A company’s branding is crucial to its success for a number of reasons. While your brand might seem like it only consists of design elements like your logo and colours, branding goes much deeper. In fact, your branding encompasses your business’ entire identity. You only have seven seconds to make a first impression, so your brand must be well-designed and memorable.

This guide will answer the following questions:

  • What is branding?
  • Why is branding important?
  • How can you build a strong brand?
  • How can Countingup help small businesses run effectively?

What is branding?

A brand is a business and marketing concept that helps people identify a product, company or individual. Aside from the visual elements (logo, colours, etc.), branding is intangible, meaning you can’t touch or see it. Instead, branding shapes peoples’ perception of businesses, including their products, services, and people behind them.

Strong brands often use identifying markers that help them stand out in the marketplace, which gives the business or individual a competitive advantage over others in the same field. Because of the significant value a brand provides, many companies obtain trademarks to get legal protection for their brands. 

Why is branding important?

To help you understand why branding is so important in business, we’ve broken down the benefits it provides that helps your business get ahead.

Branding improves recognition

Branding helps your business get recognised more often since people will learn to associate different elements with your company. Strong branding means people will naturally notice you. A business with weak branding will likely not capture peoples’ attention or stay in their memory for long.

If you have a distinct logo, attractive colours and memorable visual elements, people will be able to identify your company with only one glance. Even if a person isn’t ready to buy from you yet, they might remember your brand and come back to it when they’re ready to make a purchase.

Branding builds connection and trust

Given the choice between a business with clear and professional branding and one that hasn’t made any effort, we’d all choose the first one. Why? Because strong branding shows us that the company is established, knowledgeable and trustworthy. How a business presents itself tells us a lot about what kind of company it is. 

Making the effort to create a strong brand helps you prove to potential customers that you mean business. When done well, branding creates an emotional bond between the business and customer based on shared values and trust. This connection then encourages people to return to your company.

Branding can improve your advertising

As a new business, you’ll likely not get far without advertising, which goes hand in hand with branding. If you want your advertising to be effective, you must work on creating a brand first. When advertising your business, you want everything to demonstrate your identity and values. 

You’ll probably struggle to make this happen if you haven’t formed a brand yet. Advertising without solid branding means you risk missing out on great opportunities to create effective campaigns. On the flip side, incorporating branding into your advertising will help increase your brand recognition since it enables you to stay consistent and clear about who you are.

Branding creates loyal customers

As a business owner, you want customers or clients to not only recognise your business but also to continue coming back. With strong branding, you can give your brand a human side by communicating your values and purpose. This human side has a higher chance of resonating with customers and inspires them to continue buying from you.

You can appeal to peoples’ emotions and make them feel connected to you through your branding. As such, branding empowers you to build relationships with your audience and turn them into loyal customers. Creating a brand that people care about can put you ahead of businesses that haven’t. 

How can you improve your branding?

Strong branding requires research to determine where you’ll fit into the market. You also need to look into what people currently look for in brands like yours and what other companies offer at the moment. Once you’ve done your research, you need to do the following things to develop effective branding:

  • Develop a personality for your business: adding a personal touch to your brand will give people something to relate to. Find a way to communicate your mission, beliefs, and values to make your business appear more human. 
  • Give your brand a story: storytelling is a powerful tool to engage with your audience. Your story can be anything from how you came up with your business idea to how you make your products or why you do what you do.
  • Be active on social media: you need to socialise with your audience online to let them know you exist and to build a connection with them. Share information, comment on others’ posts, and like and share content to build rapport.
  • Collaborate with influencers: find one in your industry and have them promote your business, products and services on your behalf. 
  • Make it easy to share your content: the easier it is for people to share content they like that you’ve published, the more likely they are to do it. 

If you need to find out more about how to build a brand to use as the foundation for your branding and marketing, you can do so in this guide.