What is Branding?

March 28, 2021
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In three decades working with global organisations, we’ve discussed branding numerous times. Yet, when it comes to answering the above, it’s more of a challenge than we anticipated! So, using another passion of ours, please bear with me as illustrate with an analogy:

Anyone can cook.  Or rather, anyone can attempt to cook. However, to make a dish that’s presentable, palatable and preferably laudable – takes both skill and resources. 

Literally anyone can gather ingredients for a dish. But (and here’s the trick), having ingredients alone doesn’t make a memorable dining experience. You need a well thought out, carefully developed recipe (and ideally a professional chef) to successfully showcase your ingredients.

The ingredients are your brand elements – but the recipe is your branding. And, naturally, Two Shoes Creative is your all-important professional chef!

Ok, analogy over – let’s step out of the kitchen…

It’s essential to separate branding from brand.

Your brand is the set of perceptions people have about your business. The brand isn’t simply a name, a logo, a visual identity or a piece of advertising. All may represent a brand in one way, but they are not ‘the brand’.

We can share plenty more on brand (including analogies!) but the purpose of today’s blog entry is… <drum roll> branding

Branding is the marketing practice of actively shaping your brand.

That’s the standard definition, but there is much more to it.  Branding is what your business needs to break through the marketplace clutter and grab your target customer’s attention. It converts first-time buyers into lifelong customers and turns an indifferent passer-by into a brand devotee. It makes you stand out, adds oxygen to your business and drives it to the next level. Branding is the set of actions you take to cultivate your brand and mould people’s collective beliefs about your product or service.  Examples include designing a logo, developing a style guide, constructing guidelines or introducing a tone of voice.

In summary: if you want your business to succeed, branding is critical.

So – how should your business effectively implement it?

Branding enables your business to:

1

Build brand recognition: 

Impactful branding (across your logo, website, and other brand assets) presents a distinct style and will get you recognized in a crowded market.

2

Stand out from your competition:

Highlighting how you’re different, unique, and why your customers should work with you.

3

Generate New Customers:

Effective branding delivers a positive impression of your company to prospects; they’re more likely to do business with you because of that familiarity and the assumed dependability of using a name they can trust which, in turn, increases your business value.

4

Create a consistent brand experience: 

It’s vital to present your brand consistently across all touch points: on the product itself, but also via your website, on social media or at events. Nothing portrays a professional image better than high quality design delivered consistently. It enables you to control how people perceive and experience your brand.

5

Sow the seeds of loyalty with your target audience:

That intangible, emotional feeling that evolves a prospect into a customer and subsequently into a loyal brand follower.

To deliver these actions, you need to create the tools, or branding elements, to establish how your business is perceived by customers.

Your branding foundations (or pillars):

1

Logo:

Your logo is the ‘face’ of your company. Getting your logo designed properly is regarded as the single most important branding element for your business. It’s vital to nail this and it’s worthy of a blog of its own (watch this space…)

2

Brand guidelines:

Brand guidelines (often known as your ‘brand bible’) – a document reflecting your business goals, differentiating you from competitors, providing a template for decision-making and marketing activity, and including all your brand’s stylistic elements.

3

Website:

Having this designed professionally is another key branding step. It’s your brand’s digital fingerprint and needs to be visually appealing, easy to use, and critically reflects who you are as a brand. As with your logo, your brand guidelines will frame your web design elements (tone of voice, layout and fonts).

4

Other assets:

Your business may require further bespoke creative. Common elements include product packaging and promotional merchandise – but sometimes there are additional assets like commercial event stands, networking/advertising collateral or digital components.

In closing, all blogs benefit from quotes, and we’ve a cracking pair to share (fear not, neither are- catering-related):

On brand:

“Your brand is the single most important investment you can make in your business”

Steve Forbes: Editor-in Chief, Forbes Magazine

On branding:

“Branding is the process of connecting good strategy with good creativity”

Marty Neumeier: Author, “The Designful Company”

Brand Marketing is exactly what Two Shoes Creative can deliver for you: marketing to bring your customers to you, and branding to help you retain them.

Helping with YOUR brand

Discover how Two Shoes Creative can help you. Simply follow this link.

Two Shoes Creative

Two Shoes Creative are a brand design and marketing agency. They are all about helping ethical and sustainable businesses evolve and expand.
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