The Importance Of Branding
Branding is a complex and multifaceted field that is more than choosing a logo.
It plays a critical role in marketing by creating a unique identity for a product or service, setting it apart from the competition, and connecting it with customers.
In this article, we’ll talk about some of the main reasons marketers struggle with branding, common mistakes to avoid when branding, and how to do branding the right way.
Start With The Right Name!Your brand name is an important branding element. It helps position your brand and get noticed by your target audience. Try our brand name generator to find the right name for your business.
Why Business Owners Find Branding Difficult
Let’s look at some of the most common reasons why entrepreneurs and business owners struggle with branding.
1. Lack Of Purpose
Before you brand your business and impress your customers, find out why you’re in the market. Ask yourself questions that will help you get to the core of your business and identify the main problems you want to solve.
Don’t just open a business for its own sake. Figure out your goal and focus on getting that message out to your customers in the best way possible. Coca-Cola, for example, has a clearly defined goal: they want people to physically and mentally refresh people. This guides everything they do.
Having a clear purpose can help you create a consistent and compelling brand message, attract customers who align with your values, and make strategic decisions that support your overall goals.
Did You Know?89% of consumers believe that the company’s purpose is how it benefits society and the environment. They also want to see the company share the impact it has on the world.
2. Lack Of Authenticity
Because competitors operate in a certain way and use a certain brand style guide for their marketing efforts, entrepreneurs are afraid to try new methods to create an identity for their brand.
Competitors are in control of the market, and customers know the brands they identify with. But that’s no reason to live in the shadow of other brands and copy everything you see. You can’t tell your customers about your brand if you don’t know who you are.
Be authentic. Know your brand values, your “why” and what sets you apart from the other solutions on the market. Know who you serve and serve them well. While you’re trying to learn from others, make sure you aren’t wearing a brand identity that isn’t yours.
Did You Know?88% percent of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding which brands they like and support.
3. Poor Understanding Of The Brand
To sell yourself to your audience, you need a deep understanding of who you are as a brand. Establish your purpose. Know who you are, what you do, and who you serve.
Describe your values. What values define you as a brand and guide you in everything you do? State your values and let your audience know they permeate everything you do as a company.
Tartine Bakery, a company that aims to reinvent bread in the lives of Californians, carefully lays out its values and explains how they influence every aspect of its business. These four core values guide everything Tartine does, and if you look at every page of its website, you’ll see that these values come through in everything they do.
Overall, identifying key aspects of your brand will help with your marketing efforts and prevent misinterpretation.
Did You Know?The most valuable brand in the world is Apple. Its market capitalization is approaching $3 trillion.
4. No Brand Story
Your brand story is your free pass to the hearts of your target audience, to win them over and turn them into loyal, paying customers.
The story you create and share connects your brand to your target audience, fosters their loyalty, and builds trust.
Pampers, a brand of baby and toddler diaper products, was founded because Victor Mills, a researcher at Procter & Gamble, didn’t want to change his newborn grandchild’s cloth diapers. He wanted to make a better disposable diaper, so he assigned fellow researchers in P&G’s Exploratory Division in Miami Valley, Ohio, to look into it. As they came up with different ideas, he used his grandchildren as test subjects until they came up with a better product.
Today, the Pampers brand is synonymous with the happy and healthy development of babies around the world. This is evident in all of the brand’s materials, from packaging to commercials, which feature happy, smiling babies of all genders and races.
Did You Know?63% of consumers think more positively about brands that share relevant and valuable content.
5. No Emotional Connection With The Target Audience
Emotional connection is one of the crucial factors that influence a buyer’s decision. The customer must first know, like and trust your brand in order to then build an emotional connection with it.
There are a number of reasons why people build an emotional bond with a brand, but one of the most important reasons is that the brand always meets their expectations and never disappoints them.
Customers who have an emotional connection with a brand are 71% likely to recommend the company to others. This shows that this is the fastest way for a company to grow quickly.
Tell your brand’s story. Talk about your struggles, a project you’re working on, or the results of your business operations. Show the faces behind your brand and how everyone works together to move your business forward. People want to hear your stories. So don’t hide them.
Did You Know?94% of consumers say they recommend brands to which they have an emotional connection.
6. Lack Of Competitive Differentiation
To create a brand message, you need to know how you’re different from the other competitors in the market.
Even if you’re all in similar industries, there is a characteristic, a way of working, a branding and marketing strategy, or a factor that sets you apart from the other competitors.
