Branding 101: What is a Brand?
- A brand is built on a core message. It’s not just a logo, but a philosophy that a company presents to the world.
- The way that brands are perceived depends on several elements that are all focused around one thing: the circumstances, desires, and preferences of a target audience.
- Successful brands are recognisable and evoke emotive experiences for those who encounter them.
A strong brand can really make or break your business. It can help your company stand out from competitors and allow your customers to identify you immediately. This creates loyalty and client retention and provides a cost-effective base upon which to market your business. This series of blog posts will attempt to address what a brand is and how you, with the help of purpleplanet, can achieve greater success through better brand marketing.
Part I: What is a brand?
A brand is a way of life. It’s a way of instantly recognising a company or institution, often without the need for text or images. It’s not just the logo, with which many people associate the word ‘brand’, but rather a philosophy upon which the company chooses to present itself to the world. Examples of cleverly branded companies include Coca-Cola, Nike, Apple or BMW. You see an Apple advertisement and, for the most part, you’re able to recognise it as such before even seeing a logo or company name. I’ve mentioned these global conglomerates, simply because I know you will be able to associate with them. This doesn’t mean small businesses can’t also create and develop their own successful brand. Your company might not be recognised the world over, but those who experience your brand will know it’s you.
A strong brand for your business is based around perception, which is created inside the minds of staff and customers and based on what they see, hear, feel and experience about your company.
These emotions are based on messages you send out at all levels, including, but not limited to, a logo, a particular font, a jingle, a slogan or perhaps even an actor or actress, who provides voiceovers on commercials. It’s all part of the brand and every element is important in defining who and what you are.
In order to begin with your branding, you first need to determine who your ideal target audience is. There’s no point having bright colours, children singing and clowns for a company that sells replacement parts for speedboat engines. Hmmm, maybe someone’s missed a market opportunity there…?
Find your core message
Initially, you need to know exactly who you are trying to connect with, and what your core message is, before you even start thinking about branding:
- Is your company philosophy based on cost or quality?
- Which members of the public or the business world are your target audience?
- Where does your business fit in your chosen market?
- Who are your business competitors and how do they present themselves?
In part II – The Power of Branding, we’ll focus on what your company is about and the potential customers you are targeting.