A Dummies Guide to Branding – Buzzwords
Whether you’re a new business yet to decide on a logo or a global organisation looking for brand consistency, the Blumilk Dummies Guide to Branding can help.
A common misconception of branding is that people often think that all it concerns is a business’s logo and colour scheme, but branding is so much more. Yes, it does involve your logo and colour scheme, but branding focuses hugely on who you are, what you stand for, and what your service user or consumer experiences during their interaction with your brand, too.
Strong brands tend to delve deeper than their label and consider every stage where engagement occurs, from billboard advertising to social media posts, company vehicle livery to product packaging.
Organisations that take the time to develop their brand understand that their brand should live everywhere.
This handy Dummies Guide to Branding will show you how you can create and manage a strong brand that your staff will be proud of and clients remember.
What even is a brand?
Your brand is arguably one of your organisation’s most important assets and effectively sets you apart from your competitors. Your difference and how you communicate that – that’s your brand.
We’ve mentioned how your brand goes beyond your label, and that’s because to have a strong brand, you will give consideration beyond your name, tagline, logo, or symbol and focus too on the overall user experience your client encounters when interacting with your business.
And branding, what’s branding?
To develop a strong brand identity, your business will have to embark on a journey of self-discovery. Yes, really. Lick your lips because this is where it gets tasty. This is the stage where you uncover opinions and perceptions relating to your brand, some you may have never even considered before.
To further understand these opinions and perceptions, it’s essential to get in touch with your client base and business’s beating heart.
You’ll need to be prepared to carry out some ‘pre-branding exercises,’ including research and analysis.
These exercises will help you to develop and apply a distinctive series of features and benefits to your business to enable your target audience to begin a process of brand recognition (see branding buzzwords below).
As a branding agency, we’d be forgiven for saying that it’s one of the most important processes that your business will go through, but don’t just take our word for it.
In a recent global Nielsen survey, branding was the deciding factor for consumers when making a purchase decision. Almost 60% of shoppers said they prefer to buy from brands they’re familiar with, and 21% said they purchased a product because they liked the look and feel of the brand.
Want your business to be memorable? It’s very easy to get your branding wrong and quite hard to get it right, so if you want your business to be remembered for all of the right reasons, you must get your ‘pre-branding exercises’ right.
By taking the time to understand your target audience and how they wish to interact with your brand, you’ll find that your branding will support your marketing efforts with added consumer recognition giving a considerable amount of impact.
Correct branding also brings an incredible amount of pride to your employees, often seen as one of the lesser important reasons behind a lengthy branding campaign.
That being said, a strong brand gives your employees confidence, which will shine through to your client base and the advantage of creating a happy, reputable, and highly thought of workplace.
STRONG BRANDING + CONFIDENT WORKFORCE = BUSINESS SUCCESS
We’re not going to fill you with a bunch of jargon but give you the top branding buzzwords you need to know as a business. They’ll also help you to understand further the value of getting your branding right.
How familiar the general public and your target audience are with your brand is Brand Awareness. If your brand awareness is high, you’re doing a great job. The greater your brand awareness, the greater the level of confidence your target audience will have when considering a purchase from you rather than if your brand is new to them.
Once your primary brand is well-established and is revisited and maintained often, you may want to consider brand extensions. Brand extensions are where brands branch out into additional markets with innovative products and services.
Brand Extensions will also help you increase your brand awareness and are an excellent way for businesses looking for additional revenue streams.
Your brand identity can be defined as the personality of your brand. How do you want to be perceived in the outside world? Clear, concise, and approachable like Affinity Water, ready for an adventure in keeping with The Alnwick Garden, or user-defined and helpful like Western Power Distribution?
Why considering your brand’s identity, it’s best to think about how your users or consumers will feel about you when they see your logo or after they have interacted with your brand.
OK, you’ve worked with a creative agency to produce a dynamic and powerful brand. It looks how you want it to look, and it makes your target audience feel the way you want them to feel, but what next?
The marketing world is fickle, much like consumers, and thanks to The Internet of Things, the world is changing every nanosecond.
You mustn’t allow all of your hard branding work to go to waste by regularly maintaining your brand with this in mind. Whether we’re talking tangible elements such as your colour pallet and packaging or the intangible, including your brand awareness and identity.
The strongest brands require consistent care and attention.
Close your eyes and think of golden text on a rich purple background. Next, think about a huge M on a red background. If you immediately thought of Cadburys and McDonalds, that’s brand recognition.
It isn’t just font or colours that we recognise in brands; it can be a jingle (Go Compare), a cute Meerkat called Serg (Compare The Market), or even how the brand is spoken: Money Supermaaaaaarket, anyone?
I’m sure you’ll be able to think of hundreds more, but all of the above highlight a significant point where brand recognition is concerned. In the densely populated and super-competitive money market, it’s brand recognition is more important than ever. It’s evident that the companies, even when their industry is quite formal by nature, have taken the human, perhaps sometimes comedic route with their brands.
Fancy testing your knowledge on brand recognition? Take the Logo Quiz by Business Insider.
You believe in your brand, but does your target audience? It’s a tricky one because brand loyalty is built on trust, and without it, you’re not going to succeed. You need to ask yourself whether you can and consistently deliver on all of your brand’s promises?
If the answer is no, you need to up your delivery or simply don’t make false promises.
The value of a business is far more than just bricks and mortar. We’re talking consumer perception. In short, how strong is your brand when you consider all of the buzzwords above?
A brand that can demonstrate that they have a powerful identity and high levels of awareness in their chosen marketplace can be considered invaluable to shareholders as well as investors and future buyers.
It’s all about your target audience. Dispose of the naivety that you know exactly what people want in a brand; the only way that brands will realise real success is by getting into your target audience and your organisation’s heart and soul. Ask uncomfortable questions, prepare yourself for uncomfortable answers, and use this knowledge to position yourself in your chosen marketplace and ahead of your competitors.