what is branding, and why is it important?

Many business owners think branding is little more than a logo design, or at most a style guide. As a result, they’re often surprised to discover how involved a process branding really is.

This confusion is understandable because the term “branding” gets tossed around a lot, to the point many people who offer it as a service can’t really describe what they’re doing. That’s a problem if you want to know exactly what you’re paying for—or why you should even consider doing it in the first place.

so what is branding, and why is it important?

Branding plays a critical role in any successful business by clearly defining your reason for being. It’s not about what you do as a company or organization, but why you do it.

While this may sound like something that’s “nice to have” rather than an essential part of running a business, it often makes the difference between organizations that thrive and those that just get by—or fail altogether.

A strong, well-defined brand delivers three significant benefits:

  • More consistent, memorable and effective messaging, and to the right customers—which translates directly into stronger credibility, more effective marketing, customer trust, and a healthier bottom line.
  • A unified platform for all of your marketing and communications efforts—eliminating much of the guesswork about how to position your company.
  • Distinction among your competitors—allowing you to compete on more than just the price of what you offer.

what can you expect to get?

A good branding consultant should offer something similar to the following:

  • A discovery process (usually 3-4 internal sessions) to identify:
    • Your organization’s values—Simply put, it’s what your brand stands for. Knowing this makes your marketing more convincing by orders of magnitude.
    • Your brand character and personality—Are you serious and trustworthy? Irreverent and fun? Practical and down-to-earth? Something else? Establishing the tone that’s right for your market is a key decision you’ll need to make consciously—and stick to.
    • Your ideal customer—Even more important than knowing who you are is correctly identifying your best buyers—figuring out who they are, getting to know them well, and addressing their real challenges.
    • The brand message—Marketing people define this in many ways, but at its heart it’s the statement or story that connects your organization to the people you want to reach most, making the case for the benefits you provide.
    • Positioning—This is where the real magic is, and what clients typically value most. It’s a clear and succinct statement of what sets you apart among your competitors and within your market. Done right, positioning provides the underpinning for all the marketing your company does—both internally and externally.
  • An identity standards manual—A “Bible” of standards to make sure your brand is executed correctly and consistently by everyone in your organization.
  • …and in some cases, a new or updated logo. Remember: a logo is not a brand, but merely a component of your overall branding effort.

need help creating or redefining your brand? call me.

Whole Brain Creative can help you develop a brand that inspires buyers and encourages loyalty to your company. Call or email us for a no-obligation consultation: 503.325.4485 or [email protected].

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