Branding is one of the most confused topics when it comes to small businesses and getting their name out there. Many of the worlds largest companies have managed to stay relevant through branding, for example, Coca Cola and Apple.
An introduction to branding
A brand is so much more than just your name and a logo. Its the vision behind the brand, the values your brand runs on, the voice your brand projects to customers, and to tie the knot, the visuals customers and potential customers see.
A brand allows you to connect to customers on more than just the surface level. It allows you to connect on an emotional level that brings customers back over and over again. A good example of this would be Apple. Apple’s brand is one of elegance, power, and superiority, and these values are sub-consciously given to the customers when purchasing its products, walking into an Apple store, and seeing Apple billboards.
Branding vs marketing
Often branding and marketing are two terms seen together and are confused with one another, most of the time. While you can’t have marketing without branding and vice versa, they are different, and it’s important the difference is understood.
Marketing is the way you connect with your customers in a physical sense and can only be done after you have gone through the steps of establishing your brand. In short, it’s the way you get your brand out in the world in terms of building awareness. For example, calling customers and advertising your products or services.
The 4 V’s of branding
Knowing why you have created the business and the goals behind it is an important first step in branding. Once you have your vision, you can start making decisions about your business inline with the vision, which already helps to strengthen your brand.
Creating values that your business runs on is a must, just like it is important on a personal level. Having values baked into your brand, either consciously or sub-consciously is a great look on customers and potential customers. These people will notice the values, creating a more personal experience attached to certain emotions when dealing with your brand.
Voice is important when communicating with customers or potential customers. A lot of what someone thinks of a business isn’t through face-to-face communication, its through branding. Having a unique voice and on-brand is very important and is a great way to create long-lasting connections with customers who are wanting something different from the normal.
While a majority of the world expect the visual side of branding to be the most important or only side, it’s not exactly. Visuals are important but only work for your business if they are in-line with the vision, the values, and the voice. I like to think of visuals as the final V that brings the rest together to create a full-proof brand.
Inspired by Planoly.
“A brand is a set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one service over another.”A favorite quote about Branding that Praveen wanted to share with you all to help get your head around what branding is from Seth Godin.
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