Branding might be one of the most important aspects of any business, be it large or small, retail or B2B. Branding is not just an impressive and memorable logo, nor is it how many Facebook fans it has, or how its employees praises its working culture. In fact, it is everything.
A brand represents people’s perception of a company; what your customers can expect from your product, your service and how you are differentiated from your competitors. Given the importance of a company’s reputation especially in the age of social media, it is no wonder large corporations spend huge amounts of money in developing or repositioning their brand. Not to mention, a ‘bad’ branding exercise can also cause the company a PR disaster. Just have a look at Singtel:
— FunkShin (@funkshin) January 21, 2015
— gurmit singh (@gurms) January 21, 2015
The Importance of Branding
Vanity aside, are there any concrete reasons to branding? Yes, because perception and reputation is everything in the business world, or rather, in the world. Let’s take a look at the important ways a strong brand impacts your business:
Branding Reinforces Recognition
One of major components of your brand is your logo. Think about Apple, Adidas and McDonald’s. Who can refute their ubiquitous influence even if you are not their brand proponent? Speak about Apple and the idea of a gadget that is sleek and white comes to mind. What about the signature three stripes of Adidas and the Golden arches? Logos are literally the “face” of a company, and a simple, professionally-designed logo will help to reinforce the impression on consumers.
Branding Builds Credibility
A professional appearance builds credibility and trust. Having a consistent brand identity will influence consumers to buy from you because it gives them the perception that your company is legitimate.
Brand equity is the commercial value that derives from the public perception of the brand name, rather than the product or service itself. Companies who are listed on a stock exchange or even start-ups looking for investor-funding will know that much of the company’s value rely on the branding of the company. A strong brand usually calls for a great start for an IPO. In this sense, branding adds a concrete financial value to the company.
Branding Generates New Customers & Retains Loyalty
Consumers love and trust brands; they believe (almost irrationally!) in the inherent superiority of the experience of using their favourite brands. Creating a brand identity that resonates with your customers reinforces the emotional relationship they establish with your brand and turn them into your brand advocates. Never forget that word-of-mouth referrals is one of the most profitable and powerful advertising source.
The Branding Project Deliverables
Contrary to popular belief, working on branding is not just a design effort. A branding project requires a systematic approach that includes brand strategy, industry research and design before implementing a cohesive identity to the company’s website, printed materials and communications system.
At Pixel Tie, we adopt a 3-step approach to help our clients develop their brand:
- Customer analysis: Primary audience, secondary audience, key influencers, trends, needs, perception of brand category
- Competitor analysis: Market position, brand position, brand promise, strengths, weaknesses
- Current brand audit: Current brand promise, brand personality, brand positioning, history, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, values
- Brand promise
- Brand personality
- Brand position
- Market position: Customer, need, point of reference, reasons to believe
- Value proposition: Functional benefits, emotional benefits, features
- Brand architecture (for multiple brands)
- Verbal system: Name, descriptor, domain name, tagline
- Visual system: Logotype, typography, colour palette, layouts, imagery
- Digital templates: Website, blog, logo animation, audio logo, social media skins
- Printed stationery: Business cards, letterhead, labels, envelopes, packaging
- Office templates: Presentation slides, letter, memorandum, invoice, news release, report, proposal, eBook
- Event guidelines
- Advertising guidelines
Your brand will follow your business to the end of time so it’s important to spend time investing in researching, defining, and building your brand. After all, it is the foundation underlying every communication you will have with the outside world and can have the potential to make or break your business.
Want to know more about how Pixel Tie can help your brand?, contact us for a Brand Audit!