What makes you choose a product over the other? Is a certain check mark on sports apparel really that powerful? How does a company stand out from the rest? Branding may be a big differentiator for products and services.
Branding in marketing is the process of creating a positive perception of a company and its products or services. When there is an effective combination of elements, such as design, logo, theme, and marketing voice throughout that brand’s communications, that’s when target audience is captivated.
In essence, branding lets your company communicate to your customers.
Why Prioritize Branding?
Branding is a powerful tool for companies of all sizes, whether big or small. It is one of the most important aspects of marketing because it can make the product or service stand out from the competition. It can also help foster loyalty among customers. Branding lets you share what is distinct about your offering—it builds recognition and forms a unique story about the value you are bringing.
Statistics suggest that it takes merely 10 seconds for someone to form an impression about a brand logo. This means that with the plethora of options in the market, you need strong, attention-grabbing branding. In logos for instance, the goal is to make the logo memorable, but not in any way too stimulating or even grotesque. It has to make sense.
Here are key reasons why branding in marketing is important:
It helps you get noticed.
In ecommerce, new companies are springing up every day. In fact, on Facebook alone there are over 60 million businesses. The more businesses, the tighter the competition. Building powerful branding can get you more impressions, which potentially leads to more customers down the line.
It establishes credibility.
Branding doesn’t just involve logos, colour, and aesthetics. Indeed, most people only think of branding as the name and logo. But it’s the whole package that includes the story. Branding in marketing enables your business to show how professional, unique, and reliable you are.
It helps show potential customers your value proposition. The messaging and all the elements serve as the reason why people would choose your product or service, and more importantly, why should they stay loyal to it.
It makes advertising meaningful.
Branding in marketing provides the framework for your advertising strategy. Everything will be cohesive, and representative of the business’ identity and core values. Without a solid branding, marketing may become tepid and less effective.
It fosters loyalty.
Impressions are great, but what you aim for is to convince customers to purchase your goods and services and remain loyal to the brand. With good branding, you get to build a relationship with the target audience, which builds a stronger connection between your company and the customers. People can relate more if there’s personality or a human side to your business. Branding will help elicit that effect.
5 Branding Components to Focus on
In order to build a strong branding in marketing, here are five key components to consider:
Brand face is all about differentiating your brand in the marketplace. You need to determine what makes the business unique, and then communicate that to your target audience. Your positioning should be reflected in everything. From the messaging to your website or store design, to logo and colours, to the overall “look and feel”.
Brand face should strike a balance in both forging a business identity and at the same time being unique enough to stand out from the crowd.
Your promise is what you vow to deliver to your customers. It’s the core of why they should do business with you in the first place. This promise should be reflected in your branding and marketing efforts, as well as the way the business is run on a day-to-day basis.
One of the most important things is to set a unique value proposition that lets customers choose you from competitors. Some businesses focus on excellent imagery that provides aspirational tones for customers. Others focus on providing exceptional customer service. Some businesses will figure out how to provide cheaper service that still has the same quality as more costly competition. In some instances, your product or service is the first of its kind.
Finding a differentiator elevates your branding in marketing strategy.
Your brand’s messaging serves as the voice of the brand. It’s what makes it relatable and human for customers. The messaging, be it on social media posts, the copies you have on your ads, the language you use on the website, the sales or customer service quality—all these allow customers to connect on a personal level.
Brand messaging must be consistent, no matter where it is placed, and regardless of who the customer is talking to. Think about what type of tone fits your business (e.g., friendly, humorous, serious) and what values to communicate (e.g., reliable, innovative, etc.)
Proof is what gives customers confidence in your brand. It comes in the form of customer testimonials, awards, and media coverage. The more proof that your niche customers can appreciate, the stronger your brand will be. For example, if you are an eco-friendly brand, you could align with third-party certification bodies that give the stamp of approval on your products or process.
Focusing on branding in marketing helps your business build a strong base that will make the products and services more noticeable and be more appealing for your target customers.
Branding is essential for both big and small companies, but even more so for small businesses as they have less name recognition than larger companies. There are a number of ways to establish branding, and it’s a continuous process that won’t happen overnight. Your branding may undergo several refinements before you figure out which combination of aesthetics and messaging works best, but it pays to start right now.