Table of Contents
Written by @Riya Jain
On 18 November 2022
You must have heard about leading companies like Disney, Meta and Amazon. What, according to you, do these multinational companies have in common? The answer is pretty simple, and they know the impact of effective branding.
Every business, big or small, takes calculated measures to make a brand of its product that resonates with its identity. All of these above companies were not always prominent names in the industry. They grew into the titans that they are today. Moreover, branding was a primary reason they could reach where they are now. You instantly connect with the castle in Disney advertisements or the blue colour of meta icons. All of this comes due to branding and the impact it creates.
Branding is everywhere, from the food we eat to the clothes we wear or even the skincare products we apply. For the same, branding is a significant aspect of a business, and it helps them to connect with their buyers or consumers.
A brand is a group of characteristics or features that defines a particular business and marks the difference between that business with others in the industry. A brand primarily comprises a brand name, a logo that resonates with its services, a tagline that defines a brand’s values, and a brand voice that speaks for the business. Moreover, branding refers to a customer’s overall experience when interacting with a company’s product or service in any manner, like a shopper, customer, social media follower or maybe just a passerby.
Before we look at the practical aspects of branding, it is worth scrutinizing the terms and understanding their value. Branding is a blend of marketing and financial approaches that helps the audience or consumers learn or recognize a particular company’s product or service.
Apple brands itself with creative and passionate marketing campaigns, which makes its viewers realize the luxury of having an iPhone or a Macbook. For instance, Apply is a well-known technology-based business that aims to lure creators. The most famous campaign of the brand, “Think Different”, was a significant hit only because the campaign catered towards the needs and motives of the viewers. The campaign’s overall aim was to make individuals believe that Apple is not just a company. It understands the needs of its buyers and wants them to feel the same. Their branding brings the creative visions of their consumers to life.
Another great example is Coca-Cola, a brand with the most recognizable logos and colour stories that even a five-year-old would know from a distance. The attractive white and red lettering with distinctive font and minimal artwork has made its mark for over a century. Having stood the test of time, the Coca-Cola brand is a testament to the strength of consistent, successful branding that customers have started to admire.
That being said, branding is a communicative process that demands being in touch with the core values of the customers and the business while striking a balance between the both.
By branding your business, you’re offering it individuality. Just like humans and establishments, a well-designed brand can be instantly recognizable. This helps consumers identify who you are, what you do and what your products are, all from seeing or hearing about your brand. The more recognizable you are as a brand or label, the more attention and loyal customers you will have.
With the help of branding, a business gains its sense of identity. Just like humans, a well-remarked brand can be recognized within seconds. The same helps customers recognize what the brand is, what it stands for, and its products or services—all of these just with the help of good branding. The more recognizable the brand name is, the more attentive and loyal customers a business will have.
Take the example of a popular fast-food chain, KFC, which has a solid brand image with a sense of identity. KFC’s branding is iconic, and the same can be seen in the brand’s distinctive logo colours that describe the brand’s voice and character. In a recent mishap that led to the closing of many KFC outlets due to lack of chicken, the brand, without relocating its identity, posted a humour-filled apology via an advertisement called “FCK” that involved the work of a PR genius. The brand received such a thriving response due to its capability and calibre to remain on the brand’s name whilst recognizing and shedding light on the error and maintaining its values.
With so many companies in every sector or industry, it’s nearly impossible to create something entirely new or fresh. However, that does not mean that there is no place for multiple brands in the same market area, just as long as they each bring a unique perspective to any business. That’s the point branding comes in and makes a difference.
For example, the beauty product-based industry is a thriving market. How does a brand differentiate itself from its competitors? The answer is branding. A company that is incredibly effective at this is Lush, which are experts at driving their passion and ethos together to create natural, environmentally friendly and cruelty-free products.
Let’s take another illustrative model of Amazon. They have one of the most recognizable brands on their platform and have revolutionized how goods are bought and sold. You know their logo and see what you can expect from their products and services. Due to Amazon’s strong branding, similar sites such as Flipkart and Snapdeal have taken a back seat in recent years.
As soon as you build trust in the market, you will realize the importance of branding. Create a unique brand identity to build a strong brand that distinguishes you from your competitors. Make it distinct from your competitors, even if that means thinking outside the box.
Branding is also essential to your consumers, as they know what to expect from you as a brand. Not only does this make positioning your brand far more complicated, but consumers also won’t know what to expect from you. For example, if your branding evokes a sense of luxury, but your products don’t match that description, you risk selling a false pretence to your consumers. Therefore you’ll lose business to your competitors.
A famous brand that excels at this is IKEA. Throughout their branding and messaging, IKEA clarifies to their consumers that their products are modern, easy to ensemble and affordable. By stressing this message consistently across its marketing, IKEA can target their ideal audience, and consumers know exactly what to expect from the brand. It’s what makes them such a success.
Trust is highly valued in branding and marketing, especially as consumers become more sceptical about where their products are coming from, their quality, and the ethical and social issues surrounding market industries. Consumers are also now looking for brands that go out of their way to deliver quality service and excellent products, time and time again.
One of the UK’s leading trusted brands is department store John Lewis, famous for its range of high-quality products, excellent customer experience, and overall integrity as a brand: ‘Never knowingly undersold. This also creates a sense of trust between consumers and the brand and a feel-good factor.
Branding your business to develop a strategy and focus is also essential. It is impossible to create a positioning strategy or marketing and business strategy without strong branding – the two work together. It also helps you to define your purpose, what your business is trying to achieve, what value you provide, and sum up what you do. Brand development is also key to creating new strategies in the future.
An example of a brand with a clear strategy and focus is Airbnb. They speak to their customers through their branding by showing them what they desire before they know it themselves. This ability to predict consumer needs and excite them makes Airbnb experts in brand strategy.
Nike’s brand marketing strategy takes a different approach when it involves the selling of not just the product but also the story. Whether it is its website, social media, or product descriptions, Nike uses every opportunity to tell a story about its products, their beginning, or their ideas.
Adding a storytelling element to your brand marketing campaigns adds a human element to your business, resulting in your audience feeling more connected with your brand, products, and services. To connect personally with your potential customers, you do not need to have a groundbreaking story but rather one who shares with them where you are coming from.
Everyone would know that they can trust Colgate to keep their teeth clean. This recognition has been gained through its brand marketing strategy, which has taken a unique approach. Through its brand marketing campaigns, Colgate did not just push their products to their target audience but also chose to educate them.
To do so, they started an Oral Care Center, which involved hosting a series of videos about oral hygiene and sharing essential facts on how to care for your teeth on all their advertisements and social media platforms. This led to Colgate becoming one of the most trusted oral care brands around the globe, which led to more sales of its products.
McDonald’s is one of the most recognized brands around the world. Their golden arches are instantly recognized worldwide, bringing comfort and happiness to the people. Their brand marketing strategy is heavily reliant on brand consistency.
McDonald’s has achieved this feat by keeping its brand identity and product consistent for over 60 years while constantly making thoughtful and on-brand improvements to stay connected with its customers. Their logo has remained almost the same, and all the taglines they have used communicate one standard message- we make you happy.
Branding is not a one-pager topic. Instead, it is an ever-evolving subject and an art that requires expertise in several areas like business management, marketing management, advertising, design, and psychology.
Branding also has different layers, each having its meaning and structure. However, when it is about branding, you must be patient and give yourself and your customers time to discover and appreciate your brand.