In business, a company’s brand is one of its most valuable assets. “Brand” typically makes one think of logos, tag lines, or product names. But all these are just one part of the actual definition of “brand”. A brand is an immaterial marketing concept that makes people readily identify a business or an individual.
Many people refer businesses by their brand, which is a good indication that the brand is effective. One of the hallmarks of successful branding is when brand and business have become inseparable in the public’s perspective. A great example of this is Coca-Cola. The popular soda drink has become synonymous with the company (Coca-Cola Co.) itself. This means Coca-Cola, as a brand, carries remarkable monetary value, both for the company and for all its stakeholders.
What Is a Brand?
A brand helps the public (consumers) recognize a business, company, or individual that provides a product or service. In simpler terms, a brand is an entity’s promise to its customer. It signifies what they can expect in terms of products or services. It distinguishes the business’s offering from what its competitors offer.
To understand what branding is, it is crucial to examine its underlying components: corporate image and positioning.
What Is Corporate Image and Positioning?
Corporate image is the appearance of the company or entity that created the product. It could also be the person who invented the product, such as a scientist, celebrity, or public officer.
Positioning speaks about the image of the product as created by the organization or inventor. In creating the product’s image, the company can either opt to combine or separate in terms of branding strategy:
- Combine: If the company’s corporate image can help sell the product, then the company can utilize the corporate image in positioning the product. A good example is the iPhone. Its mere association with its manufacturer, Apple, greatly helps the positioning of the iPhone.
- Separation: Suppose the company’s corporate image is damaging to the product’s sale or if its reputation could be detrimental to the owner company. Separation should be the strategy in positioning the product. One excellent example in this scenario is Hidden Valley. Clorox owns the salad dressing brand, but utilizing Clorox in positioning the Hidden Valley product might not be an astute business decision.
The Difference between Brand and Business Name
Simply put, the business or its name refers to the entity that produces or markets the products or services. Its brand is the image or the personality the company applies to its products or services.
Famous brands such as Nike, Sony, or Shell are also the names of the owner companies. On the other hand, a company like Unilever does not present as a brand name. However, it markets several known brands, such as Lipton, Ben & Jerry’s, and Best Foods.
How to Create Your Brand
When creating your brand, you should be able to answer these vital questions with a reasonable degree of certainty:
- What is the mission of your business/company?
- What are the features, advantages, and benefits of your product or service?
- What does your target audience know or think about your business or company?
- What merits would you like your target audience to associate with your business or company?
When you have definitive answers to the mentioned questions, you can further refine your brand by developing a tagline or slogan. Come up with a meaningful, catchy, and, most importantly, memorable statement that can describe your brand’s essence in as few words as possible. The next thing to do is design a logo and other templates that will be your brand’s standards for marketing. You may enlist the help of a digital marketing agency for this part. Not only can they create a logo for you, but they can also make your company visible on the World Wide Web.
A well-thought-out, carefully executed brand increases the likelihood of better sales—not only of the particular product marketed but also for all the other products or services offered by your business. An effective brand elicits a sense of trust among its customers. And suppose one customer is satisfied with your product or service. In that case, the likelihood is high that they will try your other offerings. This is called brand loyalty.
A brand can propel a business into success in the same way it can spell its decline if not created and marketed correctly. Successful branding can help your business attract and retain a loyal customer base that will certainly give you the edge over your competitors.