Branding: What is it?
The term branding was first used by ranchers to display ownership of livestock as they roamed the plains. Now however, it’s used to display ownership by companies as people roam the internet. Branding your business is what elicits a connection between your company and your customers. It’s the idea or image that best reflects your company, and should be a constant across all medias. The Marketing Spot has a pretty good definition of a brand;
“It is the emotional and psychological relationship you have with your customers.”
So what does this mean for your business?
Branding your own business
Branding is clearly a good thing…you’ll get to have a consistent look and message anywhere you interact with potential customers, you’ll establish yourself in your respective field, and one step ahead of those who don’t yet know what it means to be ‘branded.’ Branding your business should be all-inclusive for anything your potential customer sees, and anything your business creates. This includes website, business cards, advertising, and any packaging or item (including software) that you create.
What’s some good branding?
Apple and Google have some great branding. They are relatively consistant, they spend lots of time (and most likely money) making sure their businesses looks good, and when you think of anything in their fields, you think of these companies first. Music player = Apple and ‘just Google it’ are examples.
Google recently unveiled a new logo for Chrome (my browser of choice) and it’s caused a bit of a stir as the company goes from it’s 3D shiny look, to a flatter, more sleek and matte look. Apple of course continues to dominate the world of white silloettes and subtle grey gradients. Both companies continue to redefine their small branding issues, but they’re household names around the world.
How about ‘bad’ branding?
First, a few years ago Pepsi decided to get rid of their extremely well-known bottle branding, and opt for a very minimal branding that made people think, hey, where did Pepsi go? There was a bit of a uproar about this, as many consumers buy products based on the ability to recognize a label, and there was no recognition with the new Pepsi branding. I’d almost wonder if they helped Coca-Cola more than themselves.
Second, Prince, or The Artist Formerly Known as Prince, or this thing: . I don’t think anyone knows what was in his head when he decided to change his name so many times. I mean, sure, there was that thing with his label, but a straight-up symbol? This may have helped his notoriety, but it was more of a gimmick, which is not what branding is about.
How do I get a ‘brand’ for my company?
As I’ve discussed, a brand can be many things, and it can effect multiple aspects of your business. You will want to set a gameplan for both brainstorming, designing and rolling out any new company branding, and make sure when you change, it’s across all medias. You’ll want to work with a company or individual that has experience working with company re-branding, and you’ll want to be prepared to be hands-on with the process as it’s your business and you should be involved.
With that said, check out the services we provide.
Are you looking for a new branding strategy for your business? Have ideas or comments to add to what I’ve said about? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
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Tags: branding, design