Branding Your Business: the basics
The terms 'brand' and 'branding' can be integral to a business' success - but what exactly do they mean? Does your business have a brand, and does it need one?
Branding gets right to the core of your business' values. It is about discovering and communicating the essence of your business and what it delivers to your customers. In effect, your brand creates your business' reputation and its 'personality'. A strong brand can make your business stand out from the crowd, particularly in competitive markets.
This guide explains what branding is, how it works and how you can use it to help improve your business. It shows you how to create a brand, how to budget for it and the different techniques of managing a brand. You will also find out what the key elements of branding are, how branding applies to different business sectors and the impact design can have on branding.
WHAT IS A BRAND?
Your brand is more than just the logo on your letterhead and business cards or your business name. It is your corporate identity. An effective brand tells the world who you are, what you do and how you do it, while at the same time establishing your relevance to and credibility with your prospective customers.
Your brand is also something more ethereal. It is how your business is perceived by its customers. If your brand has a high perceived value, you enjoy many advantages over your competition, especially when it comes to pricing. Why do you think people are prepared to pay stupid money for items of clothing with the initials "CK" on them? Perceived value. Perceived value as a result of very effective brand promotion resulting in very high brand awareness.
Now, I'm not saying we all need to rush out and start creating brands that are going to be recognized the world over. Most of us simply don't have the time or other resources necessary. What I am suggesting, however, is that it is possible for your brand to dominate your niche.