What Is Branding? Understanding Its Importance In Business

Branding

Brand Strategy

Brand Development

Marketing

WRITTEN BY

Updated on: May 23nd, 2024

Toni Hukkanen

Head of Design

Creative Direction, Brand Direction

12 Minute read

We often choose products based on how they make us feel instead of focusing on their functional attributes. You might spend an extra 50 cents on a 2 liter of Coke instead of a generic cola. It might be because Coke's brand aligns with your personal values. This emotional connection is the base of branding.

Branding is not about what a product does or how it looks. Rather, it is about the feelings and perceptions it generates in consumers. Brands with close resonation to target audience win their loyalty and drive sales by incorporating their values, aspirations, or lifestyle choices. Keep reading to learn the basics of branding and its importance in marketing and get inspired by the best branding examples.

What is Branding?

Branding is the process of creating and implementing a distinct feature or a set of features in a product, service, or organization. It is all about shaping: 

  • Perceptions

  • Emotions 

  • Associations in the minds of consumers so they can connect your brand with your products or services

Though it is often associated with logos and design, branding covers more than just aesthetics. It involves the entire experience of a customer with a brand, from its messaging and storytelling to its values and reputation.

Branding is everywhere, from social media captions to billboard color palettes and materials used for brand packaging. A strong brand helps companies stand out and make a lasting impression on their audience.

Why Is Branding Important?

A creative brand can significantly affect your presence in the market by giving a competitive edge over your competitors. It allows your customers to know what to expect from your company. An established brand has the potential to draw clients and produce profit in e-commerce, where new competitions pop up every day.

It is a false concept that branding is an expensive marketing tactic that only big brands use. In reality, it has a lot to do with common sense. It is mainly influenced by the market you are in and the level of competition you want to play at. Branding is a mixture of different competencies and activities, so its cost can also vary from case to case. Here is why it matters:

Increases Business Value

Branding is important if you want to generate future business. By having an established brand you can increase its value by giving it more industry leverage. A strong brand also appeals to investment due to its established market position.

With a strong brand reputation, you can have higher prices, greater influence, and increased consumer mindshare. This increases the monetary value of your business and the process of assigning financial value to brand is known as brand valuation.

Boosts Advertising And Marketing

Effective branding can help increase your brand awareness and make it recognizable. People are more likely to choose it over your competitors if they are familiar with it.

Branding also sparks interest in customers to learn about a brand and develop a memorable relationship with it. With strong branding strategies, you can build trust of customers and stand out from competitors.

Improves Employee Pride And Satisfaction

If employees are working for a well regarded brand, they will feel more satisfied and proud of their jobs. This will eventually make their work experience enjoyable and fulfilling.

Employees are the key stakeholders and the first ambassadors of a brand. Their positive association with a brand influences their interaction with clients and partners. This will boost the brand's reputation, which can lead to the following:

  • Better leadership

  • Higher involvement

  • Improved products and services

Satisfied employees strengthen the overall perception and success of a brand.

Creates Trust Within The Marketplace

The reputation of a brand is also influenced by the level of trust of clients in it. The more trust a brand earns, the better its reputation and strength.

Branding involves making and keeping realistic promises that are crucial to building trust. If a brand is delivering on its promises, it will earn the trust of stakeholders. In crowded markets, this trust turns potential buyers into actual customers.

Generates New Customers

A strong brand has the potential to generate referral business. With a positive impression of a brand on consumers, they are more likely to choose it due to familiarity and trust. 

These brands also benefit from word-of-mouth advertising. With a single positive perception, new customers are attracted to the brand and make a purchase.

How To Build Your Brand?

Branding is a creative work, without a doubt. It requires a team’s and stakeholders' effort during the process to get everyone's opinion, gather feedback and introduce necessary changes.

There is a lot that takes part in a brand, and there is a need to consider a lot of factors when building a strong brand. Here is how you can create a brand or initiate the process of rebranding your business:

Plan A Brand Strategy

Planning a brand strategy refers to describing the process by which an organization will establish rapport with the market. This is a way to make a company stand out from the competitors.

With a well-defined and effectively implemented strategy, you can influence every area of your business associated with customers:

  • Demands

  • Feelings

  • Competitive conditions

We have broken down key elements of brand strategy to help keep your firm relevant for decades:

Functional Purpose

It evaluates performance based on immediate economic goals such as money.

Intentional Purpose

It evaluates success by both making money and accomplishing good in the world.

Consistent Message

When promoting your business, make sure to avoid unnecessary ideas and be consistent. With a consistent message, you can provide a solid foundation for your brand and ensure its recognition.

Adaptability To Market Changes

It is essential for marketers to adapt to this changing world. They will benefit from it with creative freedom for campaigns. Though consistency is necessary, by incorporating flexibility you can increase attention and make your strategy different from the competitors.

Customer Loyalty

If your business, products or services are already being appreciated by customers, reward them for their loyalty. It will help you in more repeat business and bring great financial gains.

Create Brand Identity

You are easily recognizable to your customers with the help of brand identity. Elements like logo, color, and design play a role in communicating brand messages. It is often confused with brand image and branding, which is the public perception of your brand and the process of creating a brand, respectively. The brand identity reflects the visual and emotional aspects that distinguish your brand.

Take an example of Nike that has an iconic swoosh logo, consistent message and memorable slogan. It greatly reflects its brand identity to help build customer loyalty and shapes the perception of the brand in front of customers.

For creating a brand identity, you will need to know the core components of your brand, such as:

  • Purpose

  • Values

  • Personality

  • Brand voice

  • Unique Positioning

With a clear understanding of these components, you can build an identity to communicate who you are to your customers.

