Branding just might be the most crucial elements in marketing, but it is definitely the most conceptually misunderstood marketing tool…even by some professionals.
Keep in mind that no one can actually create your brand…except your audience. Your brand is what your audience thinks of you…and in an ideal world this is often guided or formulated by branding efforts.
The physical hallmarks of a successful brand reflect a company’s goals. Branding as a process includes the creation of identity through development of repeatable visual and verbal components. This could include logos and icons, coining of slogans and tag lines, creation of communications devices from stationery to signage, as well as the copyrighting/registration of all pertinent symbols and trademarks. But strategic marketing requires that the compilation of all branding elements be strategically codified into a single cohesive program or protocol which enables organizations to:
- Differentiate themselves from their competitors
- Promote loyalty…both target audiences and employees
- Create visibility and increase awareness
- Proliferate word-of-mouth referrals
- Encourage new opportunities
- Develop a conduit of communication
The process of branding is far more than being clever and artistic…it is most successful when it includes knowledge derived from research, clear definition, thoughtful outreach and appropriate creativity.
So the next time you review someone’s brand…ask yourself why did they do it this way? And then evaluate your own brand and think about what messages you are conveying. You may surprise yourself!