What on earth is branding anyway?
Chances are you've heard about branding. You hear it in conversations regarding big brands like Apple or Starbucks, you've even heard of branding when it comes to famous personalities like Oprah. Oh that totally fits with her brand.
You probably have a vague idea but you can't quite put your finger on what exactly branding is. For a business owner or entrepreneur, it is important that you have at least a basic understanding of what branding is. Let's dive in.
Branding by definition is the marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products.
But branding goes beyond the visual, it is the idea that your consumers or public have about your company. Branding conveys your company's values and vision.
Simply put there are two key elements to branding:
Intangible - Brand Definition
Tangible - Visual Identity
Defining your brand is like a journey of business self-discovery. It is essential to have a clear definition of your brand before moving forward to the visual elements of branding. It can be difficult, time-consuming and uncomfortable but this will be the solid foundation of which you will build your brand.
Some key questions to think about:
- What is your company's vision and mission?
- What are your company's values?
- What differentiates your brand from others in your industry and niche?
- What is your brand's voice or persona?
- What is the overall message you wish to portray with your brand?
- What should people feel when they see or think of your brand? Summarise your answer into 5 or less descriptive keywords. Eg. Traditional, Bold, Modern, Family friendly etc.
A visual identity is more than just your logo.
It is the visual embodiment and essence of what makes your brand unique.
A visual identity is made up of tangible elements such as your brand's logo, marketing materials, packaging, store design and website. All of these elements must work together to consistently convey your brand's message and shape your brand's perceptions.
Your visual identity is usually your customer's first impression of your brand. We all do it subconsciously, we see an ad or a logo and right away we form an opinion about this brand. It is therefore imperative that your visual identity aligns with your brand's definition. The two must connect and compliment each other.
Granted good branding isn't the only element that makes for a good business, perception matters. And ultimately, it’s the way consumers perceive a brand that defines it.
Stay tuned for our next blog post on creating a winning visual identity.
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All logos and branding were created by The Kreative Lab.