Branding is not a company’s logo. It’s much bigger than that. Branding is the process of implementing your brand strategy consistently across all aspects of your business to build your brand.
In the previous article What is a ‘Brand’? we defined a brand as the set of associations and perception people have in their minds about your company. But to build the right associations and perception in people’s minds you first need to decide what you stand for and who you want to care about you. To achieve this, you need a winning plan. That’s where brand strategy comes in.
What is ‘Brand strategy’?
No matter the size of your business or whether it is B2B or B2C, brand strategy is a valuable business tool that helps you clearly position your organisation to the people you want to engage with. If implemented properly it will impact most aspects of your business, including marketing, HR & talent acquisition, innovation, product development, customer service, and most importantly, business growth.
Brand strategy is a long-term plan to position you apart from your competitors. It needs to be simple and focused, which often means you’ll need to make sacrifices. It takes research into your company, customers and competitors into account and answers a handful of key questions:
- Why do you exist?
- Who are you?
- How do you behave?
- What do you do?
- How do you sound, look and feel?
If you can answer these questions with clarity and focus, you inspire actions and behaviours that affect every single department within your company and help build a great brand experience for your customers.
What is ‘Branding’?
Branding is the process of implementing your strategy to build your brand. The value of a good brand strategy is that it helps to align each aspect of your business. It works as a blueprint or a set of guiding principles that inform culture, behaviours, actions, messages and visual style.
Successful branding closes the gap between how you are being perceived and how you want to be perceived by your customers. The smaller the gap, the more relevant, authentic, and differentiated your brand is perceived by your audience.
Brand strategy defines the sound, look and feel of your business. So part of your branding process should be to establish and manage the style of your brand. Your visual and verbal identity helps to make your brand distinctive, memorable and recognisable. It also makes your brand more tangible, so that it can be felt. And of course, your logo is an important brand asset, but it’s just one aspect of a company’s full branding effort.
Brand vs Branding
To sum up ‘Branding’ is the process of developing and consistently implementing your brand strategy across the entire organisation to build associations in your customers’ minds. Your ‘brand’ is the effect of these efforts; it is the set of associations and perceptions people have in their mind about your company. And with a great strategy in place, you can manage and steer these perceptions.
If you’re ready to put in place a strong branding process, we are more than happy to help. Not only are we trained branding experts, we have lots of experience supporting organisations of all shapes and sizes to close the gap between how they ‘are’ and ‘want’ to be perceived. We become an extension of your team and go on that all-important journey with you!