Why Branding Is Important

By definition, branding is about creating an image or name for a product or service that helps people to identify it in the marketplace: the unique “stamp” on your company that represents your mission aims and values in a personalised, engaging way. Taken from the practice of branding cattle and the branded symbols used by craftsmen, branding as we know it today emerged out of the twentieth century as businesses sought to capture the attention of a more affluent Western market. So why is branding important – and what steps can you take to ensure your business gets seen and heard by all the right people?

What Is Branding?

At first glance, branding appears to be all about visuals: the logo, colours and design used. In actuality, it’s far more complex: developing a brand involves the creation of a number of key assets and actions that help shape the way stakeholders perceive a product or service, such as:

  • The visual identity of the brand (e.g. logos, graphic design)
  • Product and packaging design
  • In-store experience
  • Sponsoring and partnerships
  • Marketing and communications

This is a holistic approach that not only puts a face to a name – but a tone of voice, personality and image, too. Branding applies to every kind of business – from large scale corporations to smaller start-ups, with equally varied budgets depending on the scale of operation.

Why Is It Important?

When it comes to introductions, first impressions are everything – and in a crowded global marketplace, smaller businesses might only get one chance to do so. But why is branding important for this? Branding is essential not only for the overall image of a company, but in  shaping how people perceive the brand, helping (or hindering) business growth and increase in brand value – depending on how effective it is.

Shared perception of a brand by multiple stakeholders helps to generate (ideally a positive) reputation passed on via marketing and communication channels in addition to word-of-mouth communications between stakeholders.

If associations with the company are positive, there is greater likelihood of business growth. In essence, it’s all about getting “seen and heard”. In doing so, branding can also help generate greater trust in a product or service, helping to reinforce a positive reputation and to secure brand loyalty.

Pride In The Product

Branding is also a key element of company satisfaction. More frequently, consumers and company staff alike are seeking more meaning, purpose and authenticity from their brands – so it helps to create a central goal and message that people can get behind.

Because brands so often have a key emotional component woven into them (nostalgia, for example – or aspirational luxury) – there is little point in creating a brand that stakeholders will feel lukewarm about. In order for the brand to succeed, it’s important to identify what stakeholders are likely to feel strongly about and then focus on this.

In addition to the ability to create a brand that feels relatable, it’s important that it also demonstrates the ability to solve common consumer pain points, such as accessibility or enjoyment.

Identifying these and how to solve them isn’t’ simply part of product design – it’s a key part of branding, too. Brands can help demonstrate reliability directly (via video marketing, for example) – or through subtler methods such as colour psychology, where specific colours are associated with certain emotions:

  • Red, yellow and orange are all known for their appetite-stimulating properties, and as such frequently appear on fast branding.
  • Pink is traditionally associated with femininity – although as more people become aware of the misleading origins of this perception, this is gradually changing.
  • Blue (one of the most commonly-seen colours in branding) variously creates a sense of ambition (such as lighter, sky-coloured hues) or dependability (as seen in more grounded shades of navy.
  • Green is commonly associated with nature, and therefore often appears in branding with a central message of growth, restoration and on occasion, eco-consciousness.

The Process Of Branding

The design of a brand is constantly evolving over time (think of the differences between old and new logo designs) in order to keep up with the changing tastes of stakeholders and current trends. In order to identify a company brand, there must first be a brand strategy taking into account:

  •  The desired target market, based on things such as demographic (age, occupation; etc.)
  • Stakeholders – including potential clients, current customers, employees, business partners and shareholders, each of whom will have a differing relationship with your company and how they interact with the brand.
  • Positioning (i.e. where your business is likely to “get seen” by stakeholders.
  • A unique design that sets it apart from competitors.
  • Visual identity – namely the overall look and feel of your brand design and what emotions or reactions you want to elicit from your audience.
  • Brand perception or “reputation” – the association that individuals make with your brand as a result of the branding process (or lack thereof).
  • Assets (e.g. the products, content and advertisements you’ll use).
  • The potential impact the brand might have, both on individuals and on the wider community.

Mission, Vision, Values

A compelling vision and mission statement should outline what the company is setting out to do. Ideally, these are values-based (hence the phrase “mission, vision and values’ ‘) and clearly defined: what problem is your company seeking to solve – and what kind of principles does it uphold?

How Does Branding Increase Business Value?

Branding helps to generate business value by raising company profile within the industry and broader marketplace while increasing its appeal as an investment opportunity to stakeholders. Business value can equate to the influence the brand has on stakeholders or the monetary value of the company itself (known as “brand valuation”).

Branding is so much more than image – it’s all about creating an identity for your business that stakeholders can feel connected to and invest in, helping to further the success of your business. To find out how branded merchandise can help your business go further, visit our showroom and take your pick from a range of branded items – whether that’s a leather loop keyring or set of custom keyrings to showcase your brand.