Beyond just having a memorable logo, strong branding raises a company’s value, gives staff purpose and motivation, and makes attracting new clients easier. But exactly what is a brand?
The quick answer is — it’s everything.
Branding involves much more than just a logo or graphic feature. When establishing your brand, it’s important to consider the overall customer experience. Everything from your team’s interactions with customers to your website, social media presence, and phone etiquette.
Your brand, in essence, is how your target audience sees you. It adds clear and demonstrable commercial value to businesses. And yes, we’re talking KPIs that go way beyond nebulous marketing buzzwords like ‘brand awareness’.
It is essential to be aware of your brand experience and to have a plan in place to develop the brand experience you want. A successful brand doesn’t merely appear out of thin air… We’re good; but not that good. It’s a well-considered tactical approach.
Branding benefits every business
Some (yes, even marketers) say branding is all about feeling while business is all about cold, hard numbers. But this is BS. The two are inextricably intertwined. Don’t believe us? Well, check out the totally impartial InVision report that talks specifically about why good design is integral to the success of a business, and by extension, branding.
According to an Accenture survey, 66% of customers make purchases from businesses that value brand culture and transparency. Because of this, branding is essential to your marketing plans. Your branding directs all your marketing activities. For instance, when customers hear Nike’s slogan screamed into their subconscious, “Just do it!”, they’re reminded of more than just new trainers. The brand reminds consumers of the overall experience they have from pre-to-post-purchase.
Branding is more significant than you might realise for a company. Your brand may appear to be made up just of visual components like colours and logos from the outside, but it encompasses all aspects of who your company is inside and out. Your brand defines who you are.
Although branding has always been crucial to a company, it might now be more so than ever. Social media exposes consumers to a new and endless stream of brands every day. While having many alternatives and being able to research them to pick the best one can be beneficial for consumers, it is challenging for businesses.
Businesses must go above and beyond to make themselves stand out in a sea of competition since the world is drowning in brands today. To do this, successful businesses invest in building a powerful brand that captures and holds their audience’s attention.
More people know and recognise your business
One of the most obvious reasons that businesses need branding is to help be seen, and recognised, more often. People will naturally pay attention to your company far more than they would to one without good branding. Your audience won’t remember a company that doesn’t really have any consistent branding for very long. In one ear and out the other, as they say.
Brands are essentially patterns of familiarity, meaning, fondness, and reassurance that exist ion the minds of people.
— Tom Goodwin
A company is considerably more memorable if it has aspects like a distinctive logo, captivating colours, and other visual components. Even if a person only briefly notices your brand and isn’t yet ready to use your goods or services, if it stands out in a good way, there’s a strong chance they won’t forget it. If your branding has stayed with them, then when they’re prepared to go forward, they’ll come back to you.
Great branding shows customers what makes you, you. They are your DNA. In an era where people have goldfish attention spans and need everything yesterday, branding tells your story in an instant. It’s not just about looking good, it’s about what’s underneath too.
Branding gets rid of trust issues
One of the most valuable assets a company can have is not just their audience’s attention, but their trust. Although, it’s not always easy to earn. A company that lacks essential branding will find it more difficult to win the hearts of customers, who will get cold feet if you don’t put in the branding work and commit to it.
When we look at businesses in any sector, many of us expect to see branding, so not seeing it could raise a red flag for some, maybe even a flashing air-raid siren. You have very little to show for your business if it lacks branding.
You probably already know which company you would trust more if you had to select between one that has distinct, expert-looking branding and one that hasn’t. You can show potential clients that you are a trustworthy, well-established business by having it all put together well.
Branding tells people very early on what they can expect from your business. First impressions count. This is an investment your business is making to improve itself, call it self-love and potential customers will recognise you put in the work to create your brand and that you’ll do the same for them. You need to love yourself before others can love you. If you don’t take care of yourself, how will clients expect you to take care of them – so fix up!
Branding makes or breaks your advertising
Without advertising, your brand is stuck in a rut, and that means no growth. Branding and advertising go hand in hand. If you want to have better advertising for your business, you’re going to need to work on creating a brand first.
When you’re advertising your business, you want everything to be consistent, cohesive and represent your business’s identity and values. It needs to flow. This can be a challenge when you haven’t taken the time to form your brand. If you’re advertising without solid branding, you’re missing out on a lot of great opportunities to create an effective campaign. When everything is connected, adding branding to your advertising will help your business become top-of-mind.
Your employees wear your brand like a badge of honour
Branding provides value inside your company as well by creating positive employee morale without the forced customer service smile.
