We hear the word “branding” thrown around often, but many companies are still unclear on what branding really means.
Some people would say branding is a logo, some would say it’s visuals such as ads, stationery, or flyers, and some people completely mix up branding with marketing and advertising. And that’s fine, because branding encompasses all of these things!
Branding is the combination of all the ways you communicate with your clients or potential clients. It’s the process of displaying your business to the public through your content and visual identity. Designing a logo, developing a website with a list of your services or products, spreading the word on all your social media accounts, creating ads, flyers, videos – you are branding your company. It all goes into one picture.
Branding is simply a communication. It’s what and how your business breathes. It’s your company’s personality.
What do we know about Apple’s branding? The most impactful piece of the Apple brand is their logo — the face of their company. Then, besides the products Apple invents (iPhones, Macs etc), they are known for their minimalistic designs, their simplicity, their store designs… and we all know who Steve Jobs was. Every piece of their branding and public image ties together.
It’s about them. Not you.
Your brand is what your customers say it is. It’s what customers think about your business, about your company, about you as an individual, about your team, it is what they like (and don’t like), it’s all about what they see and they know about you.
You can make customers think or feel whatever you want about your business. Branding isn’t easy, but it shouldn’t be excruciatingly difficult either. You just need to have your own clear picture about your business. Once you invest your time, effort and money in evaluating what your company stands for, you can figure out how to share that message with customers. You can always improve and tweak your branding as your company and audience grows.
Branding is essential because it’s how people will recognize a company. Branding attracts a company’s potential clients, it increases brand awareness, it can set a company apart from competitors, it should be memorable, and in the end – branding drives new business, make sales and increases revenue. And that’s what business is about.
If I told you to think about two or three companies that have amazing branding, what would those be?
Let me guess: Apple, Nike, and Starbucks.
When you go to an Apple store and want to purchase a laptop, you just go and purchase it. You wouldn’t research whether the company is high-quality (like you would for some other brands), and you wouldn’t ask all your friends what they think about Apple. You might inquire about the laptop specifics, size, price, and so on, but you wouldn’t ask “What do you think about Apple in general? Is that a good company to buy a laptop from?”
The same with Nike. You would not be attracted by just a logo, a name, or a store you randomly see – you would be attracted by what you already know about Nike. The Nike ads you’ve already seen, all the friends that are wearing “the swoosh,” all the clean and well-designed stores you’ve visited… these factors add up to make the Nike brand memorable and consistent. Both Nike and Apple have mastered the art of making you feel a specific way when you think about their brands.
Branding starts with you.
Branding, at its core, is communication. These companies know exactly who their clients are, what those clients are looking for, how to impress them, how to convince them to purchase their products, and they recognize that knowing their customers is the way to increase revenue and scale.
Of course, because we all have different opinions, there are people who don’t like Apple, Starbucks, or Nike. But even these customers would never say “Apple’s branding is bad.”
To start your branding journey, think about the ways you want your business to communicate with your target market. How well do you know your ideal customer? When people come across your website, content, and printed materials, do they immediately get a sense of your company’s values and voice?
When you start answering these questions and implementing what you find, you will be on your way to a consistent and recognizable brand!
Aventive Studio specializes in connecting your brand with target customers and building trust so that you can increase your business revenue. If you have any questions or are interested in, reach out using our contact form. We would love to help design and grow your brand.