What Is Branding?
In this brief article, I want to get you thinking differently about your branding for your business.
Businesses who know the importance and value of a strong brand will stand out in the marketplace. However, knowing the value of branding, and knowing how to do it are two different things.
Before you can start to work on the branding for your business, you need to understand what branding is, and how it works.
A Brief History of Branding
The concept of branding goes back to before the industrial revolution, back to when different families would label their farm produce as ‘Jones Family Produce’ or ‘Smith & Sons Farms’.
These early types of labels helped the local consumers to differentiate each farm's produce, so they could choose their favorite. Labeling their produce helped the farmers with the best quality produce to increase their sales, and grow their ‘brand’.
In fact, it wasn’t until 1922 that the term ‘brand name’ became well known.
In today's world, branding is everywhere. You can’t walk down the street without being exposed to brands at every turn.
Branding has taken on an incredible amount of depth, and it can feel overwhelming to even think about it. When I am working with a business on creating a new product line or a rebrand, I always go back to the basics to get them thinking.
Important Questions to Start Defining Your Brand
When you want to make your product stand out, you need to ask yourself some important questions:
Why does my brand exist?
Who am I and what do I stand for or stand against with my product or service?
Beyond ‘quality’ or ‘good service’ what benefits will my customers gain from me or my product?
What is the closest comparison product or service I can think of to my brand?
What makes me different or unique from similar products or services?
Grab a cup of coffee and your laptop. Take your time to answering these questions with passion! Answering these questions is the first step to unlocking your core values and sets the foundation of a good place to start building your brand.
How to create your Brand Identity Platform
Often it is easy to think once you have a name for your product or service that the hard work is done. When in fact, this is just the start.
Once you know the story behind your brand and the reasons you started, you have the basic building blocks. From here you’ll need to build a solid brand identity platform.
What is a Brand Identity platform, you might ask?
Think of it like the foundations of a house. It is everything your brand is built upon.
A Brand Identity Platform consists of:
Fonts and Typefaces
All of these need to be consistent and considered. Anything you choose to be a part of your Brand Identity Platform must align with your Brand Identity. It is important that you don’t try to make your identity fit random ideas, colors or images. These must be decided on in advance.
Once you have the Brand Identity Platform only then can you begin to share it with the world.
Sharing your brand is known as Brand Expression. It is done through websites, business cards, letterheads, product packaging, uniforms, advertisements (print, radio, video, digital) and many other ways.
If it is done right, Branding will make your business become unique and memorable. Branding will create an emotional bond between your product or service and your customer. It will act as a source of trust and value beyond the actual product or service.
Take the time to think through your brand. Spend time setting up a clear brand identity, branding platform, and consistent brand expression.
If you do this well, your brand will help you and your business make your mark on the world.