Before starting to talk about what branding is, let’s define what a brand is. The American Marketing Association states, “A brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.” But a brand is not only what you do or what product/service you offer; it’s also about how it makes people feel when they encounter it. When your customers are exposed to a name, a logo, a visual identity, or a message, a combination of physical and emotional cues is released. While many companies can have the same product or service, the brand makes them unique.
The process of branding involves developing and defining a brand in consumers’ minds to give meaning to a particular organization, company, product, or service. It is a tactic used by businesses to help customers instantly recognize and experience their brand and offer them a reason to choose their products over those of the competition. The goal is to attract and retain loyal customers and other stakeholders by consistently delivering a product that is in line with the brand’s promises.
Brand personality and Business goals
Branding can (and must) be done in many forms: definition, positioning, identity, advertising, packaging, customer service, etc. Today we’ll be focusing on brand identity. Brand identity mainly consists of visual elements, and that’s where graphic design professionals come to help you. Brand identity works to support the business’s overall goals. These questions will help you understand your brand goals and personality:
- Describe your company from a big-picture perspective
- Where do you see yourself and your company in 1, 5, 20 years?
- What is the biggest challenge you face as a company?
- Describe your company in 5 single adjectives
- What problem are you solving?
- What functional and emotional benefits do you offer your customers?
- Who is your target audience?
- Who are your competitors? What are their strengths? What are your advantages?
We always send our customers a questionnaire before developing their branding items, such as the logo, brand details, social media templates, and other things.
While your brand identity needs to work for your business goals, the only way it can do that is to also work for your potential customers. That’s why we, as designers, conduct competitor, and customer analysis before developing your branding. It’s not just about what looks pretty and what doesn’t. The most important thing should be how customers perceive and think about your brand identity, which sometimes can be different from what one considers pretty.
Visual brand components
These are the main elements that form the presence of every brand:
Additional brand elements
However, more than those three things are needed. Depending on your niche, you might also consider including these things in your brand identity:
- Social media assets
In the most basic terms possible, a product is what you sell, a brand is the public perception of the product you sell, and branding is the method you use to build that perception.