What is Branding?
Definition: As per Kotler & Keller’ 2015, the concept of Branding can be defined as “Branding is endowing the products and services with the power of the brand.”
Branding is the process of giving meaning and definition to the particular company, organization and its offerings of products and services by shaping the brand in the minds and psychology of the customers in the market.
It is a well defined and curated strategy to help the customers in the market quickly identify the brand, its offerings, and overall experience giving them a reason to choose the offerings of the company and not of the competitors. It helps to give a competitive edge and advantage to the company.
The main objective of Branding is to attract and retain loyal customers and other stakeholders of the firm by delivering product and service offerings that are aligned well with the promises made by the brand.
Who does Branding effect?
It affects the customers in the market most as a brand facilitates with the decision making shortcut when they are quite indecisive about the similar type of product offered by the various companies in the market.
Apart from affecting the customers by making them distinguish the similar types of products in the market on the basis of brand value and brand strength, it also adds to the reputation of the firm. It affects the stakeholders of the firm such as vendors, distributors, employees, shareholders, and investors amongst others.
For instance, if the values and objectives of the brand will not match with the investor, he will not get associated or collaborate with the brand.
Importance of Branding
The concept and theory of Branding are extremely important for the business and its overall operations for his success and relevance in the market. It gives a competitive edge and advantage to the company in the market and changes the perception of people towards the brand.
It helps the brand and company as a whole to get recognition in the market amidst the tough competition from the new as well as existing players in the industry.
With the increased brand value and strength, the brand becomes known to the customers and they prefer the product and service offerings of the brand rather than that of the competitors. The logo is one of the most crucial elements of the brand and it becomes the face of the brand.
2. Elevates the value of the business
Branding, when done correctly, generates the future of the business. A strongly established brand elevates the value of the business in the market by giving the leverage of the firm in the market and industry as a whole.
It becomes a hotspot of investment opportunities as it has a well-established place in the market.
3. Attracts new customers
A good and well-established brand will always attract the referral business as branding creates a positive impression about the company in the minds of the customers and because of the same, they are likely to purchase the product and service offerings of the brand.
There is an increased level of trust and familiarity and owing to the same there is assumed dependability as well. Loyal customers are the best brand ambassadors of the firm and word of mouth publicity is the marketing tool.
4. Employee pride and satisfaction
Branding creates a high level of pride and satisfaction in the minds of the employees as any employee would love to get associated and work with the company that has a good brand value and strength in the market.
They take pride in sharing their company name and its offerings with their family and friends. And this also helps in attracting new talent from the industry elevating the useful and optimal resources of the firm.
A well-defined branding strategy along with the professional appearance of the company helps to build a high level of trust in the minds of existing and potential customers in the market.
It is the psychology of the people to get associated and do business with the brand that is highly professional and is polished.
6. Supports advertising
Advertising is one of the crucial components of branding and advertising plans and strategies directly have an effect on the brand and its portrayal in the market.
When the strategies of advertising and branding are well defined and cohesive in nature with one another, they work as a support system and help the firm to accomplish its branding and marketing objectives in an efficient and effective manner.
Anatomy of Branding
Branding one of the most imperative facets of any type of business, be it retail or B2B or small scale or large scale in nature
A good and effective Branding strategy gives your business a major competitive edge in the market that is always high on competition from new as well as existing players.
Branding is like a promise to your customers as it tells them what to expect from your product and service offerings plus how are you different from that of your competitors in the market.
In a true sense, your brand is a by-product of who you are, what your customers perceive you to be, and who you want to be at the end of the day.
The main foundation of your brand is your logo. All of your promotional materials, packaging designs, social media banners, hoardings, website, and all the other communication and marketing literature should have your logo.
Equity and Branding Strategy
Your Branding strategy involves the process of how, when, where, what, and to whom you plan to communicate and deliver your corporate communication and brand messages. The places where you advertise are a part of your branding strategy. The distribution channels are also a part of your branding strategy and your visual and verbal communication messages form a part of your branding strategy too.
Consistent branding messages result in the brand equity that is quite a string and adds value to your products and service offerings. It helps you charge a premium as compared to identical and unbranded products available in the market. For instance, Coke as compared to the regular soda in the market. Coco-Cola has strong and powerful brand equity in the market and hence, it can charge more from the customers that are also willing to pay a higher price.
The added value of the brand equity often comes owing to the perceived quality of the products and service offerings and the factor of emotional attachment. For instance, Nike follows the brand fundament of associating its products with sports celebrities and athletes with an intention and hope that its customers will transfer their emotional attachment to the product from the athlete.
Steps of Branding
Make an aesthetically designed logo and place it in all of your communication messages and promotional material.
Write down your brand messages such as vision statement, mission statement, brand value, and attributes. Your employees and other stakeholders should be well aware of your brand messages.
Integrate your brand in each of your business operations such as business cards, email signatures, the uniform of sales representatives, and how to answer the phone call amongst others.
Create a voice of your company depending on the nature of your offerings and the value and ethics of your brand. It can be formal, funny, entertaining, authoritative, informative or engaging.
Develop a tagline that goes very well and complements your logo. It is like your company slogan.
Have a corporate identity having your brand color scheme, logo size, logo placement, look and feel of the visuals, and font type amongst others.
Stay true to your brand promise and that is the only way to attract and retain customers in an ever-competitive market.
Be consistent in your brand communication and messages so that there is a recall factor amongst your target audience.
Examples of Good Branding
Technology giant Apple follows one of the best Branding strategies by having the consistency of logo on all its devices, communication, and packaging material. It follows its corporate identity in the most dedicated fashion by using a similar brand color, fonts, and other such design specifications.
No wonder the brand has a top-of-the-mind recall factor and gets recognized even from the farthest sight.
Pinky is an MBA in Marketing from the University of Mumbai. She loves helping people out in learning Marketing and sharing latest ideas and tactics for growing businesses.