So, what is branding? Branding communicates to your customer what you are about, it tells them about your product, service ethos, experience and even pricing. It is often the first thing they see and needs to be authentic and clearly differeniate you from your competitors and of course appeal to your target market.
Authenticity is key, the brand needs to be a projection of you and in turn your business, if you do not believe in your brand and cannot deliver on your promise, the customers will not believe in you.
Just look at a brand like Apple, when you think of them what comes to mind? For me, things like innovation, quality and “cool” are some of the first things I think of. Of course, many outside influences have shaped this opinion, but branding has played a very important role.
As an example, my four year old son (who has no preconceptions about a brand) already has some very clear ideas about certain companies. He is a big fan of Five Guys, an American burger restaurant. When asked if he prefers McDonalds or Five Guys, he answered straightaway with Five Guys, “why” I said – “because Five Guys is cool” came the answer! This opinion has been shaped purely by the logo, restaurant environment and even the food packaging – this is branding in action.
The backbone of you brand is the brand logo, this will appear on your website, stationary, vehicles and uniforms, consistent execution across all of these mediums is key if you want to convey a consistent message to your customers.
A successful brand logo should also be instantly recognisable, to take Apple as an example again, their identity is so strong, their stylised Apple graphic is recognised across the globe. The same came be said for Nike, McDonalds and even more recent additions like Twitter.
Whether you have a small business or a large multi-national, successful branding is just as important, here are three key things to consider with branding:
What is your target market?
What qualities do you want your brand to convey?
What is your company mission or vision?
As ever, the most important part of this picture is your customer, ultimately it is how they perceive your brand that is the key to success.