There are many misconceptions about what branding is and what it isn’t. First off, let’s get that picture of a sizzling hot poker stamping a name against a cow’s backside out your mind. It’s not a totally irrelevant image because the cow will be identified as belonging to a particular individual or company – and it’s actually how the concept of branding kicked off – but the actuality of branding is, of course, far more complicated than that.
We work with many clients across Glasgow, Edinburgh and Manchester who now understand that branding goes far deeper than just showing off their logo. As branding and marketing consultants we help our clients to understand the concept of branding and how this will benefit their business.
Concept of Branding
Here’s a few things to consider around the wider concept of branding:
Your credibility as a company
The ability to get your message across clearly and unequivocally to your customers
Retaining customer loyalty
Motivating existing and potential customers to ‘buy in’ to your goods or services
Making an important emotional connection with your customer so that he or she chooses you above your competitors
Delivering your brand expectations
So how do you achieve the above? Well, for starters, you ensure that every time the customer connects with your business he or she receives the kind of excellent service and experience that they come to relate to your company (and customer service – which we’ll talk about in a separate post – plays a huge part here!)
Consider some of the current brands you’re probably already familiar with. The following are products but branding is, of course, relevant to companies delivering services as well.
John Lewis – upmarket, appeals to middle and upper class shoppers, a good solid British brand with excellent customer service and quality goods
Apple – provides a good quality, affordable product. Customers queue for hours to obtain the newest phone which costs far more than any of their competitors
Innocent – a trustworthy, ethical company with a sense of humour and which produces high-quality, foods (cares for its customer’s health)
Coca-Cola – the biggest, most-recognised brand in the world with a long and loyal heritage (125 years) as well as a famously iconic bottle
With the exception of John Lewis and Coca-Cola the other two companies are relatively new to their respective markets yet their branding expertise has pushed them to the forefront of UK consumers’ minds and ensured they succeeded in their quests to gain massive shares in their particular sector.
Happily, this shows that good branding doesn’t necessarily take years to achieve. Innocent stormed their market in just over a decade or so. Yes, that’s all it took to build their reputation which is very encouraging.
Your brand is your company’s personality. It’s how your current and potential customers perceive how you act and what you, as a company, can provide for them.
What physical aspects does branding involve?
Packaging of goods or delivery, if a service
Ease of use and quality of website
Channels used to advertise
What a company chooses to label (i.e. name) itself in the first place
Vincent Bissette is Managing Director of Darwin Brand Consultants, a Glasgow-based brand and marketing agency with clients in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Manchester.