TABLE OF CONTENTS
- What is Branding all about?
- How Branding works.
- The process of Branding.
- Common elements of a Brand.
- What can be branded?
- Branding in Business.
- Branding and Social Media.
- The Relevance of Branding Agencies.
- Final word.
WHAT IS BRANDING ALL ABOUT?
A brand is a promise. It’s a lifetime commitment of what to serve people and places that interact with it. In the literal sense, branding originated from the word “brand” with the definition to “to mark with fire.” Branding is as old as life itself, albeit the scholarly purpose can be traced back to ancient Egypt, with its civilized agriculture, medicine, and finance methods. They employed a system to define and separate each citizen’s products. However, the more crude implantation of branding goes back to 2,500 years from the Great Egyptian Era, where clan members used fire in prehistoric societies to mark livestock to prevent theft.
Today, we know brands to be people, places, and things. When we think of brands, we think of Ariana Grande, Apple, McDonald’s, and Johnson & Johnson.
HOW BRANDING WORKS.
So is branding just about famous names and conglomerates? No. A Brand IS famous names and conglomerates. A Brand is a celebrity we all model our lives after, and the multinational we trust to give us safe, quality products. But for these people and companies to get there, The Science of Branding must first be employed. The concept of branding is a systematic method of using tools and strategies to differentiate oneself, product, or business from competitors, or in the rare cases where a monopoly exists, to define one’s presence in a new and untouched market.
Either way, branding gives a person, business, or product a distinct voice. It gives it form, color, values, clarity, and directions. Branding involves physical and non-physical processes. There are some critical components of branding that will take a Nue and well-detailed blog post to explain. Still, to introduce you to the concept of branding, terms like product differentiation, product design, and brand communication come into play.
In every branding consultation, the first things you hear around the room are words like logo and trademarks, taglines, product/person/service values, and identity, and the list goes on.
The bottom line is it’s an inexhaustible and enjoyable ride to creating a brand; for as long as the brand continues to exist, it evolves.
THE PROCESS OF BRANDING
Creating a brand that has a solid foundation and would go on to live forever takes a process. It takes connection and intimacy, creativity, grit, research, project management skills, and a host of other skills. It is not as complex as it sounds, however, there are some core technical processes involved in building a brand the right way:
- First, you want to establish this question, and understand what it means for your brand; “What emotional connection do I want to have with my potential clients?”: Today, consumers have more choices than before.
There are a plethora of service and product providers available to deliver homogeneous products to consumers. There are always brands and people that can offer either an exact replica of a similar product or service.
This is why the whole art of exchange has gone beyond just selling. Consumers need a reason to choose a product.
Brand intimacy is a concept that explains the importance of consumers valuing and ascribing great importance to a product or service they need. In other words, Brand Intimacy simply explains that the brands with the most success are the ones who are lovable.
Before establishing a strong connection with clients, a deep soul-search has to be undertaken. The true purpose of the brand and the services it has to offer must be defined.
- And this leads us to the next thing, Research: Internal research needs to be conducted to determine the type of product or service you want to deliver, the particular audience you wish to attract, how you want to be recognized, and what you desire to be recognized for. A deep dive needs to be performed in order to determine the unique selling point (USP) of the brand. This is what attracts and keeps your customers. The unique selling point of any brand is that defining factor that makes it different from every other company out there, and the USP is what will give the brand an edge over the competition.
- The next step to building a successful brand is getting the right tone: the core message of the brand is the mandate the brand stands by and what it will continue to be recognized with. This simply translates to how the brand is perceived. Successful brands like Apple and Disney set the right tone for their business, they do this by explicitly revealing the services they provide and the trick is in how they send the message across to their customers. The way the brand services are communicated is the brand tone, and these successful companies channel the mode of communication their consumers love the most.
- After the tone is defined, the Visual of the brand needs to be created: The visual is the medium in which you use to communicate your services or your company’s services to your potential clients. The details of this are the content, audio, and visuals a message is being passed across. Determining the visuals of the brand includes implementing the style of communication to be used. Brands can be authoritative, playful, relatable, or academic depending on the field they represent. Specifying this style of visual communication is important to attracting the right customers and encouraging brand loyalty.
- And finally, once you have all those in check a fail-proof strategy is needed to release the brand into the world: a fail-proof launch involves having a content strategy that builds momentum for the release, and that can attract the right market and cement their place as lifetime users or subscribers of a brand. Each brand needs its own unique way of being announced to the world in order to point out the unique selling point it has that no other brand offers, and a way of maintaining this is to carry out the right marketing strategy. The right marketing strategy guarantees full awareness and engagement from potential clients.
COMMON ELEMENTS OF A BRAND.
