BusinessA word about Branding - a key to your company's success
Growth Marketing Manager
It may be tempting to perceive branding as an amalgam of a logo, color palette, and name. Nothing could be more wrong in the digital era.
Branding has always been crucial to businesses but today it may be more important than ever before. With the advent of the visual-first age and the growth of social media channels, consumers come across new brands every day. Having a plethora of options, they decide to adhere to the most memorable, consistent, and trustworthy identities that share the same values as they do. Read the article to discover what is branding and why it is key to your company's success.
What is a brand?
When starting your business, you want to offer some valuable products or services that will satisfy the audience’s and market’s needs. What if there have already been plenty of goods pretty similar to yours? Then, the difference lies in the brand.
“Brands are essentially patterns of familiarity, meaning, fondness, and reassurance that exist in the minds of people.” — Tom Goodwin .
Even though it typically consists of a name, tagline, logo, imagery, tone of voice, and more, a brand is much more than a set of elements. It is a way that customers perceive, identify and experience a specific company, distinguishing it from the competition. Therefore, only when these crucial components come together, do they create a unique final experience for your audience. In this understanding, brands are essentially intangible, as you cannot touch and see a brand itself. However, putting Apple's example (referring to the technology company), a strong image can be loved, trusted, and considered an authority. It is because a brand is ultimately an emotional relationship between your business and customers.
What is branding?
When a brand is much more than a logo, then branding must be much more than the creation of visual components.
Branding is a process of giving meaning to an organization by creating a strong, positive perception of your company in the minds of the target audience. In effect, strong branding helps customers quickly identify and experience your brand, giving them a reason to trust you, and thus purchase your products or services. In other words, it enhances customers’ decision-making process, resulting in choosing your service over the competition’s.
Why is branding important?
Let’s put it straight - the reputation of your company builds up whether you care about your branding or not. However, it can be a good reputation that drives your business, or a bad one that dooms you to failure, getting lost in the crowded market. This is why branding is a perfect solution to adopt from the very beginning.
As we agreed, a brand is an emotional relationship, and branding is a process of building and fostering it by creating the company’s true essence. Strong branding, as the main goal of all brands, indicates consumers have acquired a clear image of what you do and who you are. It means that they no longer perceive you as a service or product provider but rather as something they can relate to and connect with. Consequently, not only are you achieving increasing recognition but also gaining familiarity among your potential customers. Then, you are on the right track to developing strong relations built on trust.
A reason to trust you
“The more you trust a brand, the better your perception of it, the stronger its reputation and, thus, the brand itself” - Radu Dandu 
Trust is a particularly important deciding factor in highly crowded markets, as it makes a difference between intention (considering to buy) and action (making a purchase). Setting an example, when customers compare two identical products from two different brands, they are more likely to choose the one from a company that seems more familiar and trustworthy. According to the survey conducted in 2022, 81% of consumers need to trust a brand to consider buying or using services , and what’s more, 46% say they could pay more for a brand they trust. It means that with strong branding, not only the chances of picking you are rising but, more importantly, they can afford to spend more money to obtain your product. It is mainly because it is no longer a product itself but a whole set of values that are hidden behind your strong brand.
In the end, the main goal of any branding strategy is to turn customers into loyal fans of your brand. The only way to achieve that is to build trust which, according to the report ‘Loyalty deciphered. How emotions drive genuine engagement’ has the greatest influence on loyalty .
How to build a brand
Successful branding can be achieved with the use of different tools and methods but the principles include:
1. Conducting research
Extensive research is a fundamental step to innovate without making questionable assumptions. To successfully begin with the creation of a brand, it’s essential to identify all the opportunities you have at your fingerprints, including an initial vision of your brand among management and stakeholders, a competitive environment, and market needs. As it is a humble beginning of the complex process, instead of asking intricate questions such as “What’s your brand personality?”, you may ask: “How would you describe your company in a few words?” or “What is the most important to you when it comes to the image of your company?”.
2. Clarifying strategy
In a nutshell, the development of brand strategy is a combination of rational thinking with true creativity. In this phase, it’s crucial to define how you want to be portrayed, and, more importantly, how you want your customers to portray you.
An efficient brand strategy should include:
The competitive advantage of your brand
3. Designing identity
Once you’ve clarified your brand’s fundamentals, you can move towards the creation of brand identity.
Brand identity serves as the tangible agent of your brand. Putting it simply, it is everything that consumers can see, touch, and watch… and eventually combine into a consistent and trustworthy image.
A brand identity typically consists of:
Tone of voice
4. Creating touchpoints
With a brand identity built on a well-thought-out strategy, it is high time to create points of contact between your organization and the audience. The key part of this stage is to develop a web application or related digital product that will entirely represent your business with all the values defined in the second step. Having your ‘brand’s face’, you’re ready to successfully launch and start building a relationship between your business and the target audience.
5. Managing assets
“69% of consumers claim that the most important thing brands can do to improve their experience is “knowing them” ”, according to InMoment. Designing a powerful brand is a large step closer to your corporate success, albeit it is not the end of your branding journey. Every brand designing process has to be enhanced by an impeccable customer experience. This is when the relationship cements.
A key to the success
Establishing just “a brand” is not enough in competitive markets. At the end of the day, it is the consumer surrendered by a plethora of brands, who makes a decision to believe you and make a purchase. The only way to achieve that is to go through a complex process of giving meaning to your organization and achieve a strong, positive perception of your company based on a well-defined strategy.
Strong branding will undoubtedly transform the way consumers look at you while increasing the chance to trust you over the competition. Then, it is a key to your company's success.
 Dandu, R., What Is Branding and Why Is It Important for Your Business?, https://www.brandingmag.com/2015/10/14/what-is-branding-and-why-is-it-important-for-your-business/ [last accessed: 13.10.2022].
 Haworth, J., 33 New Branding Statistics and Trends for 2022, https://explodingtopics.com/blog/branding-stats [last accessed: 13.10.2022].
 Capgemini, Loyalty deciphered. How emotions drive genuine engagement, https://www.capgemini.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/dti_loyalty-deciphered_29nov17_final.pdf [last accessed: 13.10.2022].
 InMoment, 2019 CX Trends Report, https://inmoment.com/resource/2019-cx-trends-report/ [last accessed: 13.10.2022].