What is branding?
Branding is creating knowledge about your brand, what characterizes it and its products. The term comes from the branding of cows, which is done with red hot iron showing who the cows belonged to. By branding your company correctly, you stand out from the crowd letting your target audience know how they distinguish your company.
Why is branding important?
Branding is all about creating uniqueness and to let the target audience know about how you are different and unique. If you are not perceived as being unique, the target audience won’t know how to know you from your competitors. You stay unique if you stick to a strategy and guidelines which ensures that the brand is perceived as different from the competitors.
The difference between branding and marketing
Branding establishes a relationship between your company and the target audience. As a relationship between two people, the relationship needs time to get stronger and to make the trust between brand and target audience stronger. But in order to do branding correctly, you need to throw away how you perceive your brand. Branding is about how you are perceived, interpreted and understood.
Marketing is the tool to create several relationships with several target audiences. By being good at branding, your target audience will spread the good reputation about your brand. The word-of-mouth effect is a lot stronger than any marketing campaign. How many times have you read or asked for other people’s reviews about a movie you consider watching, the restaurant you are wondering if you should book a table at for the weekend or your next travel destination? You trust people more than you trust marketers which makes it even more important to be good at branding your company. This is also called brand advocacy.
How to do branding
Your marketing should always follow your brand strategy and guidelines but it is important that your brand always comes first before any marketing campaign. Before you start branding it is important to know how your brand is perceived. You do this by examining what the target audience thinks and knows about your brand through a survey.
When you know what they know and think, you should create a strategy that strengthens the weaknesses that you found with the survey. This can be done through storytelling about your brand. With a brand strategy your brand will be easier to distinguish from others making your company stand out in the crowd.