Develop Brand Positioning

Brand positioning is all about shaping how you want customers to see your brand. It involves the creation of a specific affinity when selling products or creating content. It's related to setting your brand apart from competitors, even from those with similar products.

Here are a few things you will need to do if you want to develop a successful brand positioning strategy:

  • Identify the primary needs of your target audience and give them possible solutions.

  • Find out why the target market should trust your brand. You must focus on the value proposition of your brand. Determine how it can help meet the demands in a better way compared to competitors.

  • Highlight the varying features of your brand that set it apart from others in the market.

  • Develop a plan to communicate the brand positioning in an effective way using marketing channels.

Brand Implementation

In brand implementation, you plan and execute a brand strategy using project management methods. The strategy then turns into logic where new brands are guided with rebranding efforts and campaigns.

For successful implementation, the strategy must be result-oriented. Companies often rely on brand ambassadors to achieve this. Brand ambassadors are trained staff who apply and support these strategies internally and externally. Other methods include:

  • Establishing brand steering group

  • Providing management training

After creation of this strategy a company should ask if each new action supports the brand. This reflects that brand implementation is a continuous process without boundaries that require consistent refinement and improvement.

Establish A Brand Message

It is important to establish a brand message to help the public recognize your company whenever it positions itself. The message must include a thorough definition of ideas rooted in the core values of the company.

The presentation of a brand is greatly influenced by the way it spreads its message. The message is usually shaped by the category, products and services of the company. If a company has a consistent message pattern, it can easily convey its brand's intentions and key values to the audience. 

Here is how you can deliver your brand message with the help of an established framework:

Find Your Target Audience

The first thing you should do is to find your target audience. You must have clear insights on who you are communicating with. As 70% of consumers prefer personalized experience, it's your responsibility to set your brand that resonates with the audience.

You must understand:

  • To whom will your branding address?

  • Who is your ideal customer?

  • Who does your product serve?

  • What is the purpose of creating this business?

Once you get all the answers, it will help you make branding decisions.

Make A Mission Statement

To find out the reason for creating a certain business can be determined by making a mission statement. It is essential for you to understand what your business has to give to its audience, considering their values. Then, try to make every part of your brand clear to reflect that mission. You can work on a brand's:

  • Logo

  • Tagline

  • Imagery

  • Personality

  • Voice

You can also get help from success stories to create an effective brand message. Some credible references that make sense for your brand can also be used to organize the pattern of brand messages or missions.

Pay Attention To Market Trends

Many positive developments occur in markets that can prove beneficial to your brand. But it is important to stay true to your company's core principles and avoid departing due to these developments. Your main focus should be on the pattern of these developments.

For example, a communication sector like a laboratory truly reflects societal value and technological changes. If you study these patterns, you can adapt the brand message of your company to stay relevant. You can achieve it while staying true to your core values.

Define Your Values, Qualities, And Benefits

You might see a lot of businesses similar to yours in the market which can increase competition. But what one thing is unique about your business that no one can copy is your brand. So, it is important to create a brand based on unique values, benefits and qualities that solely belong to you.

Find Your Brand Voice

Think of what your brand would sound like if you had a conversation with it. The brand voice is also a major part of successful branding. The brand voice must connect and resonate with the target audience because without it no one will pay attention to your brand.

Set a consistent tone whether you are running advertising campaigns, or writing blog posts, brand stories and Instagram captions. 

Manage And Expand Your Brand

As branding is an ongoing process, a successful brand keeps on evolving. If you want to manage your brand, here are a few steps you can take:

  • If you want everyone to recognize your brand and have trust in it, never forget about the significance of consistency. 

  • It is good to have a positive brand reputation and companies do their best to avoid bad ones at any cost. Even if you are planning to rebrand your business to overcome some challenges, having a positive reputation will be beneficial for the long run.

  • For brand management, keep your word and deliver on your promises. 

  • Try to establish an open and continuous dialogue between your brand and customers online and offline.

Once you have established your brand, let it grow and expand through brand extension. In this way you can increase brand awareness and revenue. You have to be careful in this regard, as using the wrong approach can also lead to brand dilution.

Communicate With Brand Guidelines

These are also referred to as brand style guides that set the rules for how you can communicate your brand. All visual elements are associated with the brand message; tone and voice are part of it. Brand guidelines usually come in a digital and printed booklet form. The following things are included in the overall brand standards:

  • Logos, icons 

  • Primary and secondary color palettes

  • Font style, size, and spacing

  • Illustration, photos, and artwork

  • Brand language and emotion

These elements of visual identity are important to demonstrate your worth to all demographics. Once you have created and established a brand, integrate it throughout every inch of your business with the help of a website, social media, packaging, advertising, and customer service.

Types Of Branding

Branding isn't just related to creating an impressive visual identity using an appealing logo and slogan. It is related to taking multiple actions for the target audience to understand business and establish a strong brand image in their minds.

Personal Branding

Personal branding revolves around a person's unique features, traits, behavior and vision. The true representation of personal branding include, Elon Musk, Channel and Madonna.

If you are a solopreneur or self-employed designer or a freelance writer, YouTube content creator, or just someone starting a new venture, in all these categories, you are involved in personal branding.

Online Branding

This type of branding can only take place on online platforms. It refers to a wide range of branding, such as:

  • Social media positioning

  • Online advertisement

  • A Design service provider

  • Email newsletters

  • Automatic message answers

  • Responsive web design

Product And Service Branding

The best example of product and service branding is the association of Google with surfing the web or Jacuzzi with a hot tube. This branding type focuses on the products and services of a company. Customers can identify your brand with its products and services, symbols or brand design.

