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What Does Branding Mean?

Branding is the intricate process of giving purpose to a specific company or organization by way of curating and shaping a brand in consumers’ minds. Webster Dictionary defines branding as, “The promotion of a particular product or company by means of advertising and distinctive design”. For many, even specialists, this is typically interpreted as a company’s visual identity. However, branding reaches far beyond a company’s logo, design, or even packaging. Sergio Zyman wrote in The End of Marketing as We Know It, “A brand is essentially a container for a customer’s complete experience with the product or company.” Branding can be broken up into two components: visual and relational. The visual component focuses on creating an image, while the relational side of branding focuses on building an emotional connection with your ideal customer.

Visual Breakdown:

1. Research

Knowing your target audience is critical to the visual process. Without a proper understanding of who your audience is and what they are seeking, you won’t be able to create visual content that appeals to them. For example, when creating a website to promote a daycare business, you’d likely discover that the target audience consists of parents who are looking for a fun and exciting place to send their children. To reinforce these emotions, you probably would not want to implement a monochromatic design. The emphasis would be on portraying those focused emotions of fun and excitement visually, to give them confidence that your business will meet those expectations. Often, the visual component of a company is the first impression your consumer will process and can significantly impact the rest of their interaction with your business.

2. Create

When creating the visual components of a brand there should be a focus on consistency. A company visual identity can be found within its logo, colors, typography, and photography. A logo is the primary visual symbol of a brand. Logos should be displayed on all customer-facing advertisements and products. Colors are adopted in way of a color scheme. This is meant to help identify a brand by using color symbolism and harmony throughout the brand. Typography is the style and appearance of text used. Consistency in typography works similarly to adopting a color scheme. You’re setting parameters for the font sizes and styles the company will be able to use. Photography is the most effective way of capturing an audience’s attention. Photography plays a critical role in displaying the personality of the brand. When it comes to creating the visual display of a brand it’s important to keep the brand’s products in mind. Consistency is key in brand establishment.

Relational Breakdown:

1. Vision and Mission

The vision and mission of a company should help build a connection between them and the public. A vision statement determines how the brand will move forward. The vision helps consumers see where the brand will be in the future. It should be inspirational, identify ambitions, and define the company’s purpose. A mission statement should define a brand’s goal, objectives, and approach to achieve the overall vision. 

2. Loyalty

Consumers are loyal to a brand they believe in and trust. To form brand loyalty, a consumer must be encouraged to form an emotional connection with the brand. Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz wrote, “If people believe they share values with a company, they will stay loyal to the brand.” Some of the best tools for building brand loyalty are understanding the needs and wants of your target market, ensuring brand consistency, and investing in a unique brand design.

Branding has always been a crucial part of any business, but it is now more important than ever. With the rise in social media use, consumers are exposed to new brands on a daily basis making it harder for small businesses to stand out from the crowd. On the flip side, this is a great thing for consumers who now have plenty of options and are able to research which company will best fit their needs. Let Nextfly Web Design help grow your brand with a new custom website today!