A brand is more than just a logo and slogan. It is an intricate network of cues, tools, strategies, and ideas that create a unique identity. However, there are essentials to every brand.
Every brand has a:
- Brand character
- Emotional connection with its audience
- Clear message
- A cohesive look
These essential elements are the basics of brand-making.
WHAT THEN CAN BE BRANDED?
Let’s start with yourself. A personal brand is centered around a unique value proposition that you can and are willing to share with the rest of the world. An emotional connection first needs to be cemented with the audience. It revolves around the most profound ways you connect to people by solving their most significant pain points and challenges. A successful personal brand puts you in charge of the narrative in your field. It enables you to charge a premium price for your service, you’re able to share your expertise with the world, and it keeps you ahead of the competition.
More commonly, we see small and large enterprises being branded. There’s a reason Nike and Pepsi stick to their audience. There’s a reason “Just do it” is a memorable slogan that sells the entire concept of what Nike is doing without mentioning the name.
The reason is a carefully selected branding strategy.
All companies require things that make them easily identifiable in this day and age. Attention span is limited, every kind of transaction market that exists on the face of the earth is saturated, and information is rendered obsolete by the second. Branding helps businesses stay ahead of all that. Companies brand to remain relevant and accessible, so if you are looking to grow your small business, branding doesn’t only ensure you stay in the game; it puts you in charge of the game.
Now you don’t have to have a company or personal brand to sell a product. Not many people are comfortable being in the spotlight or representing a brand, but you can define a product and let that do all the work for you.
BRANDING IN BUSINESS
Branding and Marketing.
Often used interchangeably, these business concepts are starkly different. Branding is an effective marketing tool used to maintain a customer’s attention, while Marketing is the general process of attracting a customer’s attention to promote sales. In the business, process Branding comes before Marketing, and they go hand-in-hand in the sense that Marketing works best with the right kind of Branding. This implies that Branding is an essential tool in achieving the fundamental aim of Marketing.
Branding for Small Businesses.
First things first, the surefire way to success is not to think of your business as a business, but as a brand. Passion often inspires the creation of every brand while the profit keeps it going; good branding balances out the importance of both for you.
Branding is a tool that gives you an identity and supports an emotional connection with your audience, thereby defining the purpose of your passion. Good branding improves sales, expands client base, increases visibility, and overall, it grows small businesses.
Branding for Startups.
Branding is the new normal for startups. Branding is the ultimate pivot for emerging businesses to cement their places in the industry and make their voices heard.
Most Startups in the quest to be discovered apply numerous marketing skills before even considering branding, this is why a lot of them are not successful with their launch.
Prioritizing Branding before Marketing helps Startups to enter the industry strong with a solid, unique identity, stay longer in business and attract the crowd for them.
Branding for Large Corporations.
Sharks in business remain so by constantly adopting innovative and creative ideas, and willingness to employ unconventional methods to stay ahead of the pack.
For Large Corporations, the beauty of branding is it keeps large corporations fresh, nue, and dynamic to their customers. Every business has more room for growth no matter how long it has been existing, branding helps large corporations to realize that potential and outsmart competition that continues to be strategic about overtaking the business.
Branding for Charities and NGOs
Charities and Non-governmental organizations require the right kind of branding to attract sponsors and get their goodwill across to their targeted beneficiaries. Emotional connection is one of the most significant selling points of every charity organization. Their angle is to appeal to the crowd and address their challenges. Nothing exemplifies this more than the right kind of branding.
Branding for Government Organizations
Branding dominates the world of politics. Every election, our choices are made by the visual cues and messaging fed to us. Different government organizations are known for other policies. The right kind of branding helps government experts and personnel navigate each political climate. It gives an in-depth understanding of behavioral analysis and develops strategies to sell their policies to the people.
Branding and Social Media
Branding for Instagram.
Instagram is all about visuals. It’s how you can attract leads to your page and create content to suit the viewers’ short attention span. It’s how to employ the correct hashtag, design, and content to separate you from the influx of information that appears every 0.0000001sec.
Branding for Twitter.
Twitter, unlike Instagram, can get very heated and polarizing. Branding helps you define your voice and let people understand what side you stand on, who you cater your services to, and how accessible you are.
Branding for YouTube.
Generally, YouTube is a platform for people who desire to see more visually explicit content. Branding helps you keep your audience engaged from the beginning to the end of your content. The right kind of branding makes your selling point unmissable.
Branding for Facebook.
Facebook is more utilized than every social media platform for online transactions and facilitating sales faster than other platforms. The right kind of branding Facebook will not only convince people who might not be interested in your product to try it, but it convinces them to.
