In some ways, branding is more important than marketing.
Steve Forbes once said, “Your brand is the single most important investment you can make in your business.” As a business owner, you may be at a point where you have created your marketing strategy and are getting ready to launch your company. But if you haven’t developed a brand for your business, you’re missing a pivotal step that will determine whether your business succeeds. That step is developing your brand. We know you probably have lots of questions, so let’s discuss what branding is and how to do it.
What is Branding?
Branding and Marketing are two common areas that overlap in terms of promoting your product, but there are important differences that need to be addressed between the two. First, Marketing consists of the act of promoting your product. This step includes figuring out your promotional channels, developing your campaigns, and creating promotions and offers for your target audience. We can say that marketing is what your business does. Branding on the other hand is the act of communicating your brand’s positioning. This includes figuring out how you want your business to look, sound, and feel to your consumers through a variety of elements. Where these two roles truly overlap is through value proposition (where you want to position yourself to your audience) and message (what you want to express to your audience).
What are the Elements of a Brand?
Some elements of a brand are obvious, and you likely created them already when creating your marketing strategy. These would include things like your business name, your logo, and your tagline. But branding is so much more than this! Here is a list of important things that we think you should have in your brand:
- Brand voice: This is how you want your brand to sound to your audience. For example, if you want your business to be perceived as an expert in something, you may want to word things more sophistically and use more knowledgeable phrasing. Or, if you want your brand to be perceived as fun and personable, you may consider using contractions, lots of exclamation points, or even emojis when speaking to your audience.
- Brand colours and fonts: While they are subtle, the colours and fonts you choose to use in your marketing campaigns can influence the way your audience perceives you. We can look at value-based and luxury brands as an example. Channel (a high-priced luxury brand) heavily uses black and white in branding, as well as simplistic fonts, allowing their brand to look sleek to the consumer. This differs from McDonald’s (a low-priced value brand) which utilizes bright reds and blues, and more friendly fonts in its strategy.
- Brand Expectations and Promises: Your expectations and promises in your branding are what affect a customer’s beliefs regarding your business. This includes elements like explicit expectations (ex. Price, quality, and delivery time) that you would directly promote to the consumer, interpersonal expectations (ex. Employee interactions and customer support options) that would affect a target consumers experience with your brand, and even digital expectations which affect how your customers interact online. All these expectations influence how consumers will perceive you.
Why is Branding Important
Branding is important because it influences how consumers perceive you. If you want to be perceived as a good business, you need to have a good brand that will help consumers to understand that. Branding also allows you to stand out from competitors and position yourself as your target consumer’s ideal product. Companies like Starbucks, Disney, and Amazon may not be the big businesses they are today without focusing on a branding strategy. Jeff Bezos (CEO of Amazon) has even expressed that “your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” Therefore, the question comes down to how you want to be perceived by your audiences in the world of marketing.
How do I Start the Branding Process?
Branding can be a very long a tedious process, and it can also be hard to develop on your own. Luckily, Southpoint Creative Group is here to help! We offer a variety of services to help you truly cultivate your brand and make it appealing to the target audience you’re looking for. Visit our website today to start your branding journey with us.
Until next time,