What is Branding and why is it so important?
To understand what designers mean when they speak about branding, it is important to first understand the definition of a brand. A brand is not a logo or a trademark. It is not a symbol or a name. All these things affect a brand, but a brand encompasses all of this and much more.
Simply put, a brand is the sum total of all the impressions a customer has of you, your products and your company. Branding, therefore, describes all of the ways you establish an image of your company in your customers’ eyes.
The Branding Process
When designers speak about branding, they are talking about the parts of the branding that they can help you with; the visual identity of the brand. A branding process usually starts with the creation of a logo that represents the company and its values which then informs a colour palette and the typeface choice. Whilst developing general collateral and an online presence, the designer will set parameters for the use of photography, illustration, iconography, data visualisation, interactive elements, video and motion graphics. These parameters will be collected in a brand manual or style guide – a document which can help you and future designers to stay within your visual identity and avoid endangering the brand cohesiveness. Note: The brand style guide is not limited to visual elements, it can also reference grammar, tone, word usage and point of view.
Why is Branding Important?
The most important reason why branding is important is to gain recognition and become known to consumers. If your branding is strong and on point, it will generate a positive impression of the company amongst consumers, and they will likely choose your brand because of the familiarity and assumed dependability of using a name they can trust.
A strongly established brand makes for a more appealing investment opportunity and therefore gives that company more leverage in the industry. Further, employees who work for a reputable brand in high regard will be more satisfied with their job and have more pride in the work that they do. Their work ethics will be higher and the likeliness to change jobs will be reduced.
Proper branding elevates your product and company to be more than just a sum of its parts. It can help you across all areas of your business, has the potential to strengthen internal processes and will boost your market value.
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