A brand is not a logo or an advertising campaign. According to American marketer Marty Neumeier, a brand is a customer’s sixth sense of a product, service, or company. Your task is only to help people put this feeling in the right direction.
Branding as a process is a brand and its creation. This is how modern marketing calls a set of measures and actions to create a sustainable image – associations or emotional meaning of a product, service, or company as a whole.
The company’s image is half of its success. How customers evaluate a particular product has the most significant impact on their consumer behavior. Frequently, buyers don’t trust companies, but their big name has already earned a good reputation. Do you want to grow your branding and identity among competitors? Then this article is for you.
What is branding in business, and what is it used for?
So, the word “brand” refers to a name, mark, or symbol that identifies a seller’s products and services. “Brand-building” – is brand creation. “Branding” is the process of creating and developing a brand, the primary way of product differentiation, a tool for promoting goods to the market and creating a long-term relationship with consumers based on the values that are relevant to consumers, embedded in the brand. In short, branding is a set of sequential measures to create a holistic and demanded consumer image of a product or service. In brief: branding is brand management.
In today’s world, we encounter brands every day. Many intuitively understand what it is and why branding is so important. This also applies to your consumers – the target audience.
Branding, in general, serves the following purposes:
- Increasing awareness and reach;
- Strengthening differences from competitors with identical products and offers;
- Creating loyalty and expanding the base of regular customers;
- Increasing the price of goods and services due to additional value: positive associations, emotions, confidence in the unique quality of the product, its status, or other image advantages.
Even though the brand itself is not a material object but rather an intellectual one, its influence on the surrounding reality is quite tangible.
This is how branding differs from a trademark or corporate identity. Trademark is more of a formal side of the issue. A registered trademark is used on documents, labels, and advertisements and is always protected by copyright. The corporate identity serves to individualize the product in the visual aspect – these are the graphic solutions that make it recognizable. A brand represents, to some extent, the opinion, perception, and trust of customers.
Why is branding so important?
Most consumers choose products from brands that appeal to them; that’s why branding is important. Consumers are guaranteed to favor goods and services from a well-known manufacturer or recommended in a competitive environment. Only 33 percent of buyers trust the company’s messages, while almost 90% of customers trust recommendations from someone they know.
A personal brand created by a company significantly increases its value – some brands are worth more than the budget of small countries. The five largest corporations’ profits exceed twice the total income of the GDP of the poorest countries. It’s clear that brands significantly impact the world economy and consumers’ minds.
Creating a brand gives a company several advantages:
- attracting new customers;
- reducing the risk of rejection of goods and services in favor of competitors;
- cooperationing with distribution channels and intermediary companies with favorable for the company terms of;
- licensing its products, which brings additional income;
- developing new production areas, which is achieved through consumers’ trust.
Brand design is a direction in design. Its purpose is to attract consumer interest in a product or service being promoted to the market. The main focus will always be on the target audience; it’s essential to make their choice in favor of any product. The designer’s task is to understand consumer preferences, analyze the competitive environment, and competently differentiate the product on the shelf.
The company’s brand development will help make the product released to the market recognizable and find its consumers. GAPSY STUDIO specialists successfully work with all visual image components and use the most effective modern design tools in their work. The brand attributes process is divided into the following stages:
- Corporate identity creation;
- Packaging/label design development;
- Logo development;
- Brand book creation;
- Advertising campaign strategy development.
Our professionalism and close-knit team allow us to pay special attention to all aspects of the branding. The created image must be read as holistically and clearly as possible, which is why we try to take into account the smallest nuances of consumer perception in our work.
Branding process in Gapsy
When it comes to your brand, it’s better not to risk. It takes about 50 milliseconds (0.05 seconds) for people to form an opinion about your website and brand. So it’s crucial to make it well recognizable and memorable.
Creating the right, recognizable branding is not an easy task that requires a specific process, expertise, and steps to implement it. Gapsy Studios always adheres to the following method of creating first-class quality branding:
Step 1 – Defining brand development goals
Before you start working on building a brand, you need to answer the following questions:
- Who am I?
- Where am I?
- What do I want?
These are the questions you must answer before starting to build a brand. The goal of “making money” is doomed to failure in advance. You need to understand what real benefits your company will bring to society.
You already have a product or service, most likely, but only now you are thinking about creating a brand. Then, you need to understand the peculiarity of the product and what market niche it occupies.
Step 2 – Market analysis
This is one of the most important steps of branding, and it forms the basis of the entire brand. It’s necessary to analyze the market and potential consumers at this stage: assess the current state of the brand (if the company is going to rebrand or change its positioning), conduct an analysis of competitive brands. Learn their advantages and weaknesses (to, possibly, make up for unmet customer expectations in the future), the needs of customers, their attitude to certain brands, their idea of the ideal product and its environment.
This stage involves:
- Marketing research;
- Development of the brand positioning concept;
- Development of a brand promotion strategy.
A thorough analysis of the market and brand allows you to objectively assess the market situation, competitive activity and make an informed strategic decision regarding the further development of your brand.
As a result of the research, we obtain comprehensive information about a specific field of activity, industry development trends, and market prospects. Statistics will help you set the right vector for brand development.
Step 3 – Naming
Naming is an integral and one of the essential stages of branding. A successful, bright, and memorable brand name motivates the consumer to make the first purchase. The developed name should be immediately registered as a trademark.
The irony of marketing is that a brand’s most valuable asset – its name – often gets the least attention. The brand/trademark name must:
- stand out from the competitor’s name;
- be short (no more than four syllables);
- be illustrative but not too general;
- be easy to pronounce;
- sound nice;
- suitable for a play on words in a slogan;
- have the right to legal protection.
