In this series on branding, the product label experts at United Label are going to dig into the process of branding—what you need to know about it, how it works, and why it is so important in your efforts to build your business.
“Branding,” as a concept, is an enormous topic, so we’re going to take it in bite-size chunks. In this article, we’re going focus on what branding is and why it is crucial to your company’s success, and in other articles we’ll discuss how branding works, what you can do to improve yours, as well as look at some shining examples of branding done well.
What Is Branding?
Branding is a practice in marketing where a company creates a symbol or design, and pairs it with a name that people can identify and associate with the company or the company’s product. For example, “Starbucks” — as a brand — represents not only the Starbucks corporation, but also its coffee shops and its coffee in general, as well as its baristas and other employees, and everything else associated with the company, from charity causes to social media. However, the “Frappuccino” brand is specifically about one product.
Branding helps consumers quickly and easily identify a product or company and distinguish it from its competitors. Branding is essential not only so you can make a memorable impression on your customers, but also to create expectations of what your company or product will bring.
Treat branding an excellent way to distinguish your company and product from your competitors and clarify what you offer – especially when it comes to what makes you better. Your brand should be an actual illustration of you as a business, and how you want your consumers to perceive your business. You can create your brand using various methods, such as logo, reputation, promotional merchandise, customer service, business cards, and advertising. In fact, this practice should be applied to everything down to the label on your product, which should have branding that matches the rest. All these work in collaboration to create a unique and appealing professional profile, which will build your customer base, word of mouth, and sales.
Why Branding is Important
Branding is vital to a business because of how much it impacts your company. Sometimes, business owners think the only thing that matters is the quality or price of their product or service, and it’s understandable.
But the reality is that branding is just as important. The way you brand your company will create – and change – people’s perception of your company and product, for good or bad, regardless of its quality or price. In addition, increasing brand awareness – that is, the amount of people in your target audience who are familiar with your brand – will almost certainly bring in new business.
With that in mind, let’s look at several specific reasons why you should create a strong brand for your business:
- Branding boosts advertising. Advertising is just one component of branding, but a huge one, as it is the place where you push your brand onto new audiences, or remind past consumers of it. Advertising strategies should directly mirror your brand and its preferred perception—so, for example, a casual, breezy social media campaign might be good for a youthful and hip, irreverent brand. On the other hand, a formal and high-ticket brand may opt for elegant, minimalist print ads in affluent-targeted glossy magazines. Alternately, a low-cost consumer product such as lip balm might find giving away promotional products an effective strategy.
- Branding brings recognition. This is probably the best explanation for creating a brand: it is how consumers recognize your company and how new consumers learn about you. For example, the logo is an essential aspect of branding, as it is basically the face of your company. Due to this, a professional should design your logo to make a memorable and impactful impression at first glance, as well as reflecting your company values. Remember, your logo will be on all of your printed promotional products or media ads, so make it count! Read more about create a logo
- Branding attracts new customers. An effective brand will quickly bring in referral business, as it leaves a positive impression of your company among current and potential consumers. Customers are likely to give you more business because of the assumed dependability and familiarity of doing business with a trusted name. Once you have a well-established brand, people will use word of mouth to advertise your business, without even realizing they are doing so. Remember, every recommendation you get from a past consumer is far more valuable than any ad you can buy.
- Branding increases the overall value of your business. A company’s value is based not only on sales and profit, and if you want to generate future business, it is essential to have a strong brand. A firmly established brand will increase your company’s value as it will give you more control and influence in your industry. Good branding makes your company a more attractive investment, as it gives you a firm hold in the marketplace – especially for those that are publicly traded on a stock exchange.
- Improves employee satisfaction and pride. Perhaps one of the lesser-discussed reasons for good branding – but no less important than any of the others – is that employees who work for well-branded companies support the brand, and are more satisfied with their jobs and have a lot of pride in what they do. When people work for a reputable brand held in high regard by the public, they enjoy doing their work and are content with it. A company can help employees gain satisfaction and feel like part of the company by having a branded office or having promotional merchandise at their company desktops. When your employees where the company t-shirt, you know you’re doing something right.
- Creates trust in the marketplace. A well-strategized and professionally appealing brand will help your business build trust with clients and potential clients. People tend to do business with those they trust, of course, and a professional and polished brand will help. Proper branding makes you look like an industry expert and makes the public trust your business and its products and services.
As you can see, there are myriad reasons why branding is so important to build your business. A lot of the articles in our Design Resources can help facilitate brand-building, from brainstorming to picking out a color scheme. For more information about branding, and some branding strategies, read the next article in this series here.
And when you’re ready to go to market with your product, don’t forget to reach out to United Label at (973) 589-6500 so we can print your label.