Branding is important because not only is it what makes a memorable impression on consumers but it allows your customers and clients to know what to expect from your company. It is a way of distinguishing yourself from the competitors and clarifying what it is you offer that makes you the better choice. Your brand is built to be a true representation of who you are as a business, and how you wish to be perceived. If the explanation of branding was simple, there would not be so much ambiguity and dissonance regarding the concept. Still, for the most part, a strong understanding of branding requires a decent grasp of business, marketing, and even (human) relational basics. Branding is such a vast concept that a correct definition that truly encompasses everything that it represents would not bring too much clarity to the subject just by itself.
1. Perpetual process
Branding is a perpetual process because it never stops. People, markets, and businesses are constantly changing and the brand must evolve in order to keep pace.
2. Identify, create, manage
There is a structured process to branding, one where you must first identify who/what you want to be to your stakeholders, create your brand strategy to position yourself accordingly, and then constantly manage everything that influences your positioning.
3. Cumulative assets and actions
Your positioning must be translated into assets (e.g., visual identity, content, products, ads) and actions (e.g., services, customer support, human relations, experiences) that project it into your stakeholders’ minds, slowly building up that perception.
4. Perception of a brand
Also known as reputation. This is the association that an individual (customer or not) has in their mind regarding your brand. This perception is the result of the branding process (or lack thereof).
Clients are not the only ones that build a perception of your brand in their minds. Stakeholders include possible clients, existing customers, employees, shareholders, and business partners. Each one builds up their own perception and interacts with the brand accordingly.
Branding increases business value
Branding is important when trying to generate future business, and a strongly established brand can increase a business’ value by giving the company more leverage in the industry. This makes it a more appealing investment opportunity because of its firmly established place in the marketplace.
A brand’s reputation ultimately boils down to the amount of trust that clients can have in it. The more you trust a brand, the better your perception of it, the stronger its reputation and, thus, the brand itself.
The more you understand branding’s complex nature, the easier it will be to dive deeper into the subject and its underlying topics.
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