Consider the good and bad names of global brands:
We start this stage after developing a brand strategy and drawing up a brief. For the first presentation, we prepare several naming concepts for the client. Each concept can contain multiple titles. All options are initially tested in open sources. When a client is identified with one of the concepts or a variant of the name, we check its legal purity.
Scope of work:
- Development of the name (naming);
- Registration of the name as a trademark;
- Development of a slogan;
- Development of a brand legend;
- Brand book development.
Step 4 – Visual brand identifiers development (corporate identity)
This stage allows you to form a new competitive image of the company, using visual identifiers to develop a brand design. It’s necessary to understand that a brand is not just a logo and corporate documentation set. We need to convey the brand’s characteristics through all possible and essential visual identifiers in each particular case.
The minimum composition of a brand carries:
Extended range of media:
- Title + slogan;
- Branded business documentation (business cards, envelopes, folder, letterhead).
By the way, one of the most significant components of a brand identity is a logo. You haven’t read our article on Ultimate Guide on How to Design a Great Logo For a Business yet? Then, hurry up and read it!
Comprehensive composition of all visual media:
- Name + slogan + brand story + brand book;
- Logo, color, corporate pattern (background, pattern), variants of the logo block;
- Corporate font;
- Branded business documentation (business cards, envelopes, folder, letterheads, presentation, badge, diary);
- Advertising and promotional printing, graphic design (banners, advertising page, annual report, booklet, catalog, leaflet, flyer, POS materials, icons, illustrations, corporate character);
- Packaging for product branding;
- Branded clothing and transport design;
- Souvenirs (pen, umbrella, lighter, notebook, T-shirt);
- Environment design (implementation of corporate identity in the interior of an office or store, retail space, exhibition or advertising stand, navigation, decoration of the reception area);
- Digital carriers (website, electronic presentation, mobile application, electronic communications);
- Signature melody.
Each type of business uses an utterly different composition and volume of corporate identity carriers.
Step 5 – Brand verbal component creation
The brand’s visual attributes are undoubtedly important, but the consumer will receive a holistic vision of your product only if there is a slogan, history, or legend.
International Marketing Professor Philip Kotler believes that there are seven models for creating a brand’s verbal component (its history).
- One day of consumer life. In other words, we draw an exemplary family image: mom bakes a pie in the kitchen, the father plays football with the kids. They return to the house, dirty and happy. Mom doesn’t worry about clothes; she has Tide with mint capsules. The consumer in this story recognizes himself. Or at least a dream.
- A real case of the brand in life. Procter & Gamble marketers claim that the founder of the company invented diapers specifically for his grandchildren. Even if this is not true, but a legend, it still sounds awesome.
- Way of life. Old Spice Odor Blocker’s creative antiperspirant team claims that their product is only for real men. Confirmation of this is the super courageous story told by the advertising campaign’s face, Terry Crews.
- Emotional impact. How do women’s cosmetics brands position themselves? A beautiful young girl basks in the shower. A beautiful but no longer young woman applies the cream to her neck. This is a story told without words.
- Character story. Mister Proper is more fun; the house is clean twice as fast. The verbal component of the brand is the story of the character’s life.
- Innovative technologies. Scientific developments are needed for any product. The change in production technology can be seen as the main element of brand positioning.
- Statistics. For example, 73% of women noticed an improvement in their skin condition after using NIVEA cream. And no one specifies that NIVEA itself carried out the research. 60% of respondents believe that the numbers in the text double the level of trust.
It doesn’t matter which type of legend you choose. The main task is to collect all the elements into one massive puzzle of good brand positioning.
Step 6 – Brandbook as a reference book
Imagine a picture: you clearly understand what your brand wants and what it can give to the world. What’s more, you have a perfect name, a magnetic logo, and a mesmerizing story (swap epithets if necessary). How do you share the brand vision with employees? Of course- using the brand book! Just look at this Starbucks brand book example.
A brand book is an internal corporate document that systematizes all ideological elements of a brand, forms its complex picture, and contains a set of rules for graphic and verbal components.
Step 7 – Brand promotion strategy
Brian Tracy, business coach and author of Good Selling Practices, believes that the strategy’s goal is to find the path that requires the least amount of time and energy and allows you to achieve tremendous success.
This statement is right about the company’s development strategy and the brand development strategy. The brand must change, surprise, grow. Otherwise, over time, consumers lose interest even in a well-made product.
A brand promotion strategy is a set of rules that define:
- emotional characteristics of the brand;
- communication system with the audience;
- product distribution channels;
- pricing policy;
- brand development direction for three years.
Step 8 – Brand monitoring
Sometimes the most ingenious plans, in theory, die in the harsh world of practice. Therefore, you must monitor the development of your brand. The final stage is periodic monitoring of the brand, assessing the effectiveness of ongoing measures to promote and develop the brand, correction of positioning, or possible misperception by customers.
Branding is not a one-size-fits-all remedy. But branding is important because it is one of the marketing tools. The appropriateness of its use depends on the ratio of costs and benefits, determined by the market’s characteristics, the product, and the company itself.
Creating your brand is a laborious, exciting, and comprehensive process that will bring the company fame and big profits with all stages’ professional implementation. But don’t worry, contact the professionals of our studio Gapsy and be sure that we will take on all the difficulties and accompany you at all stages of the brand’s birth. Contact us, and we will answer all your questions about the steps of creating a brand, taking into account the specifics of the business and your goals.
You need to trust your company and brand’s development only to professionals because a loyal customer is expensive. But, it is even more costly to return a customer whose expectations were not met.
If you want your company to be recognized on the market, contact us! Our experts will help you achieve your goal and create a positive image in your clients’ eyes (and minds). And to make sure of our professionalism, check out our projects on Dribbble and Behance, as well as take a look at the services we offer.