Decide How People Perceive Your Company Through Branding

What is branding? - Mind Map Marketing

What Branding Is – And What Branding Is NOT

Lets start with what branding isn’t. It’s not logos, business cards, vehicle signage, corporate clothing or company brochures. That’s what it was. A branding company would make your business stand out from its competitors by giving it that polished, professional edge. While these things are still necessary for many businesses, you can’t stop there.

Very simply put, a brand is the perceived image of the product you sell, while branding is the strategy you use to create that image. So while this will usually include the things listed above, it’s plain to see that only doing them won’t be enough to create an image that sets your company apart from its competitors.

What branding is to us, is an opportunity to influence the way that prospective customers remember your company, what they come to expect from it and ultimately, how they define their relationship with it.

What Can Branding Do For You?

Branding Focus - Mind Map Marketing

Provide Focus

As a business owner or marketing professional it might make sense to want to create a brand that appeals to as many people as possible. The more people that like what you stand for the more customers you’ll get, right? While that makes sense in theory we’ve yet to come across a brand that can be all things to everybody.

There’s no doubt that society is hugely diverse. People’s choices are influenced by where they live, how old they are, their level of education, and gender. The variables are endless. What we can see though, is that where people’s preferences overlap a segment is formed.

This is where branding comes in. By creating a brand that speaks to this group of people with similar preferences, you are positioning your company to be chosen by them and you are providing focus to your company’s mission.

Branding Values - Mind Map Marketing

Establish Core Values

How you do you speak to a group of like minded people? By matching their values and standing for what they believe in.

So through branding you have given your company an identity of its own. Like a person, it has appeal, a group to identify with and a set of defined preferences. All of this is totally separate from the product or service you might be selling.

Take this example for instance. Six identical products, bottled water, each with their own set of values and each appealing to its own group of people.

branding sets you apart - Mind Map Marketing

Set You Apart From Competition

Like with the bottled water, the end result of intelligent branding is that your company differentiates itself from the competition. It is very difficult to compete with well established companies with huge marketing budgets and years of momentum behind them.

But think about this. Coca Cola, Nike, Apple and nearly all of the other household brands weren’t the first ones to market with their products. They all had to start by branding themselves after a chosen niche to get traction and a foothold into their markets. Slowly over time they were able to expand their branding into multiple sets of values, targeting a number of different segments of the market at once.

But, if they had not started with a single focus and set of values Coke would’ve just been a another soda in the fridge at the local shop, Nike would’ve been just another shoe competing with older, more trusted shoes on the shelf and the Macintosh might have been called the Grannysmith…