The Power of Branding

You have completed this action!

ICT Competence: Advanced

English Language Skills: Intermediate

Action type: Actions that have prerequisites (other actions need to be implemented first), but require no investment

Whether you go about branding your company by yourself or get help from an advertising professional, there are essential elements to keep in mind. In the words of Steve Jobs, 'The chance to make a memory is the essence of brand marketing'.

Definition: The brand is the perception of your product, services or company by the public - the sum total of all the impressions a customer has. It represents the idea or image people have in mind when thinking about specific products, services and activities of a company, both in a pragmatic (usefulness and applications of a product) and emotional sense (the way a product makes you feel). It is therefore not just the physical features that create a brand but also the feelings that consumers develop towards the company or its products. The totality of physical and emotional cues is provoked when exposed to elements of a brand, such as the name, the visual identity (colours, graphic design style, images) or even the message (slogan, texts).

Why should you brand: if you don't actively create the brand you want the public to perceive, it is the very public who will do it for you and it might not always turn into a positive result. So, pay attention to detail and put in the work and resources to define who you are (company, product, service, person). Moreover, branding is the one thing that makes you stand out from your competition. If you manage to build a strong brand, it will increase the value of your products. Most importantly, brands evoke feelings and feelings cause actions, such as the act of buying, choosing one product over another in the same category. Ultimately, remember that a well-built brand can last forever and renew itself beyond the life of your products - the brand is your competitive advantage in the long term.

a). Main components of a brand

  • Mission and vision statements - the mission is the brain of your company, it defines the present state and the purpose of your organisation; the vision can be seen as the heart, it is an inspirational statement of the long-term achievements you have in mind. These two elements are often combined e.g. IKEA's vision is 'To create a better everyday life for people.’
  • Brand (communication) strategy - a set of guidelines, derived from the mission and vision statement, which form the basis for all levels of communicating the brand: visual (logo, colour, shape, style - graphic design); verbal (name, slogan, text); choice of communication instruments and channels (classical advertising, online focus, web and social media, product placement, media buzz)
  • The three 'C's of a successful brand - cohesiveness, consistency, clarity - all of your communication and customer interaction has to point the same direction and derive from a strong, defining message. Congruency is what makes a brand magnetic, all communication has to be aligned and generate power of attraction.

b). Easy steps to create a brand for a start up

  1. Define your customers, create detailed profiles for your clients (age, sex, location, habits, lifestyle, aspirations, clothing style - as much detail as possible) - the customer 'persona'
  2. Choose your name, it has to be representative of the company, it is the shortest expression of your product. You can use tools such as Panabee or Shopify
  3. Design a logo, this is also a very concise expression of what your company is about. It has to be simple, original and representative. If you are going to do it yourself, you can use free tools such as Canva’s free logo design tool to create some great logos.
  4. Social media presence, this is mostly a free or affordable means of reaching your target audience. Keep it simple, be active, aligned with the brand strategy, useful and entertaining.
  5. The art of storytelling and engaging with people, around a defining theme for your product, allows you to engage with customers on an emotional level throughout your communication. Also, it is crucial that you stay connected with your community, attend events, get involved, especially as a start-up - they are your main customers.

Positive and Negative Part of the Solution

Positive

This section deals with one of the most important aspects of entrepreneurship, so it is beneficial for any company to gain the necessary knowledge.

Negative

It requires learning or perfecting skills such as graphic design, which can be difficult and time consuming.

Connected Actions

Time required to implement a solution and when possible associated cost

From a couple of hours to study the subject matter to at least one day to apply the knowledge.

Estimated Exploitation

Good branding is key for success on the market, it increases product awareness, sales and builds a strong market presence. Therefore, creating a powerful brand must be taken seriously.

Informative Text (Sources)

  1. Marion from The Branding Journal. What Is Branding? retrieved from https://www.thebrandingjournal.com/2015/10/what-is-branding-definition/
  2. Wells, Robison (2016, August 3). What is branding, and why is branding important? retrieved from
    https://www.lucidpress.com/blog/what-is-branding-and-why-is-branding-important
  3. Indralingam, Ashania (2016). What is branding? retrieved from https://99designs.com/blog/logo-branding/what-is-branding/
  4. Cook, James (2018 April 2). Strong, attractive SME branding principles retrieved from http://www.alignandpull.com/branding-an-sme/
  5. Kolowich, Lindsay (2018 July 9). 17 Truly Inspiring Company Vision and Mission Statement Examples retrieved from
    https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/inspiring-company-mission-statements
  6. Kapoor, Prince (2018 February 23). 5 Quick and Simple Branding Tips for Start ups and SMBs retrieved from
    https://techspective.net/2018/02/23/5-quick-simple-branding-tips-startups-smbs/

Additional Resources

  1. How to create great brand names
  2. Building a brand online in the content age
  3. What makes a truly great logo
  4. Where to start when building a brand

Cross Border remark

Universally valid information.