Corporate Branding

This type of branding is for companies who want to enhance their reputation and distinguish themselves from competitors in their respective industries. The pricing, mission, target market, and values collectively reflect a corporate brand.

Cultural Branding

Cultural branding humanizes the company and makes it relevant to the customs of the target audience. In this type of branding, companies are committed to society, customer traditions and the well being of employees. The best example of it is Coca Cola that sells customers a lifestyle and creates a type of emotional connection.

No Branding

These branding types aim to offer products with qualities similar to those of famous brands. However, their prices are cheaper as there's no investment done in advertising. They mostly use generic names and usually their products speak for themselves.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between branding and marketing?

Branding is a long term strategy. It plays a great role in defining the identity and values of a company. It is often associated with the creation of a positive image and reputation for a company. 

In contrast, marketing is a short term tactic that focuses on sales and generating leads. It is related to building brand awareness and getting people to engage with the company.

What is a brand image?

Brand image is the perception of a company, its services, and products based on customer experience and interaction. It consists of:


  • Personality

  • Visual language

  • Tone of voice

  • Values

  • Products

  • Pricing

  • Service quality


It is also the true depiction of how people perceive these elements.

What are the six features of branding?

The six features of branding can described as:


  • Purpose: Why are you here?

  • Principles: What values guide your behavior?

  • Positioning: Where will you play, who will you serve, and how are you different?

  • Promise: What pledge do you make to your customer?

  • Proof: Why should your customer believe you?

  • Personality: How will you look and sound?

Branding Examples For Inspiration

Whether you buy a chocolate bar or a washing machine, they are made by companies with strong brands. Some iconic brands include McDonald's, KFC, BMW, Microsoft and Ikea. Consumers around the world recognize these brands by hearing a jingle or spotting a logo. The success of these long standing brands wasn't immediate as they spent a lot of money and thoughts to reach their target audience.

Here, we have enlisted some of the best examples of branding in design and communication to inspire you:

Coca-Cola

It is a prime example of successful branding. Even the name of Coca-Cola evokes the feeling of refreshingly cold can and sense of happiness. This didn't happen overnight or by chance. 

Their branding excels in appealing to its audience and leaving a lasting impression. The campaigns focus mainly on emotions and personal connections like:

  • Taste The Feeling

  • Share A Coke

  • Open Happiness

The color scheme of logo and classic serif script font, still reflects the brand image. It continues to develop brand loyalty from die-hard Coke fans.

Nike

Nike has evolved from a sportswear brand to a lifestyle brand. This happened with the help of its strong strategy centered on innovation and performance. The credit for its success goes to high profile endorsements from top athletes like: 

LeBron James

Cristiano Ronaldo

Michael Jordan.

Michael Jordan endorsed “Air Jordan.” This line still remains one of its most iconic and successful products.

The famous slogan, “Just Do It” encourages overcoming obstacles to pursue athletic goals.

Tesla

Elon Musk transformed the automotive industry by creating Tesla. The brand strategy for this electric vehicle is centered on: 

  • Sustainability

  • Innovation

  • Future

Tesla positions itself as a tech company that makes cars that appeal to tech enthusiasts and stand out from traditional automakers. It also produces electric vehicles and renewable energy solutions that emphasize sustainability and environmental conciseness.

Its brand strategy is a masterclass in simplicity and innovation. It focuses on cutting edge technology, affordability and direct to consumer approach to stay at the forefront of the industry.

Final Thoughts

Branding is the most valuable asset of a company as it gives a unique identity. This identity makes the brand recognizable and memorable. It also drives engagement and encourages customer loyalty for growth, development, and success. It is important to have a strong brand with a well-thought-out strategy. To create a successful brand, differentiate it from your product. You must also define your values and vision. Make sure your brand speaks directly to your target audience. A strong brand is always supported by a clear and consistent strategy that helps the company succeed.

What Is Branding? Understanding Its Importance In Business

Branding

Brand Strategy

Brand Development

Marketing

WRITTEN BY

Updated on: May 23nd, 2024

Toni Hukkanen

Head of Design

Creative Direction, Brand Direction

12 Minute read

We often choose products based on how they make us feel instead of focusing on their functional attributes. You might spend an extra 50 cents on a 2 liter of Coke instead of a generic cola. It might be because Coke's brand aligns with your personal values. This emotional connection is the base of branding.

Branding is not about what a product does or how it looks. Rather, it is about the feelings and perceptions it generates in consumers. Brands with close resonation to target audience win their loyalty and drive sales by incorporating their values, aspirations, or lifestyle choices. Keep reading to learn the basics of branding and its importance in marketing and get inspired by the best branding examples.

What is Branding?

Branding is the process of creating and implementing a distinct feature or a set of features in a product, service, or organization. It is all about shaping: 

  • Perceptions

  • Emotions 

  • Associations in the minds of consumers so they can connect your brand with your products or services

Though it is often associated with logos and design, branding covers more than just aesthetics. It involves the entire experience of a customer with a brand, from its messaging and storytelling to its values and reputation.

Branding is everywhere, from social media captions to billboard color palettes and materials used for brand packaging. A strong brand helps companies stand out and make a lasting impression on their audience.

Why Is Branding Important?

A creative brand can significantly affect your presence in the market by giving a competitive edge over your competitors. It allows your customers to know what to expect from your company. An established brand has the potential to draw clients and produce profit in e-commerce, where new competitions pop up every day.

It is a false concept that branding is an expensive marketing tactic that only big brands use. In reality, it has a lot to do with common sense. It is mainly influenced by the market you are in and the level of competition you want to play at. Branding is a mixture of different competencies and activities, so its cost can also vary from case to case. Here is why it matters:

Increases Business Value

Branding is important if you want to generate future business. By having an established brand you can increase its value by giving it more industry leverage. A strong brand also appeals to investment due to its established market position.

