“Branding” is one of the more popular marketing terms used in everyday situations, thrown haphazardly into conversations, often without the proper context.
With the advent of social media, individuals have begun to look into their “personal branding,” or how they present themselves on their social media accounts. On the other hand, beginner marketers point to a company’s logo when asked about branding.
Both these definitions of branding have some merit, of course. However, any marketer knows there’s more to branding than Instagram aesthetic and having a logo.
What is branding, and why should startup businesses care? Here’s our rundown.
Branding is more than just your logo and aesthetic
Branding encompasses more than just a business’ visual presentation.
Entrepreneur.com defines “branding” as the practice of creating a name, symbol, or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products. Similarly, a business develops a brand to stand out from other businesses in the industry.
Branding is identity-building. It involves the process of specifying what the business’s mission and vision are, which market segment it caters to, and what its unique selling point is.
From there, a business develops its visual identity, including its logo, brand voice (i.e., the writing style used in social media captions and website copies), and, yes, it’s aesthetic.
A solid visual identity makes marketing easier—graphic designers have templates (i.e., default fonts, colors, image dimensions, etc.) to follow, and copywriters don’t end up writing email newsletters that don’t resonate with their target market.
Branding is useful for the business’ internal operations and marketing efforts. Not only does marketing help customers recognize and remember your business, but it also helps strengthen employee loyalty. Why? Because branding is all-encompassing. It stretches from the URL of your website to what values your company culture is founded on.
How branding boosts marketing
A strong brand makes marketing significantly easier for any business. Here are the top ways branding boosts a brand’s marketing efforts:
- Branding improves recognition. The more recognizable a brand is, the more likely a customer will buy its product.
- Branding breeds trust. When people see others wearing a brand’s logo on a t-shirt or carrying the logo on a canvas bag, they are more likely to see that brand as trustworthy. If other people trust that brand, why shouldn’t they?
- Branding increases financial value. It’s commonly known that “branded” items are more expensive than generic or non-branded items. Buying something that’s “branded” comes with the assurance that a business would never sell something that could damage its reputation; therefore, branding is an assurance of quality and merits an increase in sale price.
How branding helps strengthen human resources
Google is one famous company for its strong branding and commitment to ensuring employee wellness. After all, who doesn’t recognize their logo’s iconic red, blue, yellow, and green? But, who hasn’t heard of the adult playground, otherwise known as the Google company headquarters?
A business with a firm grasp of its mission and vision has an easier time motivating its employees. Likewise, employees who believe in what your company stands for will find themselves more easily fulfilled when working.
Here’s how branding affects employees at different stages of employment:
- Job searching. When job seekers try to find great jobs online, they’re more likely to apply to companies with good reputations or a startup that seems poised for success. And how does a business show that they’re successful? Having a polished website, engaging social media accounts, and positive customer reviews benefit from a business’ branding.
- Onboarding. An employee’s first few months with a business are their most crucial. This period is where your company values come into play. For example, does your company have a serious atmosphere? A relaxed, playful culture? A business with coherent company culture can retain employees better.
- Retention. Startups don’t always have the luxury of giving promotions, doling out bonuses, or promising employee vacations. In the meantime, companies must find ways to reward loyal employees. However, a rewarding company culture sometimes is enough to keep employees fulfilled.
Conclusion: Branding is necessary for any startup’s success
There are no downsides to investing in your business’ branding. On the contrary, branding strengthens every aspect of the business operation—a win-win solution.
Building a cohesive brand ensures that your business stands out among its competitors and solidifies its position in its customers’ minds. In addition, a strong brand means a strong identity. After all, what’s more, trustworthy than a business that takes pride in what it does?