Of course, you want your people to enjoy their time at your business and feel like valuable members of the team. An organisation with strong branding will find it simpler to persuade team members their work is more than just a job. Employee morale rises together with great company culture and great branding.
You should invest in branding elements that keep your employees motivated, besides those that can help you attract new clients. This covers minor details like branded clothing and accessories, as well as the general look of your office. Through branding, you can unite your workforce (without sparking a Marxist revolution, unless that’s what you want) and inspire them, which could lead to fantastic outcomes for everyone. Win-win.
Take Lush as an example. For over 20 years, they have been offering ethically produced, handmade cosmetics, toiletries, and skincare products to the public. Also, Lush is renowned for being quite open about its stellar principles (boycotting animal testing, rewarding customers for recycling their packaging, showing the name and face of the employee who made the product, etc.)
Branding creates customers that come back for more
You want to attract customers who will keep coming back to your business, not just ones who come once and make a dash for it. With good branding, you can give your brand a more human side, which your customers can relate to more than a company that’s strictly all business. Unless that’s all you’re in the market for…
Without sounding like a dystopian overlord, through branding, you can influence people’s emotions in a variety of ways and increase their sense of loyalty to your business. Building ties with your audience through branding paves the way for them to become devoted customers in the future. By building a brand that people genuinely care about, you can outperform other companies who aren’t taking advantage of this. And we know you’re looking for something serious.
Branding builds an emotional connection
By establishing yourself as a brand, you can deeply connect with customers, employees, and the public. This connection is a gradual process which happens with time, but it starts by laying down a good reputation, letting your audience get to know you and ultimately finding memorable ways to communicate.
Often, great branding comes from embodying the essence of your brand in an unexpected, even counter-intuitive or self-deprecating, way. Remember that Nike ad that saluted the last-place marathon finisher?
A strong brand inspires confidence. It takes courage, strategy, intellect, and even a bit of danger to build a great brand. It takes confidence to tell your customers what makes you tick. Put it this way – some of the most successful brands in the world got to where they are because of a sense of confidence in who they are, not because they were offering a particularly unique product or experience. It’s all about presentation. First impressions count.
Great branding gives you purpose and direction
Whatever your brand may be, make sure there are goals and a deeper meaning behind it, like a cause people can relate to and get on board with. Even if it’s not about curing world hunger but just making their first-world problems just a little less problematic. Great branding is more than just your logo, typography, and colours.
Branding leads to new and better directions, too. Even the best brands occasionally surpass themselves. Refreshing a logo is one of the many strategies used while rebranding. Then there is the ‘hardcore’ rebrand, which results in an entirely new identity. Fortune favours the brave brander.
Great branding delivers results by telling a story
At the end of the day, your brand is a business, and you want the best for its future. Part of the importance of branding is that a strong brand is essential to delivering the results you need.
Branding generates growth. When you’re seen as good, you are good. That’s why well-established brands make a shitload of money.
A strong brand tells a compelling narrative. Customers and investors place a higher value on businesses that have engaging stories. Employees who understand their roles and motivations work for companies with great stories. People’s emotions can be moved by businesses with compelling narratives, which is essential for boosting sales. People want to work for organisations that accomplish great things, and great things can only be achieved if they’re understood simply and clearly.
When you combine all these factors, your company can generate significant revenue – to put it in slightly more business-like terms than before. After all, nobody buys something they don’t understand. Well, most of the time, anyway.
Wrapping it up
You might think we’re a little biased as a branding and design agency but the importance of branding for businesses cannot be overstated.
There is a serious misunderstanding about the commercial significance of branding. While some people (and not just red-in-the-face CEOs from the 1950s) seem to think branding is only for well-established, mid to large businesses, many aren’t even sure if it actually benefits their company. Are you a business that believes branding is unrelated or insignificant to the growth of your business? Let’s set the record straight.
Never underestimate the importance of branding.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again – branding is everything. So be good to your brand and take the time to carefully curate your brand identity.
Check out this article for more guidance or reach out to our team of faithful designers who are on hand to propel your brand, and therefore, the number of people who engage with it (and love it)
Read our in-depth analysis on our recent brand identity project with Voir.
Our Creative Director, Ryan, reveals an observation about his work practices that leads to a situation he never expected.
Helping mates realise their dreams is one of our proudest moments.
We’re called Umlaut. It’s a German word. More specifically, it’s a German typographic word. Even more specifically, it’s those two dots that go above certain vowels. That wasn’t by accident.