Branding: what it is and how to develop it

Branding: what it is and how to develop it
When it comes to branding, many associate the term with a company logo, in reality it is a broader and more complex activity that includes many elements to take into consideration.
Developing app
Developing app

28/09/2022

Table of Contents

What world would it be without Nutella“, “Red Bull gives you wings“, “Trony. There is no comparison“.

Do you know these slogans? Are they familiar to you? Surely the answer will be yes.

Vanessa tells you, the panty stresses me ...“, You continued the jingle, right?

Slogans, advertising jingles, payoffs, logos are all elements that are part of the business of branding of a company. Despite what many believe, branding goes far beyond a logo, a color palette, or how you choose to create a website. Just like slogans or advertising jingles, branding is mnemonic, that is, it is based on the lasting feeling, experience and emotion that consumers associate with the brand. It gives customers an intangible element with which to get in touch and relate in daily life.

So how can you harness this power and create a brand that leaves a lasting impression on your audience? In this guide, we're going to explore what branding is and what branding elements will help you create an impactful, authentic and memorable brand.

What is branding?

The examples shown above should have already given you an idea of what you are talking about when it comes to branding. But let's see in detail what it is.

The term branding refers to the actions you take aimed at influence people's perception of your product or service, so that they choose your brand multiple times. Essentially, it's how your product or service enters the customer's heart and mind.

The idea at first glance is simple to understand, but in practice branding is a complex topic, much discussed and not easy to define. This is because, as we have said, branding has a emotional and subjective component which cannot be actually measured or quantified.

To understand the concept of branding, let's take a step back, to first understand what a brand. As author and entrepreneur Seth Godin puts it: "A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, all together, determine a consumer's decision to choose a product or service rather than another "; consequently branding is all that is done to actively influence decisions.

Branding, therefore, goes beyond the creation of a logo, it includes a series of activities that aim to take care of all the elements that create the perception that the world has of your business, represents the way in which you are seen and recognized by others.

The elements of Branding

Since when it comes to branding, we are not just talking about a company logo, let's analyze together what are the most important elements to take into consideration to create a good branding.

We can divide the various elements into: visual elements and in non-visual elements.

The first group includes all the elements that are related tocoordinated image of the company, such as logo, brand name, slogan, colors, typography, website structure, business cards, brochures, etc.

The second group, on the other hand, includes all the non-visual elements, linked to concepts and strategic objectives and long-term as the corporate mission, vision, values, identity, history and voice of the brand. This group also includes the brand extension activity which consists in extending its offer to new markets.

There are many elements to consider, let's analyze them individually to understand the benefits that a company can obtain by carrying out branding activities.

The visual elements of Branding

Brand logo and name

In branding, one of the first elements to be valued is the logo. It is important, however, not to focus only on this element when it comes to branding, as it is only a small part of the activity that contributes to the perception that others have of the brand.

Creating a logo is essential to give one visual representation to the company. It is the symbol that will be associated with the company and must be memorable and easily recognizable. Everything around the logo, from the font to the colors used, helps to create the visual language of your brand.

The name you define for your brand is another fundamental element to consider in branding. The choice of name must take into consideration what you do and what who you are.

Some precautions to be taken when choosing a brand name are to verify that it is available, if it has some unusual linguistic connotation and above all if it is representative of the brand values.

Slogan

As mentioned above, it slogan it is an element to be taken into consideration when implementing a branding strategy. It is not a technically visual element, but it is closely related to other visual elements such as the logo.

A catchy and memorable slogan isn't always essential to your branding, but if it's done right it can be one very powerful marketing tool. Creating a short and concise sentence to associate with your brand allows the company to differentiate itself from the competition and to capture the mind of the consumer, who will immediately associate the slogan with your product.

Brand colors and typography

The phase of choosing one color palette it may seem like a trivial and simple activity, in reality it is a crucial branding activity.

