Everybody talks about branding. You might have even found yourself nodding agreement when somebody mentioned how important it is. But have you ever found yourself wondering what exactly branding is?
What is branding?
Branding is a marketing practice in which a company creates unique, distinctive assets to make it more easily identifiable from its peers. This usually includes a combination of logos, designs, slogans, and so on.
While this is the technical definition, it doesn’t really present the whole picture. Strong branding is more than just a name, slogan, and logo.
Today, branding is far more broad; it centres around providing a way of distinguishing yourself in the arena of client experience as well as simple product visuals. Everything from social media representation to the way your team answers the phone is now firmly within the purview of ‘branding’.
Why is branding important?
Branding is about building a distinctive, recognisable, and trustworthy customer experience at every level of your business. It tells your customers what you do, how you do it, why you do it, and why you’re the best company to do it (for them).
Being consistent with your branding helps people become familiar with your brand – which leads to them trusting you, and important step in the buyer’s journey.
Branding is also important for your employees. Giving them something tangible to believe in has been shown to increase work satisfaction and pride.
With that in mind, Pounce has recently embarked on a full company rebrand and reimagining. Our old brand was strong but it no longer reflected who we are and what we do. We started again, with a blank sheet of paper.
Since we’ve got the rebrand on our minds, we’ve put together everything you need to know to make sure your business’s brand is helping, not hindering, your business.
How to strengthen your branding
Adobe, Google and Nike are all excellent examples of what ‘strong branding’ looks like. Apple alone is worth over $482 billion (2022), due in large part to its strong brand presence.
Let’s break down what they all have in common, and extract some principles you can apply to strengthen your own branding.
They are unique. Any time you interact with any of these companies, you always know you are dealing with that company. They own a space that is their own.
They are audience-focused. Everything these companies put out is focused on what their audience wants and needs, not what the brand itself wants or needs.
They are consistent. Whether you are speaking on the phone, interacting with a website or using the product or service itself, the branding is always consistent. The tone of voice is the same across every asset.
They are trustworthy. These companies keep their brand promises. While there may be a few bumps along the way, the consumers of these brands know they will get what they paid for – consistently.
These companies have invested an enormous amount of time, effort and capital into ensuring they have these traits that makes their branding strong. And for good reason – branding is a key part of business success.
Why does branding matter?
A strong brand will outperform a weak brand across a wide variety of measures, including:
Awareness. A strong brand is a unique brand, and a memorable one too.
Business value. Investors know the value that a strong brand provides, and better branding results in a stronger total value of the company.
Customer retention. People like consistency, and a strong brand that provides that consistency will retain its current audience base more effectively.
Customer generation. By applying best practice branding to experiences, a company will receive more recommendations from their existing customers.
Employee morale and engagement. Workers who are proud of the brand they work for will be more productive, have lower turnover and encourage their talented colleagues to join your team as well.
Market share. People prefer to buy new products from brands they are already familiar with. Make yourself known through strong branding, and control a significant chunk of total expenditure.