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Branding: Era’s new trend or the most important investment of your business?

Branding: Era’s new trend or the most important investment of your business?

Branding: Era’s new trend or the most important investment of your business?

“If people believe they share values with a company, they will stay loyal to the brand.”

Howard Schultz
 

In recent years, the words "brand" & "branding" are often used as something modern, as the era’s new trend, so that the essence of the words’ meaning is lost, especially for a new business.

What exactly is "brand" & what’s the difference between "branding"?

"Brand», otherwise the trademark of a company, is the most valuable asset of your business – in other words your logo. It is identified by a name, a shape or any combination thereof including other aesthetic features for the creation of an image, an identity to differentiate a product, a service or a company from its competitors.

Customers recognize and identify you through your “brand”.

However, what does "branding" mean?

If you have completed the creation of a new brand and you have designed the corporate identity of your company, having applied the new logo to all forms and customers’ contact points, have you done "branding"?

The answer is no. Branding is a demanding - continuous - interactive process daily built through interaction with your customers. Branding is the relationship developed between the brand and its audience. It’s the experience and the impression that the brand gives to very customer.

The Branding process concerns everything that happens from inside a business (identity) to the outside world (communication) and includes the following three steps:

  1. Business goals and brand personality

Τι αντιπροσωπεύει το εμπορικό μας σήμα? Τι υπόσχεται στους πελάτες? Τι προσωπικότητα μεταφέρει μέσω του marketing? Αυτά όλα τα ερωτήματα και πολλά επιπλέον, θα λυθούν μέσα από το 1ο στάδιο Branding.

The company sets goals and shapes the personality of the new brand. This is the keystone of the branding process, since in order to acquire the expected results, a brand strategy path should be followed  after setting our priorities .

What does our brand represent? What does it promise to customers? What personality does it convey through marketing? All these questions and many others, should be answered during the 1st Branding step.

 

  1. Market Analysis

Είναι καλό να μαθαίνεις από την εμπειρία κάποιου άλλου έτσι μπορείς να δημιουργήσεις μία μοναδική και αποτελεσματική ταυτότητα μάρκας σε σχέση με τον ανταγωνισμό.

Once goals are set, Brand’s personality becomes clearer and the market analysis follows. This procedure will help us understand the new brand’s entering environment, thus particularities that may affect its success.

Market analysis concerns competition (direct or indirect) as much as consumer market base. Its purpose is to provide evidence of successful practices and avoid competitors' mistakes, revealing consumers’ preferences and behavior.

It is desirable to learns things from experience gained by others, in order to be able to create a unique, effective and competitive brand identity.

 

  1. Logo design - Corporate brand style - Visual brand elements

Once the personality and goals of the new brand have been set and the market analysis has been completed, its identity should be visualized. It’s when the designers take over, while it would be a mistake to underestimate the importance of their work.

The logo is the most basic mark of the brand’s identity, the most visible symbol of its image and the cornerstone of an effective marketing strategy allowing it to connect with the target audience.

However, logo design is not the only visual representation of a brand. Additional elements are printings, slogans, color palettes, the use of mascots and other visual elements to be harmoniously combined to a corporate style, by the designer working for the branding of a company.

The selection of creative elements should be made under aesthetics related criteria, functionality and the recipients’ expression of emotions, as they reflect the philosophy and vision of the company.

Therefore, "Branding" is a continuous and interactive experience, during which the company and the designers create together a unique outcome by visualizing the brand’s identity, the most important investment of your business. Branding is:

  • The way your employees interact with customers
  • Your customers opinion in relation to the competition
  • All images and messages communicated through media

They all come down to this: on a shelf or in a magazine, on the Internet or on TV, your brand will leave customers with a strong and favorable impression of your product or service.