With a strong brand reputation, you can have higher prices, greater influence, and increased consumer mindshare. This increases the monetary value of your business and the process of assigning financial value to brand is known as brand valuation.

Boosts Advertising And Marketing

Effective branding can help increase your brand awareness and make it recognizable. People are more likely to choose it over your competitors if they are familiar with it.

Branding also sparks interest in customers to learn about a brand and develop a memorable relationship with it. With strong branding strategies, you can build trust of customers and stand out from competitors.

Improves Employee Pride And Satisfaction

If employees are working for a well regarded brand, they will feel more satisfied and proud of their jobs. This will eventually make their work experience enjoyable and fulfilling.

Employees are the key stakeholders and the first ambassadors of a brand. Their positive association with a brand influences their interaction with clients and partners. This will boost the brand's reputation, which can lead to the following:

  • Better leadership

  • Higher involvement

  • Improved products and services

Satisfied employees strengthen the overall perception and success of a brand.

Creates Trust Within The Marketplace

The reputation of a brand is also influenced by the level of trust of clients in it. The more trust a brand earns, the better its reputation and strength.

Branding involves making and keeping realistic promises that are crucial to building trust. If a brand is delivering on its promises, it will earn the trust of stakeholders. In crowded markets, this trust turns potential buyers into actual customers.

Generates New Customers

A strong brand has the potential to generate referral business. With a positive impression of a brand on consumers, they are more likely to choose it due to familiarity and trust. 

These brands also benefit from word-of-mouth advertising. With a single positive perception, new customers are attracted to the brand and make a purchase.

How To Build Your Brand?

Branding is a creative work, without a doubt. It requires a team’s and stakeholders' effort during the process to get everyone's opinion, gather feedback and introduce necessary changes.

There is a lot that takes part in a brand, and there is a need to consider a lot of factors when building a strong brand. Here is how you can create a brand or initiate the process of rebranding your business:

Plan A Brand Strategy

Planning a brand strategy refers to describing the process by which an organization will establish rapport with the market. This is a way to make a company stand out from the competitors.

With a well-defined and effectively implemented strategy, you can influence every area of your business associated with customers:

  • Demands

  • Feelings

  • Competitive conditions

We have broken down key elements of brand strategy to help keep your firm relevant for decades:

Functional Purpose

It evaluates performance based on immediate economic goals such as money.

Intentional Purpose

It evaluates success by both making money and accomplishing good in the world.

Consistent Message

When promoting your business, make sure to avoid unnecessary ideas and be consistent. With a consistent message, you can provide a solid foundation for your brand and ensure its recognition.

Adaptability To Market Changes

It is essential for marketers to adapt to this changing world. They will benefit from it with creative freedom for campaigns. Though consistency is necessary, by incorporating flexibility you can increase attention and make your strategy different from the competitors.

Customer Loyalty

If your business, products or services are already being appreciated by customers, reward them for their loyalty. It will help you in more repeat business and bring great financial gains.

Create Brand Identity

You are easily recognizable to your customers with the help of brand identity. Elements like logo, color, and design play a role in communicating brand messages. It is often confused with brand image and branding, which is the public perception of your brand and the process of creating a brand, respectively. The brand identity reflects the visual and emotional aspects that distinguish your brand.

Take an example of Nike that has an iconic swoosh logo, consistent message and memorable slogan. It greatly reflects its brand identity to help build customer loyalty and shapes the perception of the brand in front of customers.

For creating a brand identity, you will need to know the core components of your brand, such as:

  • Purpose

  • Values

  • Personality

  • Brand voice

  • Unique Positioning

With a clear understanding of these components, you can build an identity to communicate who you are to your customers.

Develop Brand Positioning

Brand positioning is all about shaping how you want customers to see your brand. It involves the creation of a specific affinity when selling products or creating content. It's related to setting your brand apart from competitors, even from those with similar products.

Here are a few things you will need to do if you want to develop a successful brand positioning strategy:

  • Identify the primary needs of your target audience and give them possible solutions.

  • Find out why the target market should trust your brand. You must focus on the value proposition of your brand. Determine how it can help meet the demands in a better way compared to competitors.

  • Highlight the varying features of your brand that set it apart from others in the market.

  • Develop a plan to communicate the brand positioning in an effective way using marketing channels.

Brand Implementation

In brand implementation, you plan and execute a brand strategy using project management methods. The strategy then turns into logic where new brands are guided with rebranding efforts and campaigns.

For successful implementation, the strategy must be result-oriented. Companies often rely on brand ambassadors to achieve this. Brand ambassadors are trained staff who apply and support these strategies internally and externally. Other methods include:

  • Establishing brand steering group

  • Providing management training

After creation of this strategy a company should ask if each new action supports the brand. This reflects that brand implementation is a continuous process without boundaries that require consistent refinement and improvement.

Establish A Brand Message

It is important to establish a brand message to help the public recognize your company whenever it positions itself. The message must include a thorough definition of ideas rooted in the core values of the company.

The presentation of a brand is greatly influenced by the way it spreads its message. The message is usually shaped by the category, products and services of the company. If a company has a consistent message pattern, it can easily convey its brand's intentions and key values to the audience. 

Here is how you can deliver your brand message with the help of an established framework:

Find Your Target Audience

The first thing you should do is to find your target audience. You must have clear insights on who you are communicating with. As 70% of consumers prefer personalized experience, it's your responsibility to set your brand that resonates with the audience.

You must understand:

  • To whom will your branding address?

  • Who is your ideal customer?

  • Who does your product serve?

