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THE BASICS OF BRANDING
People often ask us what branding is and why it matters. Branding is that misused and misconstrued term that we all talk about, but few really understand. Branding is all about finding that unique promise of value that only you can make and communicating it clearly, concisely and constantly across all your touch points. By brand promise I am referring to the commitment that people can consistently expect from your company.
Some people also confuse the brand identity with the brand. Branding has a lot to do with your brand identity that is the tangible elements or visible components of your brand like your naming, logo, color, typography, tagline, that identifies and distinguish the brand and is created by the business to reflect the value the company is trying to bring to the market and to appeal to its customers but there is so much more to branding.
The American Marketing Association defines a brand as “A name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.
So, what do people think of when they come across your brand? That is your brand. Your brand is what people perceive you as. It doesn’t matter if you say you are the fastest courier company for example, if the experience of your customers is different, then you won’t be recognised as such. When you make a promise or a claim then you must deliver on it each time, that is how you slowly start to build a brand that people can trust.
When you have developed a well-crafted brand strategy you are helping to make it easy for your customers to choose you. What are your values and attributes as a business? How do you communicate that to everyone who encounters your brand? Customers buy based on emotion, so you must appeal to that emotional side of the customer. Think about cars for example, the average car will take you to your destination, but people will pay triple that to own a Mercedes Benz for example, because for them it’s not just about going from point A to point B it’s about the prestige that comes with owning the brand.
Whether you are selling a physical product, or you have a service to offer, there is a value there otherwise why do you exist and why should your clients choose you over your competitor? You should come up with your positioning statement, then Integrate your brand across all the customer touch points.
When you build a powerful brand it soon becomes indispensable in peoples’ lives. Who today can live without Google, Amazon, Samsung, Apple and so many of these iconic brands that have woven themselves into the fabric of our lives?
So, branding is vital to the success of any business, but it’s so often neglected when people are thinking of starting a new business. Business owners need to take a pro-active approach to developing their brand, branding is something you make happen, it does not happen by chance.
Branding should be the foundation of your business and the entire marketing effort. It should differentiate you from the competition. One key way to developing a strong brand is to keep your promise. Remain consistent so that people know what to expect from you. According to Dave Buck, when you create a compelling brand you attract people who want the promise of your brand, which only you can deliver.
Also, you can brand people, products, services, places, government & Non-Governmental Organisations etc. Some examples include Person – Bill Gates; Products – Coca Cola; Services – Google; Companies – Amazon; Non-Profit –Red Cross; Places – Paris. With each of these examples the mere mention of the name conjures up so attributes that we associate with this brand.
Paris for example is seen as the city of romance that most people would be thrilled to visit, in contrast there are countries which no one would go to even if they had a free ticket. So, branding actually the single most important asset you can have. It leads to long term growth and profitability of you and your enterprise.
At Platform, we are all about supporting Nigerian Businesses. It is usually difficult to evaluate the impact of your own brand this is where we come in. Our branding strategies are designed to differentiate you in the marketplace and increase your bottom line, we help develop or refine your branding strategy to ensure your brands support it.