The meaning of brand is actually a set of characteristics that distinguish organizations or companies from each other, which usually consists of name, slogan, logo or symbol, design and other things. Every person needs a strong and distinctive brand in order to promote and introduce their business to others, because a brand represents your identity, your job and your distinction from your competitors. This article provides practical guidelines for creating a new brand or improving an existing brand, albeit with the help of a branding consultancy.
What is meant by branding or commercial brand?
A brand is more than a name, logo and slogan. Your brand is the only thing that comes to mind when existing and potential customers think of you. What do you want your brand to be known for? In fact, your brand includes the opinion and feeling of your customers about you and how they recognize and experience your business. A brand is composed of 2 elements:
- Tangible (such as locations, uniforms, campaigns)
- Intangibles (eg reputation, service, behavior).
In the definition of branding, we should say that branding is the idea or overall image of your company that is related to your product and makes it known to customers. As mentioned, a brand may include a name, design, logo, and any other feature that is unique to your company’s personality. Your brand, which represents your offered product, usually appears on the products and around them and differentiates it from other similar products in the market.
The principles of a strong branding
In a way, your brand is the external expression of your internal culture. For your brand to be authentic, your actions must match your words. A strong brand is unique and relevant to your business and allows you to:
- State the true value of your business.
- Bring more clarity and consistency to the brand.
- Unite employees around a common goal.
Commercial and personal brand
Whether you intend to build a brand or not, you have a personal brand. For many businesses, the face of the brand is the founder, owner or leader. It is important that there is a natural and logical connection between your business and your personal brand.
Your personal brand may be a big part of why customers choose to buy the products or services offered by your business, but branding can also add credibility to your brand, especially if you run a business that It becomes very important in that you are directly involved with external stakeholders.
Why is branding important?
A unique brand can have a huge impact on your bottom line by giving you a competitive edge over your competitors and helping you attract and retain customers at a much lower cost. In e-commerce, where new companies (and therefore new competitors) emerge every day, an established brand can be a valuable asset in attracting customers and generating profits.
Regardless of whether you put time and effort into creating an attractive brand or not at all, your business still has a brand. However, it may be completely different from how you are seen. By carefully branding yourself through stories, relationships, marketing messages and visual assets, you have the opportunity to shape your customers’ expectations and create a unique connection that goes beyond the buying and selling relationship.
Good branding is a strategic trick, while marketing is tactical. Once you’ve set higher goals and clearly defined your brand promise, you can begin to create a marketing plan that works toward achieving those goals.
What is the importance of branding in e-commerce?
Branding is a complex process that requires careful planning, a calculated approach and the use of branding advice. Ideally, you should strategize before you launch your online store to avoid the back-and-forth of aligning your store with customer expectations.
For an e-commerce store, a strong brand can also be a safety net that protects a business from price competition. So how do you go about building a brand for an online store? Here are the key steps in eCommerce branding for you:
Understand your customers. To communicate effectively, you need to identify the elements that influence your target customers and focus on leveraging them. What do they like? And What motivates and attracts them? What do they like about your brand?
Define your brand personality. Brand personality is the personality of your business in which you will deliver customer experiences. This is heavily influenced by the insights you gather about your target customers. What tone of voice is appropriate for this audience? And What kind of language will have the most impact? What images will attract their attention? You will be well-trained in all these matters in branding consultation sessions.
?Crystallize your brand promise. What is the final promise you make to your customers
How will your products/services make their lives better? How are you going to fulfill this promise? 66% of consumers think transparency is one of the most attractive features of a brand.
Perfect your visual assets. Online shoppers don’t have the opportunity to touch and feel the products they buy, so the visual experience is crucial. A brand’s visual assets are all the front-facing elements, such as website design , fonts and typography, color palettes, logo and advertising designs, as well as the packaging and unboxing experience you create.
It is a powerful branding tool that reaches its peak when all the different parts are aligned and working in harmony. Research shows that having a memorable signature color increases the chances of your brand being recognized by customers by 80%.
Improve the customer experience. Although you have little control over how your customers will ultimately feel about your brand, you should do your best to ensure that every interaction and touchpoint you have with your customers is aligned with your brand promise and It follows its instructions.
Show your appreciation. Something as simple as thanking your loyal customers can help strengthen your brand image. Show your appreciation by running loyalty programs or special promotions, offering occasional freebies or extending discounts. It’s a surefire way to build long-term relationships with customers and humanize your brand.
Conduct a brand audit
If you have an existing brand, you can do a brand health check. You can learn a lot about your brand and your customers by taking a step back and looking at the big picture. The audit assesses the following issues in your brand:
- Your performance from the customer’s perspective
- Your position relative to different competitors
It’s a way to see how the brand you’re projecting matches up with the brand you’re actually delivering. You can complete a brand audit within your own team or review your brand from the perspective of someone outside of your team with the help of a branding consultation.
What are the components of a brand strategy?
The main components of brand strategy are:
The first step in a successful branding is to understand the purpose of the organization. While most businesses prioritize financial performance in their analysis, the focus should be on the value the business wants to provide to customers. Asking questions like “How do our products help solve our customers’ problems?” It can help a business express its purpose and differentiate itself from competitors.
Customers tend to form a stronger connection with a brand with a greater purpose than making a profit. For example, Apple’s vision is to bring the best user experience to its customers and not just sell electronics and computer software. Such an approach is attractive to current and potential Apple customers because it demonstrates the company’s commitment to providing more value beyond the sales transaction.
Consistency in branding involves evaluating all business activities and deciding whether the activities are consistent with the image presented to the world. The business must present a consistent and familiar identity to its customers. For example, all photos and videos on the company’s social media pages should convey a consistent message, and none of the messages should be confusing to the audience. Consistency actually goes beyond the company logo and includes key aspects such as font style, colors, images, and language style. Consistency makes it easy for customers to recognize the brand.
One way to ensure consistency of message delivered to customers is to create a style or style guide. A style guide provides information on every aspect of a business, from the voice of the article to the use of the company’s logo online, color scheme, and how to position its products and services. Adherence to guidelines can help reinforce brand messages and goals for all company stakeholders.
Humans have an innate desire to create relationships. A business can touch the emotions of its target market by finding a way to connect with them on a deeper level. For example, Apple recognizes the need of its customers to be social and belong to a “group” and uses such a need in its branding strategy.
Apple uses emotion to build long-term relationships with customers, which explains why customers are willing to wait days and queue for hours to get their hands on the latest iPhone. In addition, the company also creates a community where its customers can share ideas, ask questions, and receive updates on the latest products it is working on.
Despite being an important part of the branding process, employees are one of the most isolated people in the business environment. Employees are the people who represent the company’s identity in day-to-day operations and should be well-versed in properly managing customer relationships. One of the ways to exploit the potential of employees for branding is to teach them brand identity. The company can organize training sessions and workshops where they teach their employees how to use the brand voice successfully on their social media pages.
Another way to encourage employee engagement in the branding process is to provide practical resources and tools that employees can use to create emotional content to distribute to current and potential customers.
Finally, in simpler terms: a product is what you sell, a brand is the perceived image of the product you sell, and branding is the strategy to create that image.
I hope this article has helped you to have a clearer understanding of what branding means..