Branding is becoming more and more important in business. One of the driving forces behind this growth is a shift in consumer attitudes. In a world in which the operations of companies can harm the environment or human health, people are looking for more socially responsible and sustainable businesses to buy from or work with.
One way in which companies can develop this crucial trust is by strategically growing their brand.
In this article, we’ll explore what branding is in more detail, consider why it matters and the benefits of strategic branding. We’ll also examine examples of top brands and consider simple steps that you can take to further develop your company’s brand.
What is Branding and Why Does it Matter?
Branding involves defining a product or service and communicating its uniqueness to the market. Successful brands offer something different, something that sets them apart from their competition.
Companies achieve intentional, relevant communication through the likes of logos and taglines (such as Nike and “Just Do It”), and strategic marketing techniques such as catchy jingles or memorable mascots.
Why Should Companies Develop a Brand?
Branding holds the potential to enable companies to grow and develop into a globally recognised business.
One example is Apple, arguably one of the most recognisable brands in the world. Apple’s branding focuses on human emotion—namely, the experience of using their products and how it makes consumers feel.
Apple’s approach to advertising certain products, such as the MacBook laptop, is tailored towards ‘creatives’, and how Apple products can help them to channel their imagination and use the MacBook laptop to foster their creativity.
This is achieved through focused and targeted branding, which has enabled Apple to grow into one of the biggest companies in the world.
Branding and Trust
One of the most important benefits of developing a solid brand is that it creates trust between a company and its customers.
Lots of big companies around the world, such as Facebook, have recently run into difficulties maintaining customer trust. Scandals over corporate leadership, as well as a number of significant data breaches, have negatively impacted customer trust. This, in turn, makes it more difficult to sell their services.
The Edelman Brand Trust survey, for instance, revealed that 81% of consumers say that trust impacts their purchasing decisions.
One industry that has sought to tackle issues over trustworthiness is gambling. Particularly in the UK, the government has tightened regulations to ensure that betting companies do more to protect their customers.
This has led betting companies like William Hill and Bet 365 to focus their efforts on developing a more trustworthy brand that considers the welfare of customers, introducing betting caps and issuing warnings. Jackpot Casino is an example of a brand that focuses on covering the users online privacy, personal data safety and bank information.
Examples of Top Brands
We’ve already drawn upon a few examples of top brands. Here are other examples:
- L’Oreal – Their branding strategy is about appealing to the masses, an approach known as globalisation. L’Oreal achieves this by seeking to understand and respect differences across the globe in traditions, needs and desires.
- Amazon – Amazon is one of the world’s most valuable brands. The “everything store” operates in 13 countries and ships to over 100. Amazon’s branding strategy is focused on convenience and service, enabling near-instant deliveries and developing technologies like Alexa to make people’s lives easier.
- Visa – The global payments technology company enables businesses, customers and banks to transact with each other without the need for cash. It has always stood for trust, security, and inclusion in its branding. Recently, the company has invested to refresh its image to focus more on accessibility in a growing digital market.
What can you do to Enhance your Company’s Brand?
