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What Is Branding
and Why Is It Important
for Your Business?

Cambridge Dictionary defines branding as “the act of giving a company a particular design or symbol in order to advertise its products and services.” Not so long ago, this was a pretty accurate description of branding – at least, what the general consensus was at the time.

Branding was (and still is) misunderstood by being reduced to its aesthetic component: visual identity. For many, whether specialists or not, branding is still just about the visual identity – name, logo, design, packaging, etc. Even more so, while the concept of branding and its understanding have evolved enormously over the years, the same old vision of branding is being preached, even by high-level marketers.

“Brands are essentially patterns of familiarity, meaning, fondness, and reassurance that exist in the minds of people.” - Tom Goodwin

Branding is important because not only is it what makes a memorable impression on consumers but it allows your customers and clients to know what to expect from your company. It is a way of distinguishing yourself from the competitors and clarifying what it is you offer that makes you the better choice. Your brand is built to be a true representation of who you are as a business, and how you wish to be perceived.

There are many areas that are used to develop a brand including advertising, customer service, social responsibility, reputation, and visuals. All of these elements (and many more) work together to create one unique and (hopefully) attention-grabbing profile.

Our definition of branding, even if seemingly more ambiguous than the other, gives much more sense to the concept when diving deeper into its meaning. Here is a rough breakdown:

1. Perpetual process
Branding is a perpetual process because it never stops. People, markets, and businesses are constantly changing and the brand must evolve in order to keep pace.

2. Identify, create, manage
There is a structured process to branding, one where you must first identify who/what you want to be to your stakeholders, create your brand strategy to position yourself accordingly, and then constantly manage everything that influences your positioning.

3. Cumulative assets and actions
Your positioning must be translated into assets (e.g., visual identity, content, products, ads) and actions (e.g., services, customer support, human relations, experiences) that project it into your stakeholders’ minds, slowly building up that perception.

4. Perception of a brand
Also known as reputation. This is the association that an individual (customer or not) has in their mind regarding your brand. This perception is the result of the branding process (or lack thereof).

5. Stakeholders
Clients are not the only ones that build a perception of your brand in their minds. Stakeholders include possible clients, existing customers, employees, shareholders, and business partners. Each one builds up their own perception and interacts with the brand accordingly.

We can help you understand branding’s complex nature, and it will become easier to dive deeper into the subject and its underlying topics.

This article was sourced from: www.brandingmag.com ← click to read more

+27 73 607 7468
info@huntergroup.co.za
40 Loveday Street South,
Corner Webber Street Selby, JHB, 2001​
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