Business Branding Tips

Listen in to any conversation about an individual’s shopping experiences, and you’re likely to hear comments like, “I always buy brand X”, or “I really don’t like brand Y” and so forth. Once consumers are aware of and like a particular brand, they often tend to remain loyal to it. This also means the reverse can occur, and that one bad experience can lead a customer to abandon a brand for good.

So, what exactly is branding?

In companies of all sizes, branding is the creation of the style and unique personality that a business displays to the world. Branding can help customers to recognise and remember what the business stands for. This means your brand needs to be authentic, in that you are able to deliver on the key messages and promises your brand communicates.

What does business branding involve?

• Branding involves things such as developing a business name, tagline, logo and / or pictorial design or image that represents the business and distinguishes it from all others. Your branding should tell the story of the business, and promote the promise that you are intent on delivering with your business.

• A business’s branding should be simple, professionally designed, and quickly recognisable.

• The branding should be used consistently throughout the business. This includes on the stationery, signage, promotions, website, uniforms, vehicles, and so forth. What types of brands are there? The type of branding you choose depends on the response you want to elicit. Different types of branding include: • Branding that appeals to the feeling or emotion that is derived from using the product. For instance, a brand might promote a product or service as one that brings freedom, or a sense of power.

• Branding that promotes the functional and practical aspects of the product, rather than the emotional response it creates.

• Shop brands – these tend to be used by large supermarket or department store chains.

• Separate brands for different products. Some businesses create new brands for each product they develop and market.

Developing a brand for your small business

• First, make sure you know your target market well, and know what that market wants and needs. Know your business goals including your vision and mission, because these will form part of your branding message.

• Consult a professional branding consultant to assist you in developing a recognisable and unique company logo, slogan, tagline and so on. The last thing you need is branding that looks unprofessional.

• Build brand awareness through marketing materials, advertising campaigns, and business promotions. The important thing is to be consistent in your use of your brand and in delivering on its messages and promises. Do this, and there will be a greater chance that your customers will remain loyal to your product or service!