For ages, branding has been defined as the creation of a name, slogan, design or symbol that differentiates you and your products from the competition. Nowadays, a brand has adopted a wider definition.
It is no longer limited to just a slogan or a symbol, it has become a perception – the image induced when a company name is heard, or thought of. Branding can be linked directly to the customer’s behavior.
This can be described as an embodiment of what a company represents from the customer’s perspective and can be influenced by surrounding words, elements and creativity.
The main objective of branding is to view you as the only ones who provide a solution to their problem or fulfill their needs. It is not limited to getting your target audience to opt for your products or services over the competition.
There are 5 goals that a good branding strategy will set itself to achieve:
- Delivering your message clearly
- Establishing your credibility
- Using pathos to create a connection between your service or product and the target market
- Provide motivation to buy what you offer
- Ultimately create a loyal customer base
The key towards a branding success story is the understanding of who your target customers are at every stage. It is how a company or organisation expresses themselves to others and what they are offering.
As a brand, you should have a clear idea about who you are, what do you represent and how your services and/or products are different from your competitors. It is these same thoughts that you want to resonate in your customers and therefore lead them to buy what you are selling.
As evil as it may sound, this identification and resonation with your brand will create a great impact in the customers’ minds and hearts. Although you cannot force someone to buy your product or service, branding allows you to influence, to a certain extent, how they behave.
Successful branding strategies involve a lot of research, clarity and time to build upon. It is, in a way, a promise from you to your customer and you need to be sure what they expect from you is exactly what you’re offering.
You cannot brand something you do not believe in otherwise the consumers will not have any faith in it either. Marketing is a means through which you execute your branding strategy.
It is not sufficient to stop after you have convinced people to buy your products. Which is why branding is an ongoing process and continues even after sales is complete. The aim is not to have customers buying your service or product. You want them to consider your brand as a part of them.
This leads to the creation of loyal customers who, in a sense, take ownership of the company and at a subconscious level, consider it theirs.
Branding leads to a stronger customer base, and also keeps the company on its toes because their success is dependent on how the customers receive their products/services.