What is Branding?

Like the term “Brand”, “Branding” also suffers at the hands of misconception. While most Muggles have a surface level understanding of the topic and casually flaunt the phrase in the correct context, the misinterpretation lies in the depth of their understanding.

Branding goes far deeper than some sweet styled graphics stuck to the side of B.A.’s van. However you choose to communicate with your audience, varying degrees of branding should influence them. Sometimes the dial needs to go all the way up to 11. It could be your elevator pitch, website, social media activity, email campaign, or even your posh phone voice. If someone outside of your business engages with it (could easily be your mum), your branding should be reflective of the desired brand.

If a brand (?) is your audience’s formed perception, then branding is an attempt to identify, influence, and steer this perception towards the desired result.

Branding needs a business to go all Neo and find out exactly how deep that rabbit hole goes; to understand and identify the genuine reasons the company was formed and why it conducts itself the way it does, and to establish the business as more than “show me the money!”

Your branding should be an accurate representation of who you are as an enterprise and how you wish to be perceived. A tried and tested approach is giving the business a human-like persona with its own passions, personality, values, and beliefs (You’re probably thinking Weird Science, yeah? No, nothing like that. But a bra on your head might still help). The audience needs to connect with the business on an emotional level. They should feel a sense of togetherness when they engage because your audiences want to feel like they are part of something relatable.

However, absolute control over a brand (?) is not possible. People will always perceive things differently depending on their own personal experiences. Nonetheless, steps need to be taken through all aspects of communications to aid and generate the required associations in people’s minds.

Branding is an action. But before it can be put into practice, there has to be a process. At its core, the process looks to establish a business’s true purpose and add valuable meaning to – and beyond – your general offering. This is really what branding is all about. It’s not just about making a company look all fancy, damn trendy, or super cool! Although, if that’s relevant and reflective of the personality, it can be totally part of the wider process.

Realistically, it should be part of an overall business strategy. The overarching goal is to help people easily identify and experience your business with a level of predetermination. Customers can make decisions about your company before even making a purchase thanks to branding. If done correctly, branding will give your customer a reason to choose you over your competition by identifying what your brand is (and is not), building a long-lasting and trusting relationship.

By definition: “Branding is the action of identifying and influencing a brand. Creating a connection between an organisation and its customer to build trust and loyalty.”

Investing time into branding is important – like a trip to Mordor important! It not only makes a lasting impression on your audience, but it lets your customers know what to expect from your business. It is a way of distinguishing yourself from competitors and clarifying what it is you offer that makes you the right choice for them.

When buying new products, 59% of shoppers prefer to buy from the brands they trust, and 21% say they purchased a new product because it was from a brand they like.” Invespcro

Branding is critical to a business because of the overall impact it makes. It can change how people perceive your brand, drive new business, and increase returning customers. Keep in mind, it can also do the opposite if done wrong or not at all. So don’t do it wrong – do it better.

Branding has a massive impact internally too. On this occasion, we’ve decided to only address the external implications. We understand this topic has a wider impact than what we have covered here.

Are you ready to build your brand?