Branding is one of the most important exercises your company will engage in, but if you’re new to the world of business as a first-time founder, then it might be hard to understand. What is branding, why is it important, and how is ‘branding’ separate from your brand as an entity?
Today we’re helping to answer those questions, so you can feel more confident that you’re making the right choices for your business.
Defining A Brand
Before we look at branding, we have to understand what a brand is, because it’s a deeper, more complex concept than you think. Your brand is the image consumers form of your company, the personality they assign to it in their heads, in order to make emotional human decisions about it. On one level, people will choose where to shop because of the prices and the quality of the goods on offer, but the deeper decision is because a certain brand makes them feel more comfortable and at home – some people feel Waitrose is the ‘natural’ place for them to shop, while others prefer Tesco on a gut level.
The important thing about a ‘brand’ is that customers construct it for themselves – every interaction they have with your company gives them pieces of the jigsaw, but they have to put it together for themselves. What you can do is try to provide them with pieces that they will interpret in the correct way to create the brand you’re aiming at.
This is what branding is: the elements of your wider brand that you have direct control over. The visual look of your publicity materials, the ‘voice’ your copy speaks to the customer in, logos and other distinctive features that tie your products to your posters, your website to your bricks and mortar stores and make it clear they all belong to the same entity.
Making Good Choices
The pressure is on to make good choices for your branding, as if you don’t form the right impression and attract the right customers the first time, you have to engage in an expensive rebrand that doesn’t only cost you money, but also the momentum and recognition you’ve managed to build up.
Working with a market research company gets you vital branding intelligence: hard facts and figures about wat your chosen market react to, distilled into comprehensible, actionable insights that inform you as make choices about how to build a brand that tells your customers they’re right to choose you.