Branding is the process of shaping consumers’ perception of a brand after they interact with its story, messaging, product design, and culture. It entails associations and feelings customers have about specific companies.

In this article, we’ll unveil the importance, goals, types, and examples of branding. Then, we’ll figure out how to create a branding strategy.

Why is branding important?

When using the internet, social networks, and messengers, consumers come across dozens of various brand messages every day. Powerful branding helps touch customers’ hearts and entice them to choose products that resonate with their problems, needs, and values. According to Zendesk, 87% of customers care about consistent branding.

Companies should be ready to provide target audiences with unforgettable experiences and bring positive emotions to be recognized and differentiated from hundreds of other businesses. To attract more customers, a brand should trigger emotions that later shape their perception. If a customer prompts good associations, a company can gain a competitive advantage, have benefits over its competitors, and ensure customer retention and acquisition at a lower cost.

Each brand strives to build a base of loyal customers. That’s why it employs different methods to make people appreciate and recognize this business and purchase from it again and again. Branding encourages entrepreneurs to do everything possible to establish a positive perception. It helps companies appeal to their customers through different platforms and build strong connections.

To stand out from the crowd of new startups that appear on digital platforms every day, businesses invest in developing a strong brand that draws customer attention. Besides, with good branding, a company improves its brand recognition. Customers will appreciate and remember a brand that provides an excellent experience and leaves a wonderful impression. Such a brand deserves the trust of buyers.

Now that you know about the importance of branding, let’s move to its goals.

Goals of branding

It’s essential to understand that you can’t create strong branding without defining your primary goals. As a brand owner, you can strive to:

It’s time to proceed to the main types of branding.

Five types of branding

You need to choose the type of branding based on your main purpose. The most critical aspect here is to create a long-lasting positive impression on your customers. We’ve prepared five types of branding for you to explore, so let’s get started.

Personal branding

Nowadays, when people have more trust in opinion leaders rather than in businesses, there’s a point in developing personal branding. You can market your occupation as a brand and build trusting relationships with your target audience. Consumers need authenticity, innovative ideas, and exceptional experience, and personal brands can provide them with all that. Consider creating a personal brand related to sports, healthy living, coaching, or education since they are in the greatest demand now.

Let’s take Ziva Meditation as an example. It was founded by Emily Fletcher, a leading expert in meditation. This famous woman managed to develop her brand and help many people with her books. Ziva Meditation allows people all around the world to enroll in courses online and improve the quality of their lives by reducing anxiety, obtaining confidence, improving memory, etc.

Take a look at some of her courses.

Ziva Meditation

Product branding

In a market crowded with similar products, companies should be ready to develop distinctive and unique visuals, packaging, logo, design, appearance, and form to make people recognize their brands. That’s why your brand needs a product with a strong identity to be successful. Use a distinctive color scheme, play with shapes, design, etc. You should also have a great logo, packaging, and messages to establish an emotional connection and make people recognize your product.

The brightest example of product branding is the famous Coca-Cola Company. The main lesson from the brand you can take is to be consistent. You can see consistency in its logo, design, ad spots, commercials, and even bottles of carbonated drinks. In its campaigns, the brand communicates the same message and positive vibes across all available marketing channels.

Coca Cola

Source: Aeron Branding; Coca-Cola’s distinctive features

Retail branding

To make the store look unique and recognizable, entrepreneurs ensure deliberate design choices of their layouts, light fixtures, decor, music, and even types of flooring. It also helps create a living brand experience for each customer who decides to visit a retail store. Hence, if you want to increase your customer retention, provide an excellent and exciting experience for those who visit your physical stores.

For example, Sephora allows its customers to participate in its skincare and brow shaping classes in-store. The retailer of beauty products also started makeup classes for non-binary and transgender customers and enabled them to master their makeup skills.

Sephora

Source: Cosmopolitan; Sephora Beauty Classes

Corporate branding

This type of branding refers to design choices and ways to convey a company’s key values. It entails a mission, goal, price point, ideal customer, etc. Corporate branding isn’t only about a website and ads. It also includes the way your company communicates with charities, reacts to certain events, builds company culture, and organizes recruiting process.

Service branding

Before selling your services, you need to show your knowledge and expertise in the industry. People should have trust in your company to choose it over competitors. Since service branding is based on your values, be ready to provide them to your visitors. Both online and offline businesses should think of engaging ways to interest customers and bring them unforgettable experiences and value. You can conduct special classes and webinars or create events that demonstrate your service at its best.