For example, Nike and Adidas have been going head-to-head for years, but for different reasons. Nike uses its celebrity endorsements to build name recognition, and that accounts for a large part of its success.
They focus on high-quality products, technological innovations, and high brand awareness, which is why they have many celebrity advertisers such as Michael Jordan, Roger Federer, Cristiano Ronaldo, and so on.
Adidas, on the other hand, tries to have a greater appeal to sports fans because of its brand values of integrity and authenticity. The company focuses on creating brand associations rather than just brand awareness. This means that the company tries to associate its products with prominent athletes, ordinary people, and famous sporting events like the World Cup. Find out what makes you unique and focus on that to get the results you want.
Did You Know?Research shows that customers are willing to pay 50% more for companies that make a difference.
7. No Knowledge Of Competitors
To succeed at branding, you need to know your competitors and why customers love them. Research them, learn how they operate, and learn how you’re different from them. Then focus on communicating that difference in your brand message.
Explain to your target audience why they should choose you, and show them how your difference will improve their lives. Let them know what they can gain and what exciting things your company has to offer.
For example, Aliexpress takes 15-25 days to ship from China, while Amazon usually takes 1-5 days, in some cases even only one day. They also offer fast and free shipping for Amazon Prime members.
These differences help each platform create a unique brand message that highlights its strengths and stands out from the competition.
Did You Know?77% of consumers buy an item based on the brand name and not the product name.
8. Poor Product
If you find branding difficult, it’s probably because you’re trying to brand a bad product. Just as a good product markets itself, a bad product does the same thing, only this time negatively.
Sure you can have great branding ideas, but if your product is bad, it inhibits all your branding and marketing efforts. It can damage your brand’s reputation and make it harder to attract and keep customers.
Negative word-of-mouth and bad reviews can spread quickly, making it difficult to promote or rebrand your product. A bad product also makes it harder to create a consistent brand message, as you may have to spend more resources handling customer complaints or salvaging the product’s reputation than developing a great product.
Did You Know?40% of customers who have switched to a private label brand want to stay with it.
Common Branding Mistakes
We know what makes branding difficult. Now let’s focus on the most common mistakes entrepreneurs and business owners make when branding.
1. Mixing Branding And Marketing
Branding and marketing are two closely related but distinct concepts in the world of business. Branding is about creating a unique name and image for a product or service in the minds of consumers through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme.
Marketing, on the other hand, is the overall strategy a company uses to promote and sell its products or services, connect with customers, build relationships, and ultimately increase sales. It includes branding but also other tactics such as market research, product development, and sales.
For example, Coca-Cola and Pepsi are two of the best-known soft drink brands in the world. Both companies use marketing tactics to promote their products and increase sales, but the branding aspect of their marketing efforts sets them apart.
Coca-Cola’s branding focuses on the concepts of “happiness” and “refreshment,” while Pepsi’s branding focuses on the concepts of “youth” and “energy. “These branding campaigns have helped each product have a unique image in the minds of consumers.
Overall, branding is an important part of marketing. A strong brand makes a product or service more memorable and recognizable, making it easier to market. You’ll learn more about the main differences between branding and marketing in this article.
Did You Know?94% of marketers believe that personalized marketing positively affects branding.
2. Having No Style Guide
A style guide is a set of guidelines that outline your company’s visual identity. This includes elements such as your company’s logo, typography, color scheme, and tone of voice.
These elements are used consistently across all branding materials, such as websites, advertisements, and social media.
Without a style guide, your staff may create materials that are inconsistent with your company’s overall branding. This can lead to a disjointed and inconsistent brand image.
A well-defined style guide and consistent brand language, on the other hand, can create a sense of trust and reliability among customers. It also helps to give the brand a consistent and professional image.
Did You Know?According to a recent study, 77% of marketing leaders say branding is critical to growth.
3. Having No Tone Or Voice
Tone and voice are essential elements of brand personality and help convey the brand’s values, message and unique selling points.
Without a clear tone and voice, it can be difficult for consumers to understand what a brand stands for and what differentiates it from its competitors.
It can also be difficult for a brand to appeal to its target audience on an emotional level, which is critical to building strong and lasting relationships with consumers.
In marketing, how you say it is equally as important as what you say. Decide whether you want to be known as a bold, forward-thinking brand like Balenciaga or an innovative, creative brand like Apple.
Because without a clear tone and voice, your brand will have a hard time connecting with customers emotionally.
Did You Know?In just seven seconds, customers decide whether they like and trust your brand or not.
4. Not Investing In Quality Visuals
The visuals you use make up your brand identity and represent your company.
