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Think of a company you love. Now ask yourself why. It might be because their product or service is unique. Perhaps it’s because they are reliable, affordable, or always met your expectations. Maybe your love stems from the good the company does outside its doors — contributing to charity, or being an advocate for good causes. All of these factors combine into we colloquially dubbed branding

So, what is Branding, then, exactly? 

More importantly… what is it to you and your company?

Your brand represents your company’s essence and personality.  It communicates what makes you the better choice against your competitors. Authenticity aligned with your values creates a powerful experience and trust — all combining into the ethereal je ne sais quoi that is your brand.

Less mystically… your brand is the entirety of your company’s output across all conceivable channels . This means your website, mobile apps, presentation decks, social media, and literally every customer interaction ultimately distills into your brand.

So… why is Branding Important?

Branding is essential for businesses of all sizes and industries for several reasons:

  1. Builds Trust and Loyalty: A strong brand creates trust and loyalty with consumers. When people recognize and trust your brand, they’re more likely to choose your product or service over competitors.
  2. Increases Perceived Value: Strong branding can increase the perceived value of your product or service. People are willing to pay more for a brand they trust and perceive as high-quality. It’s why Apple users routinely look down on Android users (incorrectly, lol).
  3. Sets You Apart: In today’s crowded marketplace, it’s essential to stand out from the competition. Strong branding sets you apart from your competitors and makes your business memorable. It’s why McDonalds keeps bringing back the McRib, while Burger King attempted to sell tacos at one point.
  4. Helps with Marketing Efforts: Strong branding makes marketing efforts more effective. When people recognize and trust your brand, they’re more likely to engage with your marketing campaigns and share them with others.
  5. Attracts Employees: Strong branding also attracts top talent. A strong brand that’s well-respected and has a positive reputation makes it easier to attract and retain employees. This is why Google has a line out the door of their recruitment office, and Yahoo is just glad we mentioned them in the same sentence.

The Elements of Branding

A great brand is like a great dish; it’s all about the ingredients.. These include:

  1. Logo: Your logo is the visual representation of your brand. It should be unique, memorable, and easily recognizable.
  2. Color Scheme: The colors you choose for your brand can have a significant impact on how people perceive it. Choose colors that align with your brand’s personality and values.
  3. Messaging:  This includes your tagline, mission statement, and other messaging that communicates your brand’s values and personality.
  4. Customer Experience: Customer experience is the sum of all the interactions that a customer has over the life of the relationship. From that initial search for their product, to the eventual trip to customer service to answer a product question.
  5. Brand Personality: Your brand personality is the emotional and human characteristics that people associate with your brand. It should align with your target audience and values. 

Tips for Successful Branding

So, you’ve read the primer. You know the ingredients. Let’s put this dish together.

  1. Define Your Audience: Understanding your target audience is essential for successful branding. You need to know their needs, wants, and pain points to create a brand that resonates with them.
  2. Be Consistent: When it comes to branding, consistency is essential. Maintain continuity in your messaging, images, and consumer experience across all touchpoints. Simply put, if your customer can’t pick your product out of a line-up? Time to roll up the sleeves (or, ahem… call us.)
  3. Focus on Value: Your brand should focus on the value you provide to customers. Communicate how your product or service solves their problems or makes their lives better. This doesn’t necessarily mean price! The value is what you choose to promote. This could be about cost savings, sure. But think of brands like Bombas… who showcase their value by their brands’ charitable efforts.
  4. Be Authentic: Authenticity is crucial for successful branding. Be true to your brand’s personality, values, and mission. In other words… if you’re not a youth-targeting brand, now isn’t the time to drop a month-long meme dump for the riz
  5. Monitor and Adapt: Branding is an ongoing process. Monitor your brand’s performance and adapt your strategy as needed.

A Brand in the Hand is Worth Two in the Search

It’s important to note that branding isn’t just for large corporations with big budgets. Small businesses and startups can benefit from branding just as much, if not more, than larger companies. By establishing a strong brand early on, you can build a loyal customer base and stand out in a crowded marketplace. It’s what separates a successful startup from wanna-bes still posting on Facebook about their Kickstarter. 

By showcasing a consistent, well-thought-out brand — with a memorable logo, appropriately witty tagline, and some solid customer evangelism — your company can compete outside of its league. It’s how niche brands like Graza, Flavor Gods, and Vessi have grown from humble beginnings to powerhouse brands.

Now, it’s time to be honest with yourself. Put yourself in the shoes of the customer who has never heard of you. Take in all that your company does. How it speaks, how it looks, and how it operates. Is there a consistent brand? If so… how will you continue to evolve it? If not… how do you intend to fix it?