The Importance of Branding Explained
17 November 2022
What is a brand, what is branding and what is a brand identity? And where does your logo fit into all this? And is it even important?
If you’re a new business owner, or even old hat, these are some things you’ll want to keep in mind as you strive for success.
Just a forewarning, I am spelling these out off the top of my head based on years of experience in the industry. There are thousands of website articles out there explaining these things in more professional terms. Dictionaries tend to too. What I want to do is give you a fresh take on it, in a way that I believe will help anyone trying to improve their business and understand the bigger picture of branding.
What is a brand?
A brand is a business that has a face and is generally trying to attract the attention of whomever their clientele may be, as well as ward off competitors. I would say that companies that aim for retail space or the public market are more inclined to be called brands. A brand of shoes, a brand of toothpaste, a brand of music streaming platform, an airline, a coffee maker, etc. Anything more bureaucratic or governmental is probably not going to be called a brand. What’s your favourite brand of chartered accountants or municipal water supply doesn’t really sound right. But, they do need branding…
What is branding?
To understand what branding is, we should actually first ask what a brand identity is, so…
What is a brand identity?
A brand identity is the ‘look’ and ‘feel’ of a brand, both on the chin and between the lines. Meaning, it's how their appearance differentiates them from other brands on the packaging, advertising, website, the napkin, their transport, their uniforms, and all visual aspects. But then it goes deeper and strikes emotional chords, such as the voice and messaging, the tone of imagery, the jingle, the cheerfulness or downright lack of, and all the feels. A brand identity helps people understand that one company is in fact different from another and those little elements being pushed out, both visually and emotionally, are what steer people in certain directions and either make them latch onto one brand or swiftly move onto the next one. So people identify with a brand’s identity and thus purchases are made.
So, what is branding?
Branding is putting the brand identity into place through hard, grueling work done by graphic designers, web designers, industrial designers, interior designers, ok designers of all sorts, brand strategists, marketing experts, social media gurus, advertisers, copywriters, photographers, musicians, statisticians and the odd psychologist (sometimes simply known as just a graphic designer). In other words, getting that look and feel juuuuust right so that it separates their brand from other brands, and attracts the right followers. In a sense, branding is creating the personality and the vibe of the brand. The inner workings that really connect with people and will be remembered.
This sounds like a lot though. This sounds like I’m describing the Coca-Cola's and Heineken's of the world. This sounds like big bucks with a huge effort. Well, it is and that’s what big companies have to deal with and that’s why they become big and stay big. It’s par for the course. There is no escaping it if the plan is to succeed. Good branding means good business (or much better business, at least).
In your case however, you’ll have to do what’s relative to your budget and your situation. But make no mistake, you need a brand identity and you need to be doing branding. Then you can be a memorable brand! You’ll look the part thus gaining attention and trust at the get go, surpass many of your competitors who haven’t read this blog post, and create a joyful experience for people who will tell their friends about you. The investment will pay off. Good branding means good business (or much better business, at least). And yes, that sentence is repeated.
Hey, what about a logo? Where does that fit in?
Your logo is part of your brand identity, and I do mean a ‘part’. Some mistakenly think it is the brand identity, but as mentioned above, the brand identity is more complex than that. The logo is a separate entity really. And plays a crucial role, as you might expect. It is the beginning and end of all branding, yet lingers in the background, stoic and attentive. Not too flashy and not too obscure. It’s the pin holding the whole damn pinboard up. To find out what makes a good or bad logo feel free to read my other articles, but this article is about where it fits into branding. And the answer is really everywhere and nowhere. If you’re Coca-Cola it is splashed on everything until one day it’s not even necessary because the brand has become so recognisable. If you’re Smith & Sons Broom Handle OEM Manufacturers then it sits politely on the side of the packaging boxes, the bottom of an email and on a business card. In both examples, it is 100% necessary, should be well designed (clear, memorable, recognisable, applicable), and is the basis for wherever your brand identity may go, whether that’s to the moon and back or merely over yonder hill.
A good brand identity starts with a good logo and brand identity kit. Contact us now to get started!