Before you can understand what branding is, you must first understand what a brand is. A brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or other feature that distinguishes one seller’s product or service from those of other sellers.

What is Branding?

Branding is the process of creating and shaping a brand in the minds of consumers to give meaning to a specific organization, company, product, or service. It is a strategy devised by organizations to assist people in quickly identifying and experiencing their brand, as well as giving them a reason to choose their products over the competition’s, by clarifying what this specific brand is and is not.

Importance of Branding in Marketing

Why should a customer choose your service when there are thousands of other similar services that deliver the same product? What differentiates your service or product from one of your competitors?

This is where branding plays a big role. Branding is important to persuade customers to choose your service rather than one from any other thousands of service providers. Customers should associate your brand with Comfort, Trust, and Efficiency.

Branding is the reputation you’ve accumulated over years of service. It is what you stand for and what you’re known for.

Branding is critical to a business because of the overall impact it makes on your company. Branding can change how people perceive your brand, it can drive new business, and increase brand value – but it can also do the opposite if done wrongly or not at all.

Role of Branding

A brand is more than just a name, a logo design, or a catchy strapline – it is everything that encompasses your company and helps to distinguish it from the competition. Branding can be accomplished, for example, by:

➔  The brand’s visual identity (logo, website, and colors, are just some examples).

➔  Public relations and communications

➔  Design of products and packaging

➔  In-store encounter

➔  Pricing

➔ Collaboration and sponsorship

Consider a brand to be a person, with their personality, way of dressing, communicating, values, friends, characteristics, and story to tell. This is what makes us who we are, and it is also what distinguishes a brand.

People do not have relationships with products; instead, their loyalty and commitment are to the brand.  If no branding was applied to your bottled water product, your customers would buy just water and any water, as they all look the same.

However, branding distinguishes your product; it is the reason your customer walks into the supermarket and chooses your water over your competitors. And it’s not because it tastes different; it’s because they can identify with and trust your brand. The promises you made to them, as well as the secret salesman packaging, resonated with this consumer, and they chose you.

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Scope of Branding

A brand is a feature that differentiates one product from the other. It is a big umbrella term that incorporates different elements.  For the sake of understanding the concept of branding, we will classify the term into two categories:

  1. Experiential Element
  2. Visual Element

Experiential Element

Whenever interacting with the business’ website, using customer service, or expecting delivery (of service or product) the consumer expects the service to flow. This element stands on trust, reliability, and trust. This takes years to build but also is what makes customers return. This is the UX (User Experience) element of branding

Experience is an intangible segment of branding. It includes how it feels to use the service or product: the texture/ feel of the product, whether going through the website was a seamless experience or not, how friendly and helpful the customer service was, the attitude of the staff, etc.

The experiential element also includes the values and virtues of a company. No one would trust a company whose only motive is to extract money from them. However, saying that your product need not be cheap, it just has to be worth their buck.

Customers must be comfortable with your service. People can’t be asked to feel a certain way while using a product, so your brand must provide such an experience that they are comfortable with. People return to service with the expectation of good service and a proper attitude. If a brand shows good faith in customers for a long period, customers associate a warm welcoming feel with the brand itself.

Branding is something that resides in the mind of a customer. So it is significant that the consumer feels easy and comfortable using your brand. As a brand, you have to induce confidence in your customers that your brand will deliver its promise. You have to create such an environment where the consumers will willingly return to you rather than just stumble upon the business for once.

Understand the Impact of Colors in Branding

Visual Element

Since the visual aspect can be worked on immediately, the visual element of branding has gained more prominence over the years. Unlike just a decade ago when only premium services/ products were expected to be aesthetically premium, nowadays consumers expect every brand to have a good, flowing design.

Visual elements include the Brand’s logo, font, color palette, product design, website, and even packaging. Anything that can be experienced through our eyes is a visual element of the brand. This can be referred to as the UI (User Interface) element of a brand.

Building good customer relations and customer experience takes years. However, a good website, logo, or product/package design can be ready in a short while.  A good branding agency and designer can create an attractive façade for the brand quickly.

A logo is the most essential aspect of visual elements. When a customer pictures a company, they don’t picture the headquarters or the CEO of the company—they picture the company’s logo. Logos are present everywhere—websites, social media, products, packaging, etc. A good logo is an essential part of a brand.

The color palette is another essential element of a brand. We identify a company with its color palate. If we come across a black soft drink with a red label on it, we immediately guess it is Coca-Cola. Similarly, when we see a colorful ‘G’, we know it’s the tech conglomerate Google.

People associate colors and shapes with feelings. A good designer can exploit such human abstraction and make customers feel a certain way when perceiving a brand. For example, diagonal and angular configurations tend to be associated with threat, while rounded features and curved lines tend to be linked to pleasantness and happiness.

Amazon is an excellent example of how to use experiential and visual branding.

Amazon’s name recognition reflects the website’s popularity, as it entertains over 1.5 million customers. Amazon’s brand identity is strong and meaningful, and it represents a long-term relationship with customers. It’s one of the most effective ways Amazon uses its logo, and it demonstrates the importance of packaging in branding. A good logo also allows for good slogans, and as previously stated, Amazon has built one of its best slogans around the design of its logo.

Amazon has a distinct niche that allows customers to identify with the company. Amazon means “massive,” and that is exactly what Amazon wishes to convey. They have everything from A to Z for sale. The word “Smile” runs from A to Z and represents the smile that Amazon puts on its customers’ faces. Amazon places a high value on providing excellent customer service.

Branding is critical to a business because of the overall impact it makes on your company. Branding can change how people perceive your brand, it can drive new business, and increase brand value – but it can also do the opposite if done wrongly or not at all.

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