The role of branding in business and marketing has grown significantly in terms of prioritization across the corporate and small business worlds, particularly with the advent of positions such as chief brand officer and chief imagination officer. The question remains: what is branding?
Despite branding’s move to the spotlight, the vast majority of businesspeople still don’t have a firm grasp of what branding truly is. In fact, I dare say that many businesspeople view branding as another funnel of expenditures by the marketing team that does little in terms of generating ROI.
I have to adamantly argue against that line of thinking. While branding might be more subjective and more challenging to quantify when it comes time to evaluate results, it’s no less important than any other tool in your marketing arsenal. I’d venture to say it’s the most important part of your business.
Let’s take a look at what branding is to gain a better understand of its importance to businesses.
- A brand is an image: A brand is synonymous with the image of the company it stands for. Is your business young and hip, or traditional and reserved? Your brand image should reflect that. A brand image can also be tangibly represented through a logo, color palette, design techniques and more.
- A brand is a message: A brand is made up of all the messages your business communicates from your advertising to your customer interactions and everything in between.
- A brand is a promise: A brand is nothing if it doesn’t stand for something and offer some kind of promise to customers. In other words, customers should be able to count on your brand to deliver a consistent experience or value every time they come into contact with it.
As you develop your brand, do so with your stretch goals in mind. Don’t sell your brand short. Take some time to research and strategize and determine what you want your brand’s image, message and promise to be. In other words, where do you want your brand to be positioned in the marketplace and what expectations should your customers have for it?
Once you’ve got your roadmap defined, you can begin building your brand. How? Read my next article, “Branding in the Spotlight – How to Develop a Brand” to learn more.
For more information, read Branding in the Spotlight – How to Develop a Brand.