Let’s get right to it. What is branding, exactly? Branding can be simply defined as an image or symbol that represents the essence of a business. But there is so much more to branding than just the definition. It is a marketing tool that, when effectively used, can trigger our senses, emotions, and memories and leave us yearning to go back to the place that evoked us to “think happy thoughts”. Ex: by using the phrase “think happy thoughts” did your mind for a split second think Peter Pan or the power of pixie dust? Branding can be successful as slogans and catchphrases too.
So what can branding provide to businesses? The key objective branding provides to any business is value. The value of a brand comes from the recognition and the recognition verifies credibility. The goal of branding is to ensure future business transactions with loyal customers and prospects. Creating an effective and successful brand is collaboration of art and science relying on the fundamentals of psycho-sociology.
Branding can be seen everywhere we look. Universities brand themselves with mascots. Hospitals often brand themselves with an image that represents their ideals. When traveling down almost any interstate in America and abroad, drivers can see those golden arches from miles away and know that there is a McDonald’s located at the next exit.
Branding has become so successful that there are board games sold in which the main objective is to “name that brand” to score points and win. Believe it or not, schools often teach pre-readers to read through a process called environmental reading. This is when a young child identifies the name of brands and businesses through their logos without being able to actually read the letters associated with them. The teacher then goes on to teach the sounds per each letter involved.
It is important to know that branding is not just company specific but can often be created for products. This is done through product lines. Ex: If a business is launching a new product line in which a portion of the proceeds will be donated to relief aid, they would want to market the importance of value the new product line represents and create a visual aid that will exemplify all of that.
Once a business has established a brand it is essential to use that branding at every contact point with the customer. These contact points include all promotions, advertisements, and marketing strategies. For product brands you will want your brand on the product, on the tags, and on the bags. Ex: When you purchase a shirt from Under Armor you are buying more than just a shirt, you are buying the brand.
So in the process of building a brand, there should be no quick and rash decisions. A brand is, essentially, a long term investment that needs to be carefully crafted in order to represent the very best in your business as well as to bring out the very best in your clients.