  • What is the purpose of creating this business?

Once you get all the answers, it will help you make branding decisions.

Make A Mission Statement

To find out the reason for creating a certain business can be determined by making a mission statement. It is essential for you to understand what your business has to give to its audience, considering their values. Then, try to make every part of your brand clear to reflect that mission. You can work on a brand's:

  • Logo

  • Tagline

  • Imagery

  • Personality

  • Voice

You can also get help from success stories to create an effective brand message. Some credible references that make sense for your brand can also be used to organize the pattern of brand messages or missions.

Pay Attention To Market Trends

Many positive developments occur in markets that can prove beneficial to your brand. But it is important to stay true to your company's core principles and avoid departing due to these developments. Your main focus should be on the pattern of these developments.

For example, a communication sector like a laboratory truly reflects societal value and technological changes. If you study these patterns, you can adapt the brand message of your company to stay relevant. You can achieve it while staying true to your core values.

Define Your Values, Qualities, And Benefits

You might see a lot of businesses similar to yours in the market which can increase competition. But what one thing is unique about your business that no one can copy is your brand. So, it is important to create a brand based on unique values, benefits and qualities that solely belong to you.

Find Your Brand Voice

Think of what your brand would sound like if you had a conversation with it. The brand voice is also a major part of successful branding. The brand voice must connect and resonate with the target audience because without it no one will pay attention to your brand.

Set a consistent tone whether you are running advertising campaigns, or writing blog posts, brand stories and Instagram captions. 

Manage And Expand Your Brand

As branding is an ongoing process, a successful brand keeps on evolving. If you want to manage your brand, here are a few steps you can take:

  • If you want everyone to recognize your brand and have trust in it, never forget about the significance of consistency. 

  • It is good to have a positive brand reputation and companies do their best to avoid bad ones at any cost. Even if you are planning to rebrand your business to overcome some challenges, having a positive reputation will be beneficial for the long run.

  • For brand management, keep your word and deliver on your promises. 

  • Try to establish an open and continuous dialogue between your brand and customers online and offline.

Once you have established your brand, let it grow and expand through brand extension. In this way you can increase brand awareness and revenue. You have to be careful in this regard, as using the wrong approach can also lead to brand dilution.

Communicate With Brand Guidelines

These are also referred to as brand style guides that set the rules for how you can communicate your brand. All visual elements are associated with the brand message; tone and voice are part of it. Brand guidelines usually come in a digital and printed booklet form. The following things are included in the overall brand standards:

  • Logos, icons 

  • Primary and secondary color palettes

  • Font style, size, and spacing

  • Illustration, photos, and artwork

  • Brand language and emotion

These elements of visual identity are important to demonstrate your worth to all demographics. Once you have created and established a brand, integrate it throughout every inch of your business with the help of a website, social media, packaging, advertising, and customer service.

Types Of Branding

Branding isn't just related to creating an impressive visual identity using an appealing logo and slogan. It is related to taking multiple actions for the target audience to understand business and establish a strong brand image in their minds.

Personal Branding

Personal branding revolves around a person's unique features, traits, behavior and vision. The true representation of personal branding include, Elon Musk, Channel and Madonna.

If you are a solopreneur or self-employed designer or a freelance writer, YouTube content creator, or just someone starting a new venture, in all these categories, you are involved in personal branding.

Online Branding

This type of branding can only take place on online platforms. It refers to a wide range of branding, such as:

  • Social media positioning

  • Online advertisement

  • A Design service provider

  • Email newsletters

  • Automatic message answers

  • Responsive web design

Product And Service Branding

The best example of product and service branding is the association of Google with surfing the web or Jacuzzi with a hot tube. This branding type focuses on the products and services of a company. Customers can identify your brand with its products and services, symbols or brand design.

Corporate Branding

This type of branding is for companies who want to enhance their reputation and distinguish themselves from competitors in their respective industries. The pricing, mission, target market, and values collectively reflect a corporate brand.

Cultural Branding

Cultural branding humanizes the company and makes it relevant to the customs of the target audience. In this type of branding, companies are committed to society, customer traditions and the well being of employees. The best example of it is Coca Cola that sells customers a lifestyle and creates a type of emotional connection.

No Branding

These branding types aim to offer products with qualities similar to those of famous brands. However, their prices are cheaper as there's no investment done in advertising. They mostly use generic names and usually their products speak for themselves.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between branding and marketing?

Branding is a long term strategy. It plays a great role in defining the identity and values of a company. It is often associated with the creation of a positive image and reputation for a company. 

In contrast, marketing is a short term tactic that focuses on sales and generating leads. It is related to building brand awareness and getting people to engage with the company.

What is a brand image?

Brand image is the perception of a company, its services, and products based on customer experience and interaction. It consists of:


  • Personality

  • Visual language

  • Tone of voice

  • Values

  • Products

  • Pricing

  • Service quality


It is also the true depiction of how people perceive these elements.

What are the six features of branding?

The six features of branding can described as:


  • Purpose: Why are you here?

  • Principles: What values guide your behavior?

  • Positioning: Where will you play, who will you serve, and how are you different?

  • Promise: What pledge do you make to your customer?

  • Proof: Why should your customer believe you?

  • Personality: How will you look and sound?

Branding Examples For Inspiration

Whether you buy a chocolate bar or a washing machine, they are made by companies with strong brands. Some iconic brands include McDonald's, KFC, BMW, Microsoft and Ikea. Consumers around the world recognize these brands by hearing a jingle or spotting a logo. The success of these long standing brands wasn't immediate as they spent a lot of money and thoughts to reach their target audience.

