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Branding is a critical part of identifying a company or business and its products or services.

Many people reduce branding to designing a great logo and adding a catchy message, but it’s more than that. Branding is creating a memorable experience about your company, product, or service.

It’s knowing what your customers want when they want to make a purchase and delivering exactly that.

Branding helps you control the customer’s journey from the onset. Wondering how to make use of branding in your business? Read on to find out.

 

What is Branding?

Branding is the process of developing a brand- from how it looks, to how it sounds to defining its target audience.

It’s more than creating a visual identity; rather, it’s a continuous process of developing a certain perception about your company, product, or service.

A brand, on the other hand, is a company’s identity. It differentiates your business from your competitors and outlines the guidelines for marketing and presenting your business to your target market.

Thus, the definition of branding can be broken down into the following parts:

  • The process: Evidently, branding is a continuous process that never stops. Your market, industry, and target audience are constantly changing, and as such a brand must evolve
  • Brand perception: This is how your target audience perceives your business, product, or service every time they interact with it. The branding process is responsible for creating this perception
  • Identify, develop, manage: The branding process is structured to enable a business to identify its stakeholders, create a brand strategy, and manage factors affecting its position
  • Actions and assets: Once you define your brand’s position, you need to translate it into a resource (e.g. product ads, content) and actions (e.g. customer support, experiences, and services) to project the brand to your audience and develop a certain perception
  • Stakeholders: Your employees, shareholders, and business partners also have a certain perception of your brand thus creating a positive perception about it is necessary. You don’t want an employee or business partner saying negative things about your brand after having bad experiences with your company

 

How to Use Branding

Branding is an organization’s most important asset. Not only does it give your business identity but it also makes it memorable. Here are ways a business can  leverage branding:

01. To Develop Identity

Branding helps customers and other stakeholders recognize your business. If you have a strong brand, people are more likely to take note of it.

A brand’s visual, physical, and auditory elements help customers resonate with your brand, cultivating trust.

Brand identity also influences how customers recall and interact with your ads, emails, and other content.

 

02. To Influence a Customer’s Buying Decision

Branding plays a critical role in a customer’s purchase decision. That’s why brands with an established name are more preferred than others.

For example, regardless of the countless mobile phone brands in the world, many customers gravitate to Apple phones because it’s a renowned brand.

Besides being in the market for several decades, the brand is associated with quality attracting many customers.

In addition, buyers believe that a brand they patronize dictates their societal status and position. They’re concerned with how a brand represents them hence more likely to purchase products from renowned brands.

 

03. To Cultivate Customer Loyalty

Having a loyal customer base doesn’t happen by chance. It’s a result of the continuous delivery of unique experiences. The emotional connection drives customers to support your business and refer their friends.

 

04. Increase Business Value

Branding is critical to securing future business. Investors are more inclined to invest in a business with an established brand as they perceive it more valuable.

That value can mean the company’s product price, influence, or market share. A strong brand can charge premium prices, have more influence, or a large market share because it’s perceived more valuable.

 

How to Brand a Business

You’re probably wondering how you can leverage branding to enjoy all such benefits. Well, it’s a process that requires much thought and effort.  Here’s a brief guideline:

 

Research Your Target Audience

The first step is to understand your market’s needs and preferences. Find out their interests, the business they trust or buy from, and what they would like to see in your brand.

You could engage them directly through questionnaires and calls, or study them to identify common patterns that could help you define your market.

Next, study the market to identify customer preferences, industry trends, buying habits, and opportunities your brand could leverage. It’s also an excellent way of knowing more about your competitors.

 

Define Your Brand’s Personality

We’ve already seen that branding is more than designing a great logo; rather, it’s about developing a distinct voice and personality.

It could be a combination of characteristics your business exhibits or attracts customers.

Your personality resonates with your target market and helps create an emotional connection that makes you stand out from your competitors.

 

Develop a Brand Story

A great way to humanize your brand is to tell your story. Buyers want to make meaningful connections with brands and the best way to do it is to incorporate a compelling and authentic story.

You could even tell your own story as the founder. While at it identify elements that will resonate with your target audience and things they would like to know to connect with your brand.

And don’t forget to wrap in your brand’s values and mission into the story.

 

Develop a Brand Style Guide

This is the part where you determine the visual elements to include in your brand. From the colour to the logo fonts, another aesthetic effect.

Ensure the features are easily recognizable and distinguish your company from your competitors.

You could enlist the help of an expert to help you select the right colors, and fonts, and design the logo.

 

Integrate the New Brand Across Your Business

The final step is to apply the brand across all platforms. Whether your customers interact with you via social media platforms, email, or at a retail store, their experience should feel familiar.

You could include branded videos and posts to tell potential customers more about your company and help them recall your brand.

Statistics show it takes 5-7 impressions to recall a brand. You must also be consistent in reinforcing your brand on your target audience to build loyalty, trust, and familiarity.

 

A final thought on Branding….

Branding is certainly a critical aspect of any business that wants to remain relevant for many years. It’s about creating a unique and memorable experience consistently. This guide highlights the nitty-gritty of developing a brand, but if you’d like professional help talk to us today.

Paul Simiyu

Founder and Team Lead of Simpaul Design, a brand strategy and design agency in Nairobi, Kenya. Here at Simpaul Design, we work with brands across various categories with a focus on connecting with consumers and building brands that people want to be a part of. We specialize in brand identity and strategy, UX/UI, and brand transformation.

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