If you own a business or are trying to sell a product, you have no doubt heard the word “branding” being thrown around when it comes to marketing. Most people probably know that branding is important when they’re trying to promote their business, but what exactly does it mean?
In Layman’s terms, brand identity is often referred to as one’s personal signature or image in society. It basically means how you want yourself and your business perceived by others. Every company has a certain reputation associated with them and every individual has a specific personality about them–you can think of your brand as a way of distinguishing which qualities people will most likely associate with you.
What is branding?
At its most basic, branding is what differentiates one thing from another in the same category. For example, if you were to ask people on the street to write down or describe what they imagine when someone says the word “ice cream,” there would probably be some similarities in their answers–something cold and sweet, maybe vanilla or chocolate flavorings with toppings like whipped cream and sprinkles.
However, ice cream is not one specific brand of ice cream; these are attributes that people will likely attribute to many brands (namely popular ones). What’s important about branding is that it sets your product apart from others like it. People want things that stand out in a crowd; they don’t want something with an identity similar to someone else.
Why is branding important?
Since branding is such an important part of marketing and business, companies often spend thousands (or even hundreds of thousands) of dollars to hire marketing firms or design groups that will help them come up with a name and set the look for their company’s brand identity. These beginnings are crucial in order to make your brand something people can remember and distinguish from others like it.
Once you’ve found a good way to stand out, you must maintain this image throughout all marketing mediums if you expect to keep your customers and clients coming back! This does not just mean designing a logo or writing a slogan; it includes everything from letterheads and email signature files to internet banners that represent your company as a whole. In short, once you have a brand identity, it is your duty to maintain every aspect of the image wherever possible.
Branding is not just limited to companies or products either; celebrities, politicians, and other public figures also have branding that they need to keep up with. This can include everything from what they do in their free time to how they dress, speak and act in public–basically any detail that would be associated with them.
A lot of what you know about some celebrities are things they’ve made sure will be associated with them (good or bad) like Lady Gaga’s outrageous costumes or Tiger Woods infidelity scandal. Many athletes (though not all) even develop their own nickname which becomes almost synonymous with their name; consider Michael Jordan’s “Air Jordan” nickname.
Who can do branding?
Branding does not just have to be for people either; entire countries or states can have branding, including their flag or “emblem.” The United States is a great example of this with the American flag often being associated with extreme patriotism and American values. This logo/flag is so important that there are even laws against any disrespect toward it!
Many municipalities also create symbols that embody their city. A popular ensemble called the Broadway show Wicked is an interesting case study in how cities (and towns) attempt to portray themselves through branding by showcasing different elements of its production (costume design, set design, etc.) on its posters and website.
Why Should You Invest in Branding?
Your brand is the thing that sets you and your company (or country) apart from others in the same category. Because there is a lot of competition out there, it is crucial to invest in brands that will wow customers and clients and make them come back for more!
Why Should You Not Invest in Branding?
Branding can be very expensive which means you need really good reasons not to bother with investing time, money, or energy into creating a great brand–especially when it comes to starting a business! If you’re charging high prices for your product or service, many people would argue that branding is definitely worth your investment. However, if you’re just trying to get by selling low-priced items like handmade crafts at a farmer’s market, it might not be worth the extra cost for you. You’ll need to make this decision based on your company and product.
When branding is good, people remember and recognize your name (or logo) and come back for more. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in; branding will help separate your company from the pack! Just make sure that if you invest time, money, or energy into a brand, don’t let it go to waste! Maintain as much as possible all aspects of your brand identity from spelling to colors used whenever possible–especially online!