What is branding?
Ever wondered what makes Starbucks different from any other coffee shops? Some may say that its the quality of products and service that differentiates Starbucks from rest, or it’s about the experience and ambience it provides. But the fact is everything right from the font used in the logo to the colours, ambience, menu, lighting even the uniform of the staffs and sales guys. This is exactly what branding does. It helps brands to create an image and reputation in the minds of its consumers to stay unique and fresh from the rest of its competitors. In short, anything that helps you identify and differentiate one brand from the other is called branding.
Need for branding
In the highly competitive world today brands run a race in trying to be the number one in their chosen niche. We would have argued with our friends vowing which is better. It’s either Nike or Adidas, Pepsi or coca-cola, Hersheys or Cadbury, Android or ios, and even sometimes it’s about jockey or nothing! Each time it’s an element of branding that touches our heart making us feel closer to the brand, their products and services. Sometimes, even unintentionally certain brands become part of our lives or should I say “we made them to be a part of our lives?!”
The marketing world around us has already seen into this opportunity of how branding makes a simple brand into the number one brand. Thus there runs a number of courses and classes teaching branding and promotion and job opportunities are being build in their particular profession. But remember, branding is not something that came into being, it has always been there sublimely helping us make our preferences and choices.
Diving into branding
We all are walking brands or more clearly to say we are our own brands. Everyone who knows us has an image or perception of us in the way we portray ourselves to be. Similarly, we have perceptions of others too, cause they are their brand! Sometimes we identify as a funny guy who makes everyone around him laugh, a nerdy dude who tops in all tests or a rude guy whom you don’t wanna mess with! The way we portray ourselves creates an impression of who we are to others. Misinterpretation of our portrayal causes misconceptions of our image on their minds therefore proper and clear portrayal is always important. This is exactly what brands do too. They try to communicate with their costumers with branding and try to make them their best friends, or say, loyal consumers.
Brands do use a certain strategy and planning to communicate through their branding tactics to lure consumer base to them. It’s also good to know that we always don’t portray ourselves to be a spoiled, lazy, useless person though some of us are. The same thing works with brands too. Remember that kid back in school who was a teacher’s pet but does everything mischievous behind their back! Cause you know business is business!
Building your brand
If you have an idea to start a brand anytime be it a startup agency, a website, a cafe or anything you must focus on the key elements of branding to take your company to greater heights. The key elements of brands function as a fuel to run the business for long in a successful pace.
Elements of brand
Brand Identity is a primary element of branding. Name of the brand, logo, tagline or slogan etc. work as a tool of identity for the brand. Well, the swosh logo or “Just do it” caption simply takes you up to the thought of Nike. Why is that so? That’s how the brand Nike has built its identity over a period of time. A change in brand identity after establishment is called re-branding. For example, Airbnb changed their logo and brand font also created a bespoke colour called Rausch as a part of re-branding.
Importance of IPR
Every element say logo, typography, tagline even product design of a brand requires Intellectual property rights. IPR are patents rights, copyrights, trademarks that give full credits and ownership to its creator. It is important to get your brand elements IPR registered soon to avoid any problems of piracy in the future.
Brand personality associated with brand identity as a character of the brand. It also connects it with the company’s target audience/consumers. The youthfulness with coke, ruggedness with Wrangler or the adventurous nature of woodland are a few examples of how brands use the idea of personality to connect with their customers.
Brand image is another important element to build through branding strategy. It’s basically the perception of brands in our mind like how we think of Apple as a premium brand, Rolls Royce as a luxury carmaker and so on. Creating proper brand image can help the brand price their products accordingly.
Brand positioning is closely connected to setting a brand image. It is important to segregate your brand and target a particular market category say only for kids, only for wedding etc.. Vogue is a magazine targeted at women while GQ targets men and AD targets people interested in interior design and architecture. Thus we see advertisements, content, pictures, colours and so on suiting how the brand has positioned itself to be!
Brand experience is the total look and feel what the brand offers. Most of the time we pay extra for the brand experience than the actual product what it offers. This is why a cup of coffee in Starbucks is priced high than in your local coffee shop. The A/c, fancy ceiling or the free glass of juice provided while shopping everything is part of the brand experience.
Another important thing is a brand story which is a part of emotional branding. A very few brands could actually make it happen, though in the rise of the digital era a lot of upcoming companies are inspired to come up with a great brand story to convey what their brand stands for! Sometimes brands grow as a response to burning social issues. Certain brands make sure to address the issues of nature, climate change or other mishaps in the society. This way they build a bond of trust with the consumer base. Mushrooming of sustainable brands and brands that tell us the stores of growing hunger and striving weavers makes us a part of the revolution of creating a better world.