Beyond the traditional notion of deciding on one’s logo and name, branding as a strategy involves a wide range of considerations and processes that construct a brand’s identity. However, there are common branding myths that may stumble business owners and prevent them from making this worthy investment. With consumers becoming more selective and sensitive about the things they buy or subscribe to, it is necessary for brands to build and uphold their unique branding.
Myth: Branding is your logo and company name
Truth: Branding is a strategy
One of the biggest myths is that branding is deciding on a name, designing a logo, and giving it a colour wash. In reality, branding is creating a series of meaningful touchpoints and experiences that customers are able to interact with and that emphasise your company values. For example, if your value proposition is environmental sustainability, then you should have everything centred around it.
A question you need to ask is: how do we want our consumers to feel about our business? It is essential that you pinpoint the feelings you want to evoke in your consumers. In a 2018 study, the Gensler Research Institute suggested that creating an emotional connection with the consumer base is a mark of successful brand positioning. For those new to branding, start with these three most primary factors that people consider when choosing brands: interest, trust and optimism. If your brand strategy is to evoke sentiments based on these factors, you will be more successful at garnering a consistent consumer base. Furthermore, in the same study, it was found that a significant 94 percent of consumers promise to recommend a brand that they have an emotional connection with. Therefore, prioritising emotional connections is key to your branding.
When it comes to branding, choosing colours and an icon should not be an afterthought as they are your customer’s first touchpoint. Colours have a psychological impact on your customer’s perception of your brand, so do your name and logo as they represent your identity and mission. Take Red Bull as an example. The red symbolises energy and passion and the bull is a visual representation of the brand’s aim to provide consumers with the energy they need. These two details explain Red Bull’s standing as a household brand.
(Fact: A third of the world’s top 100 brands have the colour blue in their logos.)
Myth: Branding is only for big companies
Truth: Branding is crucial for every company — big or small
Branding is for every organisation, big and small. It is not the sole purview of large corporations with deep pockets. Believing that branding is a big-budget commitment hampers smaller firms as they lose out on this crucial element of brand building in a competitive market. You don’t need to bust your budget over branding as there are corporate communication firms that can provide cost-tailored branding services.
As Pia Silva, a partner and brand strategist at Worstofall Design remarked, branding is for companies to showcase their uniqueness. Branding helps you achieve a higher efficacy by delivering the appropriate messages to your target audience instead of trying to be all things to all people. Socium’s branding consultant, Dr Claire Tan advised: “If you are targeting everyone, you are targeting no one”. This is where branding experts step in to craft the right, actionable message or touchpoint to your target audience to achieve your objectives.
Myth: Branding is advertising
Truth: Branding is the foundation of advertising
Eloisa Marchesoni, accomplished branding and marketing expert, co-founder and COO of Blackchain explained it the best: “Branding is all about creating an identity for your brand. Your brand describes who you are and what you stand for. It’s the foundation for everything else you do. Advertising is how you communicate your brand to others. Your advertising will only be as strong as your brand allows it to be.” It is important to distinguish between advertising and branding as companies often make the mistake of using advertising strategies while completely neglecting branding. It is time for teams to rethink game plans and factor in branding as a key company building element.
Instead of splurging on ineffective ads, companies must reorient themselves to invest more resources into their branding budget. By developing their brand identity, brand credibility is built up and customers see the brand as the one they trust. The efficacy of advertising comes in only after a solid brand identity is established and customers are persuaded by the ads being launched.
Branding, the next level
Whether you have the best product or the best service the world has to offer, quality branding is essential. People act based on emotions they attach to values they resonate with. As such, without branding, there is nothing that piques their interest. It is therefore critical that organisations change their perception of branding, and consider high quality branding.
Because it’s the thought that counts – Socium Thoughts bring together our thoughts and opinions on all things communication.
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