Here, we have enlisted some of the best examples of branding in design and communication to inspire you:

Coca-Cola

It is a prime example of successful branding. Even the name of Coca-Cola evokes the feeling of refreshingly cold can and sense of happiness. This didn't happen overnight or by chance. 

Their branding excels in appealing to its audience and leaving a lasting impression. The campaigns focus mainly on emotions and personal connections like:

  • Taste The Feeling

  • Share A Coke

  • Open Happiness

The color scheme of logo and classic serif script font, still reflects the brand image. It continues to develop brand loyalty from die-hard Coke fans.

Nike

Nike has evolved from a sportswear brand to a lifestyle brand. This happened with the help of its strong strategy centered on innovation and performance. The credit for its success goes to high profile endorsements from top athletes like: 

LeBron James

Cristiano Ronaldo

Michael Jordan.

Michael Jordan endorsed “Air Jordan.” This line still remains one of its most iconic and successful products.

The famous slogan, “Just Do It” encourages overcoming obstacles to pursue athletic goals.

Tesla

Elon Musk transformed the automotive industry by creating Tesla. The brand strategy for this electric vehicle is centered on: 

  • Sustainability

  • Innovation

  • Future

Tesla positions itself as a tech company that makes cars that appeal to tech enthusiasts and stand out from traditional automakers. It also produces electric vehicles and renewable energy solutions that emphasize sustainability and environmental conciseness.

Its brand strategy is a masterclass in simplicity and innovation. It focuses on cutting edge technology, affordability and direct to consumer approach to stay at the forefront of the industry.

Final Thoughts

Branding is the most valuable asset of a company as it gives a unique identity. This identity makes the brand recognizable and memorable. It also drives engagement and encourages customer loyalty for growth, development, and success. It is important to have a strong brand with a well-thought-out strategy. To create a successful brand, differentiate it from your product. You must also define your values and vision. Make sure your brand speaks directly to your target audience. A strong brand is always supported by a clear and consistent strategy that helps the company succeed.

What Is Branding? Understanding Its Importance In Business

Branding

Brand Strategy

Brand Development

Marketing

WRITTEN BY

Updated on: May 23nd, 2024

Toni Hukkanen

Head of Design

Creative Direction, Brand Direction

12 Minute read

We often choose products based on how they make us feel instead of focusing on their functional attributes. You might spend an extra 50 cents on a 2 liter of Coke instead of a generic cola. It might be because Coke's brand aligns with your personal values. This emotional connection is the base of branding.

Branding is not about what a product does or how it looks. Rather, it is about the feelings and perceptions it generates in consumers. Brands with close resonation to target audience win their loyalty and drive sales by incorporating their values, aspirations, or lifestyle choices. Keep reading to learn the basics of branding and its importance in marketing and get inspired by the best branding examples.

What is Branding?

Branding is the process of creating and implementing a distinct feature or a set of features in a product, service, or organization. It is all about shaping: 

  • Perceptions

  • Emotions 

  • Associations in the minds of consumers so they can connect your brand with your products or services

Though it is often associated with logos and design, branding covers more than just aesthetics. It involves the entire experience of a customer with a brand, from its messaging and storytelling to its values and reputation.

Branding is everywhere, from social media captions to billboard color palettes and materials used for brand packaging. A strong brand helps companies stand out and make a lasting impression on their audience.

Why Is Branding Important?

A creative brand can significantly affect your presence in the market by giving a competitive edge over your competitors. It allows your customers to know what to expect from your company. An established brand has the potential to draw clients and produce profit in e-commerce, where new competitions pop up every day.

It is a false concept that branding is an expensive marketing tactic that only big brands use. In reality, it has a lot to do with common sense. It is mainly influenced by the market you are in and the level of competition you want to play at. Branding is a mixture of different competencies and activities, so its cost can also vary from case to case. Here is why it matters:

Increases Business Value

Branding is important if you want to generate future business. By having an established brand you can increase its value by giving it more industry leverage. A strong brand also appeals to investment due to its established market position.

With a strong brand reputation, you can have higher prices, greater influence, and increased consumer mindshare. This increases the monetary value of your business and the process of assigning financial value to brand is known as brand valuation.

Boosts Advertising And Marketing

Effective branding can help increase your brand awareness and make it recognizable. People are more likely to choose it over your competitors if they are familiar with it.

Branding also sparks interest in customers to learn about a brand and develop a memorable relationship with it. With strong branding strategies, you can build trust of customers and stand out from competitors.

Improves Employee Pride And Satisfaction

If employees are working for a well regarded brand, they will feel more satisfied and proud of their jobs. This will eventually make their work experience enjoyable and fulfilling.

Employees are the key stakeholders and the first ambassadors of a brand. Their positive association with a brand influences their interaction with clients and partners. This will boost the brand's reputation, which can lead to the following:

  • Better leadership

  • Higher involvement

  • Improved products and services

Satisfied employees strengthen the overall perception and success of a brand.

Creates Trust Within The Marketplace

The reputation of a brand is also influenced by the level of trust of clients in it. The more trust a brand earns, the better its reputation and strength.

Branding involves making and keeping realistic promises that are crucial to building trust. If a brand is delivering on its promises, it will earn the trust of stakeholders. In crowded markets, this trust turns potential buyers into actual customers.

Generates New Customers

A strong brand has the potential to generate referral business. With a positive impression of a brand on consumers, they are more likely to choose it due to familiarity and trust. 

These brands also benefit from word-of-mouth advertising. With a single positive perception, new customers are attracted to the brand and make a purchase.

How To Build Your Brand?

Branding is a creative work, without a doubt. It requires a team’s and stakeholders' effort during the process to get everyone's opinion, gather feedback and introduce necessary changes.