Broadly the largest social media platforms, others like Tiktok and Pinterest are taking the world by storm. A proper understanding of what each forum requires needs investment in research and expertise.
And this takes us to,
THE RELEVANCE OF BRANDING AGENCIES.
Some people can argue that the digital age has made every kind of information accessible without going to school. Many people feel that they can go through the rigors of branding independently. But what about the science of branding?
Anyone can administer a first aid kit, but only a medical specialist can give you the cure for the wound.
When they decide to do it solo, people’s branding approach is like a band-aid to a festering wound. Something will always call your attention, and something will always require the touch of a specialist.
Branding agencies effectively organize, manage and strategize business plans by smoothly removing the nicks in operation.
Branding is an extensive field of study, but it does not have to be complex. Below are some of the most common questions asked about branding and our direct and relatable answers to them.
How do I know branding is for me?
Everyone requires branding in one shape or form. If you wonder why you are stuck, aren’t making any sales, or being discovered, you need to consider branding.
How does branding affect my business?
When applied right to a business, branding is never unsuccessful. Here are some ways good branding influences the components of your business:
- Sales: Branding creates visibility and expands your reach. It helps you charge top dollar for your product and services because you have appealed to your audience’s need by forming a life-long connection with them.
- Employee relations: Branding motivates your staff to deliver quality service. It allows them to understand their duties better, gives them the space to be creative, and provides a clear direction. Your brand helps your talent represent you better.
- Customer relations: Branding helps you make your customers a part of your business journey. It keeps them on the same path as you, and it fosters loyalty.
What are the benefits of Branding?
The benefits of branding are inexhaustible, and many are on the nose. However, there are some secrets to success, and only branding can show you how you can dominate your industry.
- Personal research will fail to show you that branding protects your business from larger corporations who may steal your ideas and business concept. Branding is a legal way of defining your business and protecting yourself from intellectual theft.
- Branding ensures loyalty and keeps you consistent. Branding utilizes consumer behavior psychology; a business sells products, but a brand sells membership. It leaves your audience anticipating your next line of products and services once they fully understand your identity in the market.
Branding and the Value of my money.
If you wonder if Branding is a long-term investment that requires you to shell out a lump sum of money for every kind of strategy you use, don’t wonder anymore.
According to the IRS, most Branding expenses are tax-deductible.
The following is a 2021 updated list of tax-deductible branding expenses:
- Social Media Advertising
- Search Engine Advertising
- Cost of Banner Ads (excludes political websites)
- Ads in newspapers, TV, internet, cable, and magazines or other media outlets
- Public Relations and promotional expenses (i.e., sponsorship of sports teams or promotional items like mugs, t-shirts, and pens.)
- Influencer Marketing (may require 1099 contracts depending upon the amount)
- SEO Expenses, Service Providers, or Contractors
- Email Marketing
- Print materials such as business cards, flyers, and brochures
- And more
Pros of having a Branding expert.
- First thing first. A good branding agency will prove your credibility to your audience.
- They help you maintain a good customer in-person and virtual experience.
- They organize campaigns that will live on for a long time in the industry.
- They forecast trends in your industry and deliver strategies to navigate them.
- They are specialists in product and packaging design, which takes extensive years of mastering.
- They have solid blueprints for revenue generation.
- And lastly, branding is their business, and they are in the business of branding. They see a 100% on the nitty-gritty of making branding work for your business; hence they take time off your hands to invest in the company, thereby accelerating your journey in your field and giving you more value for your time.
Cons of having a Branding Expert.
Online research will show you several disadvantages to hiring a branding agency, some like:
- Expensive costs
- Difficulty in maintenance
- And maybe, Complexity.
But all these happen if you do not get the right brand that aligns with your vision. Picking the right agency to partner with is almost as important as selecting the right kind of business to venture into. A branding agency must represent you and your interest. Admittedly, not every agency is cut out for this. This is why you need to look out for these crucial pointers in picking the right Branding Agency:
- A clearly defined vision.
- Timely responses and effective communication
- A diverse portfolio
- Testimonials from clients
- Track records of brand success
- Certified awards and recognition
- A listening ear.
This guide is a no-nonsense approach to selecting the best Agency that can represent your brand.
The original aim of branding was to differentiate products, now, branding plays a major role in almost every aspect of our lives and business endeavors. From communicating policies that transform societies, to amplifying the voices of activists, connecting organizations across borders, to driving innovation, branding can be found and applied everywhere.
At the core of branding is forming a connection, then solving problems. NueWay Studios located in Atlanta, GA, is the model Branding Agency that propels brands to realize their purpose to deliver transformative solutions.
We build brands from the ground up and serve every kind of business, implementing the ideas of clients to creative, innovative, and leading results. Contact us for more information.