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What is branding and why it’s essential for your business’ success

It's a myth that as long as your product/service is good, people will buy it and talk about it. Your product might be the best in the world, but if it doesn't have a great brand to go with it, it will likely fade into obscurity. 
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Branding is what differentiates your product from others on the market and helps people remember who you are and what you offer. So why should you care about branding?  Because it’s essential to  your success.  This article explains the why and the how. After defining branding, we’ll explain what the difference between brand and branding is, what the benefits of branding are and why consistent branding is THE missing puzzle piece in your business strategy. 

What is branding?

Branding is about creating a unique and consistent image for your product or service in the mind of your target audience. In a nutshell, branding is what makes people want to buy from you instead of from someone else.

Because branding creates the first impression about your company, it’s vital that it helps you generate a unique identity for your service/products that will resonate with your target market. Branding not only includes the name, logo, and color scheme of your business, but also the tone and language you use in your marketing materials such as blog posts, social media updates, and email newsletters.

Contrary to what many think, branding is not just about slapping a logo on your website or product – it’s about developing a strategy that will make people associate your company with certain qualities, values, and ideals. It may sound a bit vague if you’ve never heard of it, but just think about some of the brands that are most popular with today’s consumers – Apple computers, Coca-Cola soft drinks, Nike sports gear, Starbucks coffee, to name a few. These companies have all done an amazing job at branding themselves in a way that it resonates with people on a deeper level, and as a result enjoy a loyal following among consumers.

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Brand versus branding

There’s a big difference between brand and branding. Brands are essentially the stories we tell about ourselves and are much more than a name or a logo. A brand is what you stand for, it’s the promise you make to your customers, providing a shared sense of identity for people all over the world. For example, Apple isn’t just a technology company – it’s a way of thinking about the world. Harley-Davidson isn’t just a motorcycle company – it’s a lifestyle. See where we’re going?

These brands essentially tell us what to buy, when to buy it, where to buy it and why we should buy it. They are a source of information, reassurance, and inspiration and have a unique way of influencing us to be part of their lifestyle, point of view or simply tell us what is happening in the world. Brands are not designed only for particular products, but can also be used to promote an organization, an idea, celebrities, and even places. Each brand has its own unique visual identity (name, logo, design, symbol etc.) that serves to distinguish it from competitors. It is a way to cut through the clutter in a world of information overload. 

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Branding, on the other hand, is the process of maintaining and building a brand, strategically creating an image for your product or service in the minds of your customers. In other words, branding is the process of creating that consistent experience across all channels – from your website and advertising to your customer service and social media. 

So what’s the difference between a brand and branding? A brand is the underlying idea, while branding is the way you communicate that idea. It’s how you make your customers feel when they interact with your company. And it’s what sets you apart from your competition.

What are the benefits of branding?

There are a number of reasons why (good) branding is a powerful key to your business  success. First and foremost, a strong brand helps you stand out from the competition. In a crowded marketplace, it’s essential to have a distinguishing factor that helps customers remember your company and what it offers. A compelling brand can do just that. 

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Next, a strong branding helps you establish trust. Customers need to be able to trust the products they buy, especially in an age where people are skeptical of various brands and their motives. A quality brand will engender that trust in your customers so that they can depend on your company for reliable, high-quality goods and services.

Finally, having a strong brand and effectively communicating that through branding can help you make more money. If your company is known for its superior customer service, its high-quality products or/and has a strong reputation and image, consumers are more likely to choose your company over the competition. This leads to increased sales and revenue, allowing you to reinvest in your business and keep building your brand’s name. Over time your improved  brand’s equity will directly affect your profit margins without you doing more – look for it in an upcoming article.   

Why good branding attracts the right customers

Good brands portray a story with an interesting narrative that people can relate to and feel a part of. Good branding goes one step further and is all about making your business more successful by attracting the right customers for you. For example, horror film trailers will show suspenseful, scary scenes rather than a romantic scene (even if both exist in the film) to ensure that they reach their market – horror film lovers, not romantics who can’t handle a good thrill. The same goes for any business – your message needs to be very clear so it hits the core with the right group of people. They want to know that they’re dealing with who they think they are dealing with and that the company’s promise will be delivered.  

It’s simple – a good branding will attract the right customers, while a bad branding can repel them. In order to create a successful business strategy, you need to understand your target market and what they’re looking for.

You also need to be consistent with your branding across all platforms, from your website and social media accounts to your marketing materials and product packaging. This is how you create a strong brand that will help you stand out from the competition, make it easier to attract new customers and bring them together as a community that is based on trust. This then helps you  boost your sales and increase your profits over time. 

Remember that when you create a powerful brand, it becomes more than just a product or service. It becomes an idea that people can believe in. And when people believe in your brand, they’re more likely to buy from you.

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Takeaways

To sum things up, branding is an essential part of your business’ success. It can help you establish a presence in your market, increase sales, and build customer loyalty, consequently setting you up for long-term success. Every company should take steps to develop and hone their brand so that they can reap these benefits for years to come. 

While creating a strong brand and effective branding can be challenging,  it’s definitely worth it. If you want your business to be successful, you need to invest in branding and most importantly, you need to take the time to get it right. It’s one of the most powerful things you can do to set yourself apart from the competition and attract customers to your product or service. When your branding is on point, you can connect with customers on a deeper level and create loyalty that can’t be beat. 

So if you’re looking to take your business to the next level, start by focusing on your brand and branding strategy, you won’t regret it! And it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune either – contact us and we’ll help you take the first steps. 

For more insight on branding and the approach we use, check out this article:

 The 12 branding archetypes explained: what is archetypal branding and why your business needs one asap

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