We all witnessed the word and the concept of 'branding' become the fresh new thing years ago. A 'buzz word' that we couldn't get enough of.
But what is it, really? And why did we become so obsessed with it, since?
The art, and to some degree, science, of branding is in how you tell your story.
Branding is the process of telling your brand's story. But, in telling that story, you must aim to influence your consumers to take action towards your brand.
Like any trend, what 'branding' stood for made sense. So naturally, every company wanted it and every marketer wanted to help their companies with it; they wanted to capitalize on offering whatever services could possibly fall under 'branding'. From discovering your brand colors, to your brand personality, to the creative content you create that best represents your image. Literally, everything can be considered 'branding.' And today? It's not any different.
Oh and let's not forget the other word that became popular. That word: Purpose. How many times have we heard a marketer speak on a brand's purpose and how they can "help brands" be purposeful?
It's exhausting, though, isn't it? I'll admit.
Yes, I built my career on helping companies best communicate their stories. And yes, also assist them with their 'branding.' I've aligned companies with the best partners, I have made sure their communications initiatives are all cohesive with who they are, what they believe and where they are headed as a company, and so much more.
All this is great. But unless you are providing your customers with a problem solving product/service or even a 'must have' product/service that they need or simply, want, you are missing the point.
And when 'branding' your product/service, remember that the most important part of what you're doing is: clearly and effectively communicating what your product/service is all about and why it should be the number one choice for those you want to purchase it. Understand that to get there, you need to do thorough research on your market, industry and consumers so that you know who they are, where they are, how to reach them and everything in-between. You also need to be a listener. The number one thing you can do as a business owner, for the success of your company, is to listen. Listen to the praises and the complaints and either keep doing what you're doing or make the necessary changes. And do so right away.
You know what one of my biggest pet peeves are when it comes to 'branding'? That company owners and department heads don't see 'customer service' as part of the 'branding'. The people you hire to represent your company? Yes, it matters. And yes, that is 'branding' in the purest of forms.
It goes beyond your logo and your company's website 'aesthetics'. Go deeper and understand that every little bit of your brand is connected and deserves your attention.