The Importance of Branding
We recently sat down for an insightful chat with our Creative Director, William Niven, to discuss the importance of branding. Here's what he had to say:
"I’m often asked ‘What is branding?’, ‘Why is it so important?’ and ‘How does this apply to me and my business?’.
Well if we go back a few decades, branding was defined simply as a name, slogan, sign, symbol or a combination of these elements coming together to essentially represent the branding ‘logo’ and image. This differentiated the goods and/or services from their competition.
In today’s crazy world of AI robots, VR headsets and machine learning fridges, branding is a tad more complex. Nowadays when you think about your brand, as well as its image and identity you should also be considering your customer's consistent overall experience e.g. Logo, Website, Social Media, Persona (and the list goes on). Essentially ‘branding’ still honours the traditional perception that a consumer has when they experience your company name, service or product. That being said the term ‘brand’ or ‘branding’ can we thought of as a constant moving target that evolves with the behaviour of consumers.
Business owners often associate branding with expenses and unnecessary fluff that adds no value to their existing product or service. They are so focused on making their overall product/service offering the best, that the brand image is forgotten.
The reality though is that a brands image and overall perception and experience of the customer's matter. It matters a lot.
I realise when first looking at this overall broad definition of branding, it may be slightly overwhelming, therefore to assist you on your journey through this I’ve consolidated what I feel to be the top reasons why developing your branding is important:
1. Branding Promotes Recognition:
People as a whole tend to do business with the companies they are familiar with.
You can most likely spot an Apple device, a piece of Tiffany’s jewellery or a can of Coca-cola from afar. It may appear simple, but it takes a huge amount to make your brand this recognisable and somewhat subconsciously familiar to consumers. It’s not just about the logo or slogan (although these are important factors); your brand image encompasses both visual elements and brand associations such as speed, reliability and quality which should also tie into your company culture and values.
If you don’t put the effort into maintaining these consistently throughout your brand, you’ll find it very difficult to develop an easily recognisable one.
2. Your Brand tells People about your Business DNA:
Your full brand experience, from the visual elements such as the logo to the way that your phones are answered, to the persona and copy on your social media posts.
Are all of these points of entry telling the right story?
3. Branding Provides Motivation and Direction for your Staff:
A clear brand strategy provides the clarity that your staff needs to be successful. It informs them how to act, how to win, and how to meet the organisation's goals.
4. Strong Branding Generates Referrals:
People love to tell others about the brands they like.
They wear brands, eat brands, listen to brands and they’re constantly telling others about the brands they love. On the flip side, you can’t exactly tell someone about a brand you can’t remember.
In addition to this, if referrals are one of your main goals then accompany this with a clear website strategy such as backlinks, blogging, and SEO which is critical to generating referrals or viral traffic.
5. Your Brand Represents you and your Promise to your Customers:
It is important to remember that your brand represents you…you are the brand, your staff is the brand, your marketing materials are the brand.
What do they say about you, and what do they say about what you’re going to deliver (promise) to the customer?
Having a brand that is consistent and clear puts the customer at ease because they know exactly what to expect each and every time they experience it.
6. Your Branding Helps you Create Clarity and Stay Focused:
It’s very easy to wander from idea to idea without direction which eventually causing you to be distant from your original goals or plans.
A clear set of brand guidelines help you stay focused on your mission and vision as an organisation. This will also help you strategically guide you and your team with your marketing efforts, saving you time and money.
7. Your Brand Helps you Connect with your Customers Emotionally:
A good brand connects with people on an emotional level, they feel good when they buy or interact with it.
Take Apple, for example, the associations are that by purchasing the latest iPhone it will enrich your life, make you more outgoing and apparently take selfies with everyone you meet, making you a more sociable, successful, fun individual.
As you can see above, branding is at the bedrock of all successful businesses and is intertwined into everything that a company does, says or creates, building a consistency between these is key.
This is a subject that myself and our team at UNBXD are hugely passionate about, you can see examples of some of our recent case studies on our website and social channels.
If you're looking for assistance with developing your brand guidelines from a group of professionals with experience working within a variety of industries, get in touch with a member of our team today."