Poor-quality images or graphics can make you appear unprofessional, making it difficult to gain credibility in your field.
Hire an experienced designer and provide them with all the tools they need to create a high-quality design. If that’s too expensive for you, you can use millions of templates on Canva to create high-quality visuals.
In today’s digital age, where visual content is ubiquitous, low-quality images can make a brand look dated. This can cause consumer interest to wane, ultimately negatively impacting brand performance and profitability.
Did You Know?55% of brand first impressions are visual.
5. Lack Of Consistency
Consistency in branding refers to the use of consistent elements (colors, fonts, imagery, messaging, and tone) across all touchpoints, such as websites, social media, advertising, and packaging. This helps create a consistent and recognizable brand identity.
Lack of consistency can manifest itself in using different logos, colors, fonts, or even branding for different materials. If your website and social media look different, your customers might think you’re a fraud.
So create a brand guideline and stick to it every time you interact with your target audience. Be consistent if you want your customers to recognize you from a mile away.
Did You Know?You can increase your revenue by 23% if you create a consistent brand presentation.
How To Succeed At Branding In 5 Steps
In this part of our blog post, we’ll break down the process of branding into 5 simple steps. Whether you’re a small business owner or a marketer in a large corporation, these tips will help you develop a brand that resonates with your target audience and sets your business apart.
1. Identify Your Brand Purpose
This simply means understanding your company’s core mission and values and using that understanding as the foundation for all brand decisions, from communications to visual identity to the products and services you offer.
Here are a few questions to help you identify your business purpose;
- What key services do I offer?
- What does my customer persona look like?
- What solutions does my brand offer?
- Who is my target audience?
- How do I want people to feel when they interact with my brand?
Today, customers are looking for brands they can trust and that align with their values. By focusing on your business purpose, you can create a strong and authentic brand that stands out in the market and resonates with your target audience.
Did You Know?A loyal customer is worth 10 one-time customers. Brand loyalty brings in 10 times more than the profit you make on a single purchase.
2. Get To Know Your Target Audience
Knowing your target audience is critical to the success of your branding because it allows you to tailor your message, products and services to their specific needs and interests.
You can develop a brand identity and marketing strategy that appeals to your target audience, increasing the likelihood that they’ll identify with your brand and become loyal customers.
One way to get to know your target audience is to create a customer persona. A customer persona is a representation of your ideal customer. This allows you to tailor your marketing and branding efforts to your ideal customer.
When you know your target audience intimately, you can tailor your brand to better reach and appeal to them, which ultimately leads to the growth of your business.
Did You Know?77% of consumers buy from brands that share the same values as they do.
3. Tell Your Story
You can create the perfect brand by simply telling your story. This is an effective way to do successful branding because it helps create an emotional connection with your audience. People are more likely to engage with and remember a brand if they can make an emotional connection to it.
Your brand story doesn’t have to be ideal or perfect. It could be a simple story about how you had a challenge solving a problem and then decided to create a product that simplifies the problem and helps you find a solution.
By telling your story, you put a human face on your brand and make it more personable and approachable. You can also highlight your brand’s unique qualities and strengths, making it more attractive to potential customers.
Did You Know?It typically takes 5-7 brand interactions before a consumer remembers the brand.
4. Know Your Competitors
Knowing your competitors is an essential aspect of successful branding. It creates opportunities to differentiate your brand and create a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
For example, if your competitors focus primarily on low-cost offerings, you should position your brand as a premium or luxury offering and explain to your audience why quality is better than price.
By knowing the market and existing offerings, you can identify gaps and areas where you can stand out and stay relevant.
Did You Know?Two-thirds of consumers find it annoying when brands make fun of their competitors.
5. Create Brand Guidelines
Once you know exactly what your brand is, the next thing you need to do is create a brand guideline. A brand guideline provides a clear and consistent framework for how your brand should be represented in all marketing and communications materials.
They ensure that all elements of your brand, such as the logo, color palette, typography, and messaging, are used consistently across all platforms. They provide clear instructions on how your brand’s assets and messaging should be used to prevent misuse or infringement.
With a brand guide, you can easily convey your brand story and create a recognizable brand for your audience. A well-crafted brand guide can ensure that a brand is represented consistently and help build brand awareness and loyalty.
Did You Know?Consumers are 81% more likely to recall a brand’s color than remember its name.
Branding helps convey a company’s values and messages, making it an important tool for building relationships with customers.
Through consistent branding, companies can build a good reputation and leave a lasting impression on consumers.
Remember, the more you give your brand an identity, the more your customers will notice you.