The color palette you choose will shape your brand identity and appear across all your marketing channels. It is therefore important to consider the impact of color psychology and the influence it has on consumer purchasing decisions. Color, in fact, transmits messages, triggers emotions and influences the perception of the brand in the mind (and eyes) of consumers.

For example, red is a hue that attracts attention and is associated with passion, energy, excitement and danger, while blue is a much calmer color, linked to trust, peace and stability. Once you understand what message you want to communicate with your branding, selecting colors will help you be consistent and cultivate the personality of the brand.

The same thing goes for the typography, that is the specific shape of the letters that are used to characterize a brand. Also in this case it is a fundamental element to better communicate your message.

In general, a maximum of 3 fonts are preferred: one for the logo, one for the website and one for product packaging. The important thing is that .

Website

Now more than ever, having a professional online presence is an essential branding resource and one crucial part of your digital marketing strategy. Regardless of your industry, the size of your company, or whether your business is an e-commerce or a physical store, the website is the centerpiece of your business.

The type of website you create will depend on your industry, however this will be the main tool for attract new visitors, generate leads, promote and sell your products and / or services, inform customers and communicate with them.

The website collects the other visual elements of the branding just mentioned (logo, slogan, colors and typography), thus allowing you to create a digital place where you can put your brand in the best possible light.

Business cards and brochures

Although all of the paper graphics as business cards, brochures and flyers can be overshadowed in a digital way like the one we live in, they are relevant tools and an important part of your branding heritage.

A business card, for example, can be a very useful tool if you often attend events or fairs. This is the most immediate tool to share your contact information, but most importantly it is indispensable for build bonds and generate an impression of your brand in the person who receives it. 

An important rule to follow as a mantra is always the same: consistency. Create your business card, brochure or flyer while maintaining the communicative style and graphics of the other resources of your brand.

The non-visual elements of Branding

Mission, vision, brand values

Mission, vision and values of the brand are the three pillars on which to base your branding strategy. These are less visual elements, but more related tocorporate ideology, as well as business objectives.

There company mission serves to express it purpose of the brand. Through the mission, anyone who approaches the brand, from customers to investors, must clearly understand what your brand is about. We can think of the mission as the explanation of "Why“, Which explains not only what the business offers, but also what the purpose behind your brand is.

As well as the mission, the corporate vision it is a clear and concise externalization that outlines the strategic objectives of a business. It is the roadmap that guides the initial stages of the company and the future of the brand. The corporate vision of your brand can evolve over time and grow with your business, but it must always remain consistent with the core values of the brand.

Finally, i values they represent the foundation of your business and have an impact on every aspect of your branding, but also on every aspect of your business. Imagine these values as a compass that directs and supports your brand's purpose and story, as well as decisions and actions. To define brand values, think about the big picture, influence and impact of your business.

Brand identity

Another element of branding is represented bybrand identity, which is closely related to the three elements mentioned above: mission, vision and values.

Having a good brand identity allows you to get even closer to your audience, using your own personality that will help change the perception that others have of the company.

The voice and history of the brand

In keeping with creating a brand identity, it is crucial to define one voice it's a history of the brand. The aim is to make the company more and more a "person" who cares about the world's problems and is committed to finding solutions.

Communicating how the company was born and how it is growing helps with your target audience. When we know a person we want to know his story, why shouldn't a company do it too?

Finally, to share the story of the brand, it is also necessary to define its own tone of voice. The voice of a brand, just as if it were a person, must be only And recognizable. It will be the common element of all corporate communications, so once defined it is good to use it in all marketing resources and communication channels.

Brand expansion

A final element to take into consideration in branding is theexpansion of the brand.

Once your brand is growing, you can find new ways to expand it into new markets. For example, all the big fashion brands expand their brands to external sectors such as perfumery and the eyewear market. Obviously, even in this case, you need to extend your brand towards consistent sectors with the main one, in order to increase brand recognition and profits.

Why develop a branding strategy

As we have seen, branding is a vast activity that consists of going to take care of all the elements mentioned above. But is it really necessary to do all this?

