New clients sometimes come to us confused about the differences between branding and marketing. Many entrepreneurs and executives cover these topics at one point during business school, or have read articles about them, but aren’t exactly sure what they mean in relation to one another. In particular, they sometimes struggle to understand what branding means in the larger context of marketing.
Usually, they come to us with questions like:
- How can I brand my business?
- What does a brand do?
- What is branding all about?
- What is a company’s brand?
In many cases they feel as if the underlying subject of branding is a complicated one, or something that only large corporations have to worry about. Neither of those is necessarily true, though. Branding can be straightforward and effective no matter how large or small your business is.
To help you understand why, let’s look at a few of the finer details…
The Meaning and Value of a Brand
In the simplest sense your brand is simply the impression customers have of your company or business. It’s what they think about when they come across your business, whether it’s the first time, or they are seeing you for the hundredth time.
The major creative elements of your brand are your logo, your website, and your printed materials. These tend to make strong first impressions and are associated with your business in a visual, easy to understand way. However, it’s important to note that your brand also includes things like online videos, customer interactions, and even email signatures. In other words, anything that “touches” a customer or colleague can add or take away from your brand.
The stronger your brand is, the more positive impressions buyers have about you, your business, and your work. For that reason, your brand can actually be the most valuable part of your company over time, since it paves the way for new sales, referrals, and buyer trust.
Why Branding is Important to a Business
When your brand is strong – meaning you are known within your market and people have a high value of your products, services, pricing, and trustworthiness – everything you want to do becomes easier. When you advertise a new offering or sale, for example, people pay attention because they already know, like, and have faith in your company.
In that way, your brand helps you to build credibility. It also distinguishes you from your competitors. Pepsi and Coke both have strong brands, for instance, but one has an ad strategy that is targeted towards younger buyers while the other projects a more traditional, global feel. Your brand might not be that specific, but you should be intentional about the way you are projecting your business to the public.
Branding is important because it affects public perception. That ultimately can lead to more or fewer sales, better or worse recruiting, etc. It’s a piece of your bottom-line picture that’s hard to put a specific number on even though it affects you every single quarter.
How to Use Your Brand Effectively
Having gotten to the heart of what a brand is and why it matters, the question becomes: “how do I brand my business?”
The short answer is that you should be intentional in your communications and work with a trusted creative team who can help you be consistent. In other words, think carefully about what you want your brand to stand for and then map out a simple strategy that reinforces it again and again.
You don’t need millions of dollars to establish a strong brand or benefit from a better branding position. Start paying attention to yours and you might be amazed at the dividends it will pay in the coming months.
Get Help from a Top Philadelphia Branding Agency
Want help bringing your brand to life and boosting your marketing results? Contact the sales growth experts at Biondo Creative in Philadelphia today. We’ll be happy to arrange a free consultation, review your current campaigns, and help you with personalized recommendations that push your business forward.