There is a lot that takes part in a brand, and there is a need to consider a lot of factors when building a strong brand. Here is how you can create a brand or initiate the process of rebranding your business:

Plan A Brand Strategy

Planning a brand strategy refers to describing the process by which an organization will establish rapport with the market. This is a way to make a company stand out from the competitors.

With a well-defined and effectively implemented strategy, you can influence every area of your business associated with customers:

  • Demands

  • Feelings

  • Competitive conditions

We have broken down key elements of brand strategy to help keep your firm relevant for decades:

Functional Purpose

It evaluates performance based on immediate economic goals such as money.

Intentional Purpose

It evaluates success by both making money and accomplishing good in the world.

Consistent Message

When promoting your business, make sure to avoid unnecessary ideas and be consistent. With a consistent message, you can provide a solid foundation for your brand and ensure its recognition.

Adaptability To Market Changes

It is essential for marketers to adapt to this changing world. They will benefit from it with creative freedom for campaigns. Though consistency is necessary, by incorporating flexibility you can increase attention and make your strategy different from the competitors.

Customer Loyalty

If your business, products or services are already being appreciated by customers, reward them for their loyalty. It will help you in more repeat business and bring great financial gains.

Create Brand Identity

You are easily recognizable to your customers with the help of brand identity. Elements like logo, color, and design play a role in communicating brand messages. It is often confused with brand image and branding, which is the public perception of your brand and the process of creating a brand, respectively. The brand identity reflects the visual and emotional aspects that distinguish your brand.

Take an example of Nike that has an iconic swoosh logo, consistent message and memorable slogan. It greatly reflects its brand identity to help build customer loyalty and shapes the perception of the brand in front of customers.

For creating a brand identity, you will need to know the core components of your brand, such as:

  • Purpose

  • Values

  • Personality

  • Brand voice

  • Unique Positioning

With a clear understanding of these components, you can build an identity to communicate who you are to your customers.

Develop Brand Positioning

Brand positioning is all about shaping how you want customers to see your brand. It involves the creation of a specific affinity when selling products or creating content. It's related to setting your brand apart from competitors, even from those with similar products.

Here are a few things you will need to do if you want to develop a successful brand positioning strategy:

  • Identify the primary needs of your target audience and give them possible solutions.

  • Find out why the target market should trust your brand. You must focus on the value proposition of your brand. Determine how it can help meet the demands in a better way compared to competitors.

  • Highlight the varying features of your brand that set it apart from others in the market.

  • Develop a plan to communicate the brand positioning in an effective way using marketing channels.

Brand Implementation

In brand implementation, you plan and execute a brand strategy using project management methods. The strategy then turns into logic where new brands are guided with rebranding efforts and campaigns.

For successful implementation, the strategy must be result-oriented. Companies often rely on brand ambassadors to achieve this. Brand ambassadors are trained staff who apply and support these strategies internally and externally. Other methods include:

  • Establishing brand steering group

  • Providing management training

After creation of this strategy a company should ask if each new action supports the brand. This reflects that brand implementation is a continuous process without boundaries that require consistent refinement and improvement.

Establish A Brand Message

It is important to establish a brand message to help the public recognize your company whenever it positions itself. The message must include a thorough definition of ideas rooted in the core values of the company.

The presentation of a brand is greatly influenced by the way it spreads its message. The message is usually shaped by the category, products and services of the company. If a company has a consistent message pattern, it can easily convey its brand's intentions and key values to the audience. 

Here is how you can deliver your brand message with the help of an established framework:

Find Your Target Audience

The first thing you should do is to find your target audience. You must have clear insights on who you are communicating with. As 70% of consumers prefer personalized experience, it's your responsibility to set your brand that resonates with the audience.

You must understand:

  • To whom will your branding address?

  • Who is your ideal customer?

  • Who does your product serve?

  • What is the purpose of creating this business?

Once you get all the answers, it will help you make branding decisions.

Make A Mission Statement

To find out the reason for creating a certain business can be determined by making a mission statement. It is essential for you to understand what your business has to give to its audience, considering their values. Then, try to make every part of your brand clear to reflect that mission. You can work on a brand's:

  • Logo

  • Tagline

  • Imagery

  • Personality

  • Voice

You can also get help from success stories to create an effective brand message. Some credible references that make sense for your brand can also be used to organize the pattern of brand messages or missions.

Pay Attention To Market Trends

Many positive developments occur in markets that can prove beneficial to your brand. But it is important to stay true to your company's core principles and avoid departing due to these developments. Your main focus should be on the pattern of these developments.

For example, a communication sector like a laboratory truly reflects societal value and technological changes. If you study these patterns, you can adapt the brand message of your company to stay relevant. You can achieve it while staying true to your core values.

Define Your Values, Qualities, And Benefits

You might see a lot of businesses similar to yours in the market which can increase competition. But what one thing is unique about your business that no one can copy is your brand. So, it is important to create a brand based on unique values, benefits and qualities that solely belong to you.

Find Your Brand Voice

Think of what your brand would sound like if you had a conversation with it. The brand voice is also a major part of successful branding. The brand voice must connect and resonate with the target audience because without it no one will pay attention to your brand.

Set a consistent tone whether you are running advertising campaigns, or writing blog posts, brand stories and Instagram captions. 

Manage And Expand Your Brand

As branding is an ongoing process, a successful brand keeps on evolving. If you want to manage your brand, here are a few steps you can take:

  • If you want everyone to recognize your brand and have trust in it, never forget about the significance of consistency. 

  • It is good to have a positive brand reputation and companies do their best to avoid bad ones at any cost. Even if you are planning to rebrand your business to overcome some challenges, having a positive reputation will be beneficial for the long run.