Let’s take Airbnb, for example. In 2017, some people accused the company that some of its hosts discriminated against their guests based on gender and race. Airbnb responded with a “We Accept” campaign and nondiscrimination policy on its site. The brand is recognizable not only for its logo, pink and white colors, and messages but also for addressing current problems and improving customer experiences. The company strives to connect people around the globe and provide unforgettable traveling memories.

Now that you know the types of branding, it’s time to walk you through several steps to create a branding strategy for your business.

How to create a branding strategy

  1. Identify and analyze your target audience
  2. Establish brand positioning
  3. Create a brand identity
  4. Plan your content strategy
  5. Develop a website
  6. Tailor your messaging
  7. Gauge and adjust

To develop a branding strategy, you need to be aware of the necessary steps. Follow these steps to do everything right.

  1. Identify and analyze your target audience. If you want to achieve business growth and good profits, then your ideal customer should be clearly defined. Choose a specific segment of your clients that is interested in your product. Once you identify your main consumers, analyze them to understand their needs and priorities and create a message that resonates with their wants.
  2. Establish brand positioning. It refers to your brand’s image in the minds of consumers and the way they distinguish your company from others. Write a statement (three to five sentences) that explains the essence of your business. It should outline things your company does, your target audience, and special features that make you different from other brands in your industry.
  3. Create a brand identity. If you want to reach more customers, you need a strong brand identity. Develop your brand elements like logo, name, and tagline so that customers can build associations with your company and remember it. Remember, your company’s name shapes the first impression on customers and lets them understand your offer. First of all, use brainstorming to obtain as many great ideas from your team as possible. Secondly, choose clear and easy-to-remember words. Thirdly, create a unique, short, and clever name. To design a logo, you should understand the purpose of your business, know your brand identity, and select colors and style that correlates with your brand name and product. Don’t forget to create a tagline: keep it short and simple, tell a story, and mention your offer.
  4. Plan your content strategy. You need valuable educational materials to attract, nurture, and qualify your leads. That’s why you should be ready to provide your future customers with informative and unique content. It helps improve your reputation, gain visibility, and attain brand awareness.
  5. Develop a website. Nowadays, an online presence is a must since it has a huge impact on a brand’s success. However, some entrepreneurs don’t realize the significant role a website plays. You should have a good site at least so that customers can explore your products or service before purchasing. Creating a high-quality website and managing it properly allows you to improve credibility. You can stand out among competitors by developing a good-looking website that conveys quality information to visitors. Besides, you can also showcase your brand, generate leads, and boost organic traffic.
  6. Tailor your messaging. To communicate your message effectively, do it with the help of your brand personality and a unique tone of voice. You should also understand what message to deliver to your target audience. Besides, you need to know the result you want to achieve after a customer receives your message. Hence, try to do your best to build strong branding.
  7. Gauge and adjust. The last brand development step includes tracking your progress. At this point, you can get to know whether a strategy goes according to the plan. Monitor the website traffic and your key metrics, including the number of leads, opportunities for partnership, new customers, and more. They will help you assess the reputation and perception of your brand among customers. As a result, you’ll be able to improve your company and the emotions it evokes in consumers’ minds.

Now let’s walk you through some examples to get inspired.

Examples of powerful branding

A company with a strong branding strategy differs from its competitors and succeeds in connecting with its target audience. Let’s review several examples of powerful branding.

Drift

This sales technology company’s teams pay special attention to in-person interaction since they believe that it is critical for an effective selling process. Besides, they have published a book about the company’s culture and managing style. Its key message is that this brand prioritizes people over efficiency.

Uber

The company knows customers’ needs and can take them to any place they want. Uber’s online app simplifies the problem of finding a car and connects users to their driver in any part of the world. Perhaps every person who uses ride-hailing platforms can recognize Uber from its logo, design, style, excellent user experience, and other essential elements. Global Uber helps people not to get lost or confused if they don’t know how to get to a certain destination.

Uber

Congrats, now you know that to achieve success in your industry and become a leader, you need to shape a positive perception of your brand. Leverage our step-by-step guide to create a great branding strategy and impress your audience.

Resources:

  1. This article defines the term and provides readers with the reasons to create a branding strategy.
  2. In this article, you’ll find the main types of branding.
  3. This article unveils several companies with strong branding.
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