A brand is an idea or image of a specific product or service that consumers can connect to, by identifying with the name, logo, slogan, or design of the company that owns the idea or image.
Branding is when the idea or image is so expertly marketed that it is recognized and identified with your company, by the majority of people, even when there are many other companies offering the same service or product.
Branding is not just about a logo, or a name, or even a position in the market. We like to think of branding as your story and your reputation. Companies we work with not only want to build brand recognition, but also want to build good reputations and a set of standards to which the company strives to maintain or surpass.
Branding is an important part of Internet commerce, as branding allows companies to build their reputations, as well as expand beyond their original product and service to add to the revenue generated by the original brand.
Branding and the Internet
When working on reviving a branding, or building a brand, companies that are using web pages and search engine optimization have a few details to work out before being able to build a successful brand. Coordinating domain names and brand names is an important part of finding and keeping visitors and clients, while branding a new company. Coordination of a domain name and brand names lends identification to the idea or image of a specific product or service, which, in turn, allows visitors to easily discover the new brand.
Branding is not just about getting your target market to choose you over the competition, but, rather, it is about getting your prospects to see you as the only one that provides a solution to their problem.
To succeed in branding, you must understand the needs and wants of your customers and prospects. You can do this by integrating your brand strategies through your company at every point of public contact.
Your brand resides within the hearts and minds of customers, clients, and prospects. It is the sum total of their experiences and perceptions, some of which you can influence, and some of which you cannot.
Your brand is the source of a promise to your consumer. It is a foundational piece in your marketing communication and one in which you do not want to be without.
What Makes Up Branding
Many people believe that a brand only consists of a few elements; some colors, some fonts, a logo, a slogan and possibly some music added in as well. In reality, it is much more complicated than that.
Branding is the foundation of marketing and is inseparable from the business strategy. It is therefore, more than putting a label on a fancy product. Nowadays, a corporation, law firm, country, university, museum, hospital, celebrity, and even you in your career, can be considered a brand.
As such, a brand is a combination of attributes, communicated through a name or symbol, designed to influence a thought-process in the mind of an audience and create value.
As branding is deeply anchored in psycho-sociology, it takes into account both tangible and intangible attributes – functional and emotional benefits. Therefore, those attributes compose the beliefs that the brand’s audience recalls when they think about the brand in its context.
The value of a brand resides, for the audience, in the promise that the product or service will deliver. Clearly, a brand can recall memories of a bad experience. The value for the audience would be to avoid purchasing that brand.
From the perspective of the brand’s owner, the value of the brand often lies in the security of increasing future earnings, but may also be assessed in terms of votes for a politician, the career of an executive, the foreign direct investments (FDI) for a country, and so on.
In conclusion, branding is the blend of art and science that manages associations between a brand and memories in the mind of the brand’s audience. It involves focusing resources on selected tangible and intangible attributes to differentiate the brand in an attractive, meaningful and compelling way for the targeted audience.