Think about these companies: Starbucks, Apple, Amazon, Target, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, and Nike. What do these companies have in common? Aside from being some of the most successful companies in the world, they all have exceptionally strong branding and are immediately recognizable to most consumers. You can probably visualize the logos and brand colors, and are familiar with the reputation of each company.
Have you thought about branding and how important it is for your business? According to the Cambridge Dictionary, branding is “the act of giving a company a particular design or symbol in order to advertise its products and services.” Branding can include the company logo, reputation, customer service, company values, brand colors, the aesthetic of the brand, and more. Branding is important because it allows you to distinguish your company from the competition and shape the perception and identity of your business.
What does branding mean for you and your business? It means that if you want to be half as recognizable as the massive companies mentioned at the beginning of this post, you will have to spend considerable time and effort creating your brand. There are many benefits to establishing a strong branding strategy for your business including increasing brand awareness and recognition, creating new customers, and supporting advertisement efforts.
Increase brand awareness and recognition
With a professional logo, strong brand colors and aesthetic, and clear, compelling company values, you can increase brand awareness and recognition for your business. Your company logo should be clean, memorable, and must effectively represent your business. Many of the largest companies with effective branding efforts have logos that consumers recognize, even if the company name doesn’t appear in the logo. This is your goal. The logo should align with your company colors and aesthetic. Come up with an aesthetic that makes sense for the values and “personality” of your business and target customers.
Another piece of branding you should consider is your company values and customer service ethic. Think about strong brands such as Starbucks and Chick-fil-a. Part of Starbucks’ branding strategy is that, as a company, they give back to the communities that they serve, as well as hiring veterans, people with disabilities, and even innovating the experience for customers with disabilities. As for Chick-fil-a, their brand is notorious for their Christian values and superior customer service: “My pleasure.”
Create new customers
One of the biggest goals of branding is to ensure that your brand stays in the mind of consumers. If you are able to make a positive, lasting impression on consumers, they are more likely to share your brand and may even become an advocate for your brand. This will help grow your business with almost no cost to you! Ultimately, your brand should be so memorable that it becomes ingrained in your customers’ minds and lives; so much so that they share the brand through word-of-mouth to their friends and family. You want to be the first brand to pop into their minds when they are seeking a solution or benefit that you provide.
Support advertisement efforts
Advertisement is another essential factor in branding. Advertisement can include forms such as digital ads, billboards, TV, promotional merchandise (shirts, mugs, sweatshirts, etc.), and even shopping bags/boxes or to-go cups depending on your industry. Advertising is a way to reach new customers as well as reinforce your branding to current customers.
Before your business can have effective advertisements, you must create a memorable logo, aesthetic, and identity. You can even create a unique motto or phrase. Once these are in place, you can go forward with your advertising efforts to increase brand awareness, reinforce your brand identity and perception, and leave a lasting impression on your audience.
Think about McDonald’s branding and advertising efforts. The “golden arches” is an iconic logo for McDonald’s and is used on all of their products: bags, cups, wrappers, sauce packets, and more! Further, McDonald’s is known for its phrase, “I’m lovin’ it”, which was used for the company for a few years and can be immediately related to the brand. You will definitely recognize the brand and logo as you drive past a store, see an ad on TV or social media, or see the arches on a coffee cup on your coworker’s desk.
Start with Smarter Searches
Now that you know how important a strong brand identity is, it’s time to get started. If you have an idea for your logo, colors, or motto – that’s great. If you don’t, let us help. Our branding services include logo design, identity packages, content creation services, public relations, and social media packages, and more. Contact us today to get started on your branding efforts.