company is selling. Branding also consists of people, places, price, customer service, set of qualities and promises, that are all combined to form identification of your firm in a consumer’s mind. Integrating branding through company-wide processes aids in differentiating you from competitors in your industry.
As branding involves much more than the visual name or logo of your company, it is crucial that all branding decisions are based upon your customers’ needs and wants. Branding decisions should also strategically guide your company towards increasing awareness and creating more identifiable and recognisable elements associated with your company.
Why is Branding so Important?
Branding is extremely important for building awareness and increasing loyalty and trust of customer base.
Branding aids in a consumer’s ability to identify the source of a product or service.
Once an awareness of the brand is built within the target audience, customers may begin to identify and recognize branding elements and symbols of your organisation. These may then be associated with the product or service offered, enabling a consumer to quickly identify the company and its offerings. The ability for a consumer to quickly identify your brand over competitors is effective during a customer’s decision making process; meaning he or she will be more likely to purchase from a recognisable brand, as opposed to an unrecognisable brand.
Branding can increase customer loyalty.
By consistently communicating to and engaging with your customers, consumers begin to form various connotations associated with your brand. Through quick service and appropriate resolution of any issues arising through customer service outlets, deeper cognitive associations will also be established. By ensuring positive associations are formed, customers will become more loyal to your brand and would rather use your product or service over the competitors offerings. Furthermore, these positive associations can increase brand trust for your company.
Strong branding can increase brand equity.
Strategically integrating branding within your company increases a foundation to leverage for future cash flow and investments. A well-established brand is more likely to gain business value over competitors within the industry, thus increasing the brand worth and overall company equity.
How to Enhance Branding?
Enhancing branding initiatives should be viewed from a long term approach and must be integrated company-wide.
Consistent, omni-channel approach to communications.
Consistent communication through multiple channels, including social media platforms, is a key strategic initiative for companies to enhance their branding efficacy. This may be accomplished by being present on all digital platforms your target audience may frequent, as well as completing various traditional marketing initiatives that engage your audience. All communications expressed through the marketing collateral should be integrated and portray a single brand voice and image.
Through all communication platforms, it is crucial the message remains clear, concise and consistent. Vague messages can increase confusion in consumers and portray your brand in a negative manner.
Always present recognisable features and maintain consistency in aesthetics.
Through all advertisements and marketing collateral presented to your consumers, it is important to ensure recognisable aspects of your brand are featured. This will repeatedly engage the audience with the same branding elements, increasing the likelihood of your target audience to think of, or recognise, your brand during the decision making process.
Humanising the brand.
Utilising people to represent your brand is a strategic initiative to humanise the company and increase relatability to consumers. Representatives such as field experts, employees or popular figures may be used to spread awareness and appropriate messaging. This presents a face for the company and creates and more relatable brand for consumers to connect with.