Good branding helps organizations develop a positive reputation in the minds of customers, employees, investors, and other stakeholders. It provides a reason for people to consider doing business with a company, creates an emotional bond, and communicates your values. You can make good branding a part of your overall marketing plan, and it can also help with recruiting talented employees. In this article, we discuss what makes good branding, explain why it’s important, highlight common characteristics of a good brand and offer tips for making a brand exceptional.
What makes good branding?
Good branding is an important part of a successful marketing plan, and it consists of both tangible and intangible elements. Some of the most recognizable aspects of good branding include a company’s name, logo, slogan, and other symbols, along with the names and symbols of its products and services.
Choices of colors, imagery, design, tone of voice, and messaging all contribute to the meaning of a brand and how it’s expressed in marketing materials such as advertisements, websites, direct mail and blog posts. For example, an informal tone in executive biographies can help send a message that an organization is friendly and approachable. It’s important to be consistent in these elements because good branding communicates a company’s values and sets stakeholder expectations.
Why is it important to have good branding?
Branding helps companies and organizations distinguish themselves in the marketplace. It also gives customers a reason to choose a business or product. For instance, if customers perceive that one brand of pain reliever is more effective than another, they might purchase the more effective one. Brand names also are important in building trust, which can lead to long-term customer retention.
Good branding also impacts a company’s human resources. If an organization’s brand gets widespread respect, it might be able to recruit top talent. Existing employees may also feel better connected to the organization and more motivated to contribute to it.
Common characteristics of good branding
Good branding is an important marketing discipline that helps define a company’s identity and values. Here are some common characteristics of good branding:
Good branding helps companies establish an identity and highlights a value proposition to appeal to customers. For example, customers might recognize the name of a popular restaurant and purchase food from it because it offers unique dishes. A brand can also change in meaning as business changes. A company that sells mobile devices, for instance, might evolve over time to appeal to customers for high-end enterprise software and analytics.
Since branding is about the perception of a company, it’s often beneficial for brand expressions to be the same, no matter what form they take. Brand expressions include concrete and tangible items such as advertisements, logos and corporate messaging. It also includes intangible items, such as a track record for quality. Being consistent can help establish a brand and enhance its value.
Successful brand messaging reflects a company’s understanding of the needs and wants of its target audience. Many brands anticipate what customers are looking for in terms of new products and services and produce these items without consumers even asking for them. Understanding your target customers can also help influence your decisions about the tangible elements of a brand and how a company communicates it.
Good branding reflects leadership in the marketplace. For example, a company may strive to be the first one to develop new features, capabilities or products in a particular market. In addition, effective brands often create technology standards that others then follow.
Effective brands also emphasize quality in everything they do and every interaction they have with their various stakeholders. This can help a company stand out as a reliable choice against its competitors. Quality also helps build loyalty, which might lead to repeat sales.
9 tips to ensure good branding
Knowing the characteristics of a good brand can help you outline your brand strategy. Here are some tips to help ensure good branding:
1. Talk with your customers
Take every opportunity to learn what your customers are saying and thinking. You can do this by conducting surveys or convening focus groups. Feedback from customers is important in establishing and evolving brand meaning and messaging.
2. Focus on quality
Paying attention to details, both big and small, can help build a positive brand reputation. A reputation for quality may help increase a brand’s value and grow sales. Quality is both a function of the products you provide and the experiences you create.
3. Establish company values
Consider establishing a set of values for an organization to follow and put mechanisms in place to help encourage employees to live by those values. Try to develop a content or style guide for how the organization should sound in its marketing materials, official company statements and website. Consider researching your competition and surveying your strengths to develop an effective brand message.
4. Listen to conversations on social media
Social media networks give customers a platform to express their opinions about businesses and their products and policies. Businesses can also participate in those discussions, either by offering responses or studying the comments to learn how to improve their services. Online conversations can provide insight into what customers are thinking and how the brand message is being received.
5. Actively manage the brand
Good branding comprises many different elements. Active management of a brand is important, either through brand specialists or through executive staff, because it can help a brand evolve. You might consider forming a brand council that helps ensure consistency and has the authority to make decisions on brand matters.
6. Build a website
Make your website a central part of how you manage a particular brand. Customers increasingly engage with organizations online, so it’s important that the brand comes through on the internet as well. Website branding involves elements like the use of your logo, choice of photos or tone of writing. It can also involve how well customers are able to use and navigate your website.
7. Develop a memorable tag line
Consider also developing a tag line that’s easy to remember. Tag lines are slogans that are easily recognizable and tied to a specific brand. They can allow customers to notice a brand across different media platforms and marketing materials.
8. Use your strengths to build the brand
Gather your top brand advisers and ask them to help identify what makes a company or organization different. Use the feedback you receive to identify a unique brand value proposition. You can refine it based on your understanding of your competitors to make sure you stand out to the maximum degree.
9. Create internal libraries for brand assets
Once you define the brand and create logos and other assets, your team can use them in marketing materials. You can make it easier on them by developing an online repository in which employees can find useful tools to support the brand. This might include letterhead or slideshow templates or a link to your style guide.
Article Provided By: Indeed