Or all of the above?
If your favorite brand or service came to mind just now, that’s the result of strategic and consistent branding.
So, What Exactly is Branding?
According to the American Marketing Association, “A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller’s goods or service as distinct from those of other sellers.”
However, there is a lot more to branding than a well-recognized logo. Branding is a combination of visual assets, marketing messages, customer experiences, and particular attributes that shape a company in current and potential customers’ minds and set them apart from competitors. Everything that someone thinks, feels, and sees when interacting with your business in any setting is branding. Effective branding is as emotional as it is physical.
Take for example, Subaru. When you think of Subaru, your first thoughts may be safe, reliable, and versatile, as well as love and family. These are the brand attributes that make up its identity and sets it apart from competitors.
In a Forbes interview, Alan Bethke, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Subaru of America, noted that “Under the notion that ‘Love’ is the uniting factor among the brand’s loyal customer base and ‘It’s what makes a Subaru, a Subaru,’ we created a personality to complement the brand’s quality vehicles.”
With its “Love” campaign – inspired by Subaru owners’ love of their vehicles, loved ones, and causes – Subaru managed to tie its promise of affordable and safe cars for families with messaging that resonated with customers on an emotional level, ultimately driving them to take action.
Why is Consistent Branding Important?
Branding is what helps companies differentiate themselves from their competitors. It also sets the stage for what customers can expect, giving them a reason to buy from you.
Having consistent branding across all marketing channels – online and offline – is essential to building strong brand equity and a loyal customer base. Your brand needs to be consistent in every touchpoint for your customers, from your website and the color palette on your social media to your billboards, product design, customer service, and communications.
The result? Brand recognition and credibility. If your customers can see one of your promotions and know it’s you without even seeing your logo or name, you’re doing it right. Think Apple, Netflix, Amazon, Starbucks, and Nike.
Need help to create and implement a brand strategy that will increase your business’s visibility? Let’s talk!
This blog post is the first entry in a multi-part series. Next we’ll be discussing Branding and the Olympics, so don’t forgot to check back in!