When a consumer wants to make a purchase, he makes a trip, the so-called customer journey. To ensure that the consumer chooses our product in a saturated and competitive market, having a strong and well-designed branding can make the difference.

You only have a few seconds to make a good impression on the customer, so having effective branding is the mechanism that can make your business stand out and attract the attention of potential customers. When done right, branding can influence, inspire and create change.

Think of some of the biggest and most established brands, like Google, Apple, Nike and Coca-Cola - it's hardly a coincidence that they are so successful. These companies understand the importance of branding and leverage it in every aspect of their business and marketing. In addition, they continue to hone their strategies, learn and grow through their branding efforts to maintain the loyalty of their customers.

To help you better understand the importance of branding and the impact it has on your business, we have created a list of 7 important benefits that a good branding strategy can bring to your business.

It sets you apart from the competition

Regardless of the industry, competition is always fierce. Whether you're opening a shop offering bicycle repairs, selling CBD products, or wanting to be a social media consultant, branding allows you to differentiate yourself from your competitors, highlighting and distinguishing what you have to offer and why you and your products are the best choice.

Develop brand awareness

Brand recognition refers to how your company is perceived, both in its positioning on the market and in the minds of consumers. Your goal is that customers have apositive impression of your brand thanks to the service or product you offer. Strong brand recognition is one of the main aspects that encourage your target audience to choose youdespite the presence of cheaper or alternative options.

Make your brand identifiable

Making your brand identifiable is a key component of brand recognition and applies more precisely to the ways in which consumers remember the product or service you offer, also known as "brand recall".

This can be done with visual assets, such as brand colors, a logo or a catchy slogan. For example, imagine you are traveling and on the highway, in the distance, you see golden arches: without even thinking about it, you already know that it is a McDonald's.

Build trust in the brand

Trust in the brand is important to the impression your business gives both to potential customers and within your industry. According to Intelligence Node: "Over 60% of online adults in Canada, the US and Europe want the companies they buy from to be transparent about their business policies."

A company with a strong brand not only presents itself as more professional and refined, but it also inspires trust through transparency and authenticity. Also, establishing brand values in advance and delivering on what you've promised encourages current and future customers to trust and support you.

Give your business an identity

As each person has their own unique identity, the same goes for your brand. Imagine setting up a blind date between two friends and having to describe each other. How would you do it?

Try to think of the brand as a personrather than a commodity or service. Brand anthropomorphism is an idea that challenges you to visualize the brand as a human being, to better define how the brand acts, speaks, appears, communicates or has an impact on the world.

Create pride in employees

Employees who are proud of their work are not only good for business, they also play a key role in shaping the public perception of the brand. This has positive implications across the board. It can affect how customers identify your brand, but it can also encourage potential employees to want to work for your company.

A company with a good brand should make workers feel a sense of belonging, general satisfaction and pride. This will encourage them to authentically promote the brand across all kinds of channels and platforms.

Increase the value of your company

Whether you are a small business owner or an established company, branding plays an important role in validating your financial value and build your brand value.

Your business growth can hinge on successful branding, particularly when it comes to attracting new customers, entering into deals or entering new markets. Also, when it comes to expanding your business, a company with a strong brand is more attractive to potential investors.

Develop your branding right away

Now that you understand what it is and what benefits you can get, here's a quick guide to get you started building your branding right away.

In the first place, frame your sector well: analyze the competition, define your target audience and try to understand which are the best channels to get in touch with your potential customers.

Once you have understood your reference sector well and defined your objectives, do not start immediately with the choice of colors and logos, but make an effort to understand what it is. purpose of your brand, in essence, we need to define all those non-visual branding elements that we have seen previously.

Then, you can move on to the creation of all the visual elements of the branding, among which of primary importance is the logo that will help create the visual representation of your company.

The last step is the longest and most lasting one, define one branding strategy to develop over time. You need to create a roadmap that aims to achieve specific branding goals.

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