  • For brand management, keep your word and deliver on your promises. 

  • Try to establish an open and continuous dialogue between your brand and customers online and offline.

Once you have established your brand, let it grow and expand through brand extension. In this way you can increase brand awareness and revenue. You have to be careful in this regard, as using the wrong approach can also lead to brand dilution.

Communicate With Brand Guidelines

These are also referred to as brand style guides that set the rules for how you can communicate your brand. All visual elements are associated with the brand message; tone and voice are part of it. Brand guidelines usually come in a digital and printed booklet form. The following things are included in the overall brand standards:

  • Logos, icons 

  • Primary and secondary color palettes

  • Font style, size, and spacing

  • Illustration, photos, and artwork

  • Brand language and emotion

These elements of visual identity are important to demonstrate your worth to all demographics. Once you have created and established a brand, integrate it throughout every inch of your business with the help of a website, social media, packaging, advertising, and customer service.

Types Of Branding

Branding isn't just related to creating an impressive visual identity using an appealing logo and slogan. It is related to taking multiple actions for the target audience to understand business and establish a strong brand image in their minds.

Personal Branding

Personal branding revolves around a person's unique features, traits, behavior and vision. The true representation of personal branding include, Elon Musk, Channel and Madonna.

If you are a solopreneur or self-employed designer or a freelance writer, YouTube content creator, or just someone starting a new venture, in all these categories, you are involved in personal branding.

Online Branding

This type of branding can only take place on online platforms. It refers to a wide range of branding, such as:

  • Social media positioning

  • Online advertisement

  • A Design service provider

  • Email newsletters

  • Automatic message answers

  • Responsive web design

Product And Service Branding

The best example of product and service branding is the association of Google with surfing the web or Jacuzzi with a hot tube. This branding type focuses on the products and services of a company. Customers can identify your brand with its products and services, symbols or brand design.

Corporate Branding

This type of branding is for companies who want to enhance their reputation and distinguish themselves from competitors in their respective industries. The pricing, mission, target market, and values collectively reflect a corporate brand.

Cultural Branding

Cultural branding humanizes the company and makes it relevant to the customs of the target audience. In this type of branding, companies are committed to society, customer traditions and the well being of employees. The best example of it is Coca Cola that sells customers a lifestyle and creates a type of emotional connection.

No Branding

These branding types aim to offer products with qualities similar to those of famous brands. However, their prices are cheaper as there's no investment done in advertising. They mostly use generic names and usually their products speak for themselves.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between branding and marketing?

Branding is a long term strategy. It plays a great role in defining the identity and values of a company. It is often associated with the creation of a positive image and reputation for a company. 

In contrast, marketing is a short term tactic that focuses on sales and generating leads. It is related to building brand awareness and getting people to engage with the company.

What is a brand image?

Brand image is the perception of a company, its services, and products based on customer experience and interaction. It consists of:


  • Personality

  • Visual language

  • Tone of voice

  • Values

  • Products

  • Pricing

  • Service quality


It is also the true depiction of how people perceive these elements.

What are the six features of branding?

The six features of branding can described as:


  • Purpose: Why are you here?

  • Principles: What values guide your behavior?

  • Positioning: Where will you play, who will you serve, and how are you different?

  • Promise: What pledge do you make to your customer?

  • Proof: Why should your customer believe you?

  • Personality: How will you look and sound?

Branding Examples For Inspiration

Whether you buy a chocolate bar or a washing machine, they are made by companies with strong brands. Some iconic brands include McDonald's, KFC, BMW, Microsoft and Ikea. Consumers around the world recognize these brands by hearing a jingle or spotting a logo. The success of these long standing brands wasn't immediate as they spent a lot of money and thoughts to reach their target audience.

Here, we have enlisted some of the best examples of branding in design and communication to inspire you:

Coca-Cola

It is a prime example of successful branding. Even the name of Coca-Cola evokes the feeling of refreshingly cold can and sense of happiness. This didn't happen overnight or by chance. 

Their branding excels in appealing to its audience and leaving a lasting impression. The campaigns focus mainly on emotions and personal connections like:

  • Taste The Feeling

  • Share A Coke

  • Open Happiness

The color scheme of logo and classic serif script font, still reflects the brand image. It continues to develop brand loyalty from die-hard Coke fans.

Nike

Nike has evolved from a sportswear brand to a lifestyle brand. This happened with the help of its strong strategy centered on innovation and performance. The credit for its success goes to high profile endorsements from top athletes like: 

LeBron James

Cristiano Ronaldo

Michael Jordan.

Michael Jordan endorsed “Air Jordan.” This line still remains one of its most iconic and successful products.

The famous slogan, “Just Do It” encourages overcoming obstacles to pursue athletic goals.

Tesla

Elon Musk transformed the automotive industry by creating Tesla. The brand strategy for this electric vehicle is centered on: 

  • Sustainability

  • Innovation

  • Future

Tesla positions itself as a tech company that makes cars that appeal to tech enthusiasts and stand out from traditional automakers. It also produces electric vehicles and renewable energy solutions that emphasize sustainability and environmental conciseness.

Its brand strategy is a masterclass in simplicity and innovation. It focuses on cutting edge technology, affordability and direct to consumer approach to stay at the forefront of the industry.

Final Thoughts

Branding is the most valuable asset of a company as it gives a unique identity. This identity makes the brand recognizable and memorable. It also drives engagement and encourages customer loyalty for growth, development, and success. It is important to have a strong brand with a well-thought-out strategy. To create a successful brand, differentiate it from your product. You must also define your values and vision. Make sure your brand speaks directly to your target audience. A strong brand is always supported by a clear and consistent strategy that helps the company succeed.

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