The power of branding
We live in an audience-centric era. If your audience thinks you don’t “get them,” they’ll find somebody who does. Earning attention, let alone affection, in a noisy world starts with a strong, recognizable, authentic brand. Branding is one of the most crucial aspects of any business, large or small. An effective brand can give you a significant edge in today’s highly competitive market. At Web Spectron, we value our clients’ creative identities, and offer solutions that sync with their strategic aspirations.
We’ve created this guide to shed some light on the subject of branding; what it is, how it works and how you can use it to help improve your business or the perception of your service
- What we mean by brand and branding
- How the web has changed the relationship with customers
- How branding can help your business
- The key ingredients of any good brand
- How to communicate, manage and develop your brand identity
- Branding for different market sectors
- The relationship between design and branding
Branding is a way of clearly highlighting what makes your offer different to, and more desirable than, anyone else’s. Effective branding elevates a product or organisation from being just one commodity amongst many identical commodities, to become something with a unique character and promise. It can create an emotional resonance in the minds of consumers who choose products and services using both emotional and pragmatic judgements.
Rachel’s Organic Butter, for example, chose black for its packaging design so it would stand out from the typical yellow, gold and green colours (representing sunshine and fields) used by competitor products. The result is that the brand appears more premium, distinctive and perhaps even more daring than its competitors.
People are generally willing to pay more for a branded product than they are for something which is largely unbranded. And a brand can be extended through a whole range of offers too.
Tesco, for example, began life as an economy supermarket and now sells a wide range of products, from furniture to insurance. But a consistent application of the Tesco brand attributes, such as ease of access and low price, has allowed the business to move into new market sectors without changing its core brand identity.
This obviously adds value to the business, but consumers also see added value in the new services thanks to their existing associations with the Tesco brand. Of course, this can work in reverse too: if consumers don’t like the Tesco brand in one product area, they’re less likely to choose the company’s offer in another product area.
Connecting with people
Creating a connection with people is important for all organisations and a brand can embody attributes which consumers will feel drawn to.
Apple’s original launch of the iPod, for example, catapulted the company from computer business to mass-market entertainment brand, with iPod marketing drawing heavily on people’s emotional relationship with their music.
By moving into music and film, Apple redefined what the company did and shifted its brand association to something that connects with larger numbers of people outside computing or creative community. They continued this shift with introduction of the iPhone, iPad and App Store bringing portable computing and its software into mainstream consumer culture. In doing so the brand has become more and more entwined on the lives of consumers making it incredibly powerful.