How well you brand your products can make or break your company. Unfortunately, most people don’t understand what a brand is. There are so many misconceptions about what branding is and what it can do to strengthen your company’s value in the minds of your target customers. Before you write it off, it’s important that you get a clear understanding of what it is. In this article, I tried to debunk a few of the common branding misconceptions.
Branding is primarily about the logo: A Logo is not a brand. Logos are simply visual representations of a company’s identity. Branding is complex, involving promises that your company makes to consumers and the overall perception of your company in the marketplace. If all your company has is a logo, you are only partly there as a logo is just one of the various brand elements. Brand elements include:
- Fonts and typography
- The same “voice” (The consistency in using all brand elements by every staff).
Branding is Marketing: Mixing up marketing and branding is only one of the most common misconceptions about branding that you will encounter because branding goes deeper than marketing. Marketing is the set of processes and tools (including SEO, Social Media, PPC etc) promoting your business. Marketing only communicates your brand personality and message while Branding, on the other hand, is the culture itself, the message that permeates and rules all the process of your business. Your brand is comprised of your personality, your voice, and your message; branding is the process of establishing these traits.
Branding is the core of your marketing strategy. Marketing normally centres on a series of short-lived campaigns and promotions. The business brand is a subtle, but significant, unchanging background for marketing campaigns.
Branding Is a One-Time Thing: Branding happens every day, in every action between the business and a customer. No matter how well you’ve done in defining and building your brand, it is not a set-it-and-forget-it matter. You need to reevaluate your brand occasionally to make sure that it is relevant to today’s consumers.
Branding Doesn’t Take Time: This is just plain wishful thinking. You can’t implement a couple of distinct colours, a strong logo and expect instant recognition and retention in the minds of your target customers. It just doesn’t happen that way. It takes time, strategy, and consistency to build a strong and distinct brand.
Competitors don’t matter: This is very wrong. You need to pay close keen attention to your competition. Knowing what competitors are doing right and wrong can give you a lot of insight into your industry. Always take out time to study the leading brands in your industry. Know what they are doing right, and see if there is a way that you can do it better. Know what they are doing wrong, and go a different route. Don’t just copy your competition in everything that they do, you need to develop a point of distinction between your and other brands in your industry. Your point of distinction is going to be your selling point.