When you look at some of the biggest brands in the world — like Coca-Cola, Disney, and Apple — there is an attention to detail and consistency to every aspect of their presentation. Their logo, packaging, advertising, and philanthropy all goes back to the brand's core mission, which is to connect with customers and build a lasting relationship. All of the brand's attributes should reflect this. Below, we've outlined how branding contributes to a company's marketing efforts, and why established branding is worth more than a great marketing campaign.
What is Branding in Marketing?
Brands are built up over years, decades, and generations, capturing customers' imaginations and playing a major role in their lives. To be sure, any marketing push must reflect the brand's identity and reputation, and it does play a significant role in cementing the brand. However, marketing is about selling products to new customers, and branding is more about the symbolism and lifestyle associated with those products. When you've created a particularly powerful brand, customers will stick with you for the long haul, and they'll spread the word to friends and family.
What is Brand Equity?
By developing a strong brand over time, a company gains brand equity, which is the extra value that customers associate with your brand. This allows companies like Apple to charge much more for a computer than an equivalent Windows PC, because their brand is linked with luxury and smart design. Customers don't feel bad about paying hundreds of dollars more for a product, if they genuinely feel that it's worth the extra money.
How Can I Build a Brand?
Before selling a single unit, you need to define your brand's mission statement. What aspect of life are you trying to improve with your products? What lifestyle do you most associate the company with? Are you building the perfect backpack for stylish commuters, or are you selling functional luggage to savvy businesspeople?
How Do Customers React to Successful Branding?
Investing energy to build a brand can pay serious dividends in the long run. After a while, customers will know who you are and what you stand for. If you're a coffee company that prides itself on sourcing sustainable beans, has the friendliest baristas, and feels like you're relaxing in a cozy living room, customers will associate all of those qualities with the brand. When they see your logo in print, online, or on the highway, it will conjure up those positive associations, and it'll make them want to stop for a latte.