Branding: What, why and how?

branding for small businessAnybody interested in marketing has definitely heard the term ‘branding.’ It is included as an objective of every single marketing piece that goes out into the world. But what exactly does branding mean? Why is it important? And how can you effectively create a brand identity for your business? Let’s take a look.

According to the Entrepreneur small business encyclopedia, branding is the “marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products.” However this only covers one aspect of branding. Sure, the physical logos and designs are important for visually appealing content but branding is also about the less tangible aspects of your business.

In simpler terms, branding comes down to the unique offerings you present to your customers. Branding allows your audience to understand what they can expect from your services, what kind of values your business represents and what that means for the way you do business.

Why branding is important

The definition in itself provides some explanation as to why branding is important for any business. Branding is essentially the physical representation of what makes your company so special. However, beyond a better understanding of your value proposition, branding can result in a whole bunch of benefits that support wider business goals.

According to the Under 30 CEO Blog, better branding brings in better business. For starters, strategic branding allows businesses to better pinpoint their target audience. Your brand should be fine-tuned and direct, once you nail the intricacies of your branding your audience will become much clearer because you will have built a strategy that is centered on your business goals and objectives.

Branding can also help businesses save time and money in the long term, reported the source. Strong branding draws in loyal customers which results in more purchases. Additionally, once you have defined your brand, you will no longer have to spend as much time explaining what your business is all about – it will be implicit in your brand image.

Branding is a very important tactic for any business. It increases awareness, creates loyal customers and ultimately makes your establishment more profitable. So, now that you know the what and the why, how can you ensure your brand is effective? Here are some quick tips.

Stay on target: Once you have defined your brand identity, avoid posting content or other marketing material that doesn’t align with these values. According to Hubspot, leaders should make sure to avoid anything that would cause their audience to be confused about their brand.

Get personal: Leaders should make their brand as personalized as they can to their consumers, explained Entrepreneur contributor Luke Summerfield. This can be as simple as a personalized email or as detailed as a direct phone call to your most loyal customers. Whatever it is, personalization helps emphasize brand values and build loyalty.

Keep your competition in mind: Business brands are unique to every business but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea to keep an eye on your competitors. What aspects of their brand awareness campaign are working, which are not? Use this insight to make your strategy stronger.

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