What іѕ Branding?

Branding is a general marketing concept referring to the way a company communicates its message and identity to the consumer.  A company is only as good as it’s branding because the “brand” is what communicates who they are to the world.  Branding is the message as well as the package in which it is delivered.

Coming up with a brand should begin with empathy building.  This means truly understanding the unique needs that a product is meeting of a target audience.   Every good company, service or product appeals to the consumers’ desire to improve some aspect of their lives.  In order for a company to authentically understand the consumers’ needs, they first need to simply listen.

The process of branding should begin with a strategy called design thinking.  Often a product or service is created to solve a perceived problem or to fill a void.  The design thinking process begins with empathy building which is often skipped over for a more speedy (perceived cost-effective) approach because it is well known that “time is money” and research, inquiry and listening take time.  On the other hand, if a company does not spend the time to really understand what it is the consumer is really looking for, the brand will miss the mark and will probably not do as well as hoped, making the “speedy approach” less lucrative after all.

Once a focus for the company, service or product has been determined, a good brand needs to maintain a consistent identity.  Consistency in not only what they are selling but what that looks like to the public.  This includes everything from packaging, the website, social media promotions, etc. but most importantly, a company’s messaging to the consumer.

Once a brand message has been established, it needs to be communicated in a variety of ways to reach as many potential customers as possible while still maintaining a consistent image and message. Consistency builds trust and trust fosters loyalty.  This should be the ultimate goal of every company and it is likely the best way to continue to grow using “word of mouth” as a marketing strategy. Once this happens, funds can be focused in other areas of the company opening up new possibilities for growth.

Branding is important because it is an identity; it is what a company stands for.  Sometimes, as part of a branding strategy, a company will align itself with other organizations such as charities as a way to show the public that they care and offer the public a way to “give back” and feel good about buying their product. This strategy sends a good message, fulfills a need and sets the company apart from others.

Another way a company can appeal to the consumer is by telling a meaningful story through their branding which people can relate to.  Telling a story and being relatable is an important part of the branding marketing strategy which helps the consumer connect to the company on an emotional level.  This strategy is powerful if done thoughtfully and carefully. The story not only needs to be relatable but also unique, relevant and culturally sensitive in order to appeal to a wider market.

A company with good branding and a clear vision will also help employees connect to their work in a meaningful way.  Employees who believe in the company they work for will be motivated to work harder and be more inspired to help push the company forward so that it can continue to grow.

A company’s brand is its reputation.  If those leading a company believe in what it stands for and have created a clear vision for their branding, the rest will follow. The leaders at Keen Directive understand the importance of successful branding and are experts in helping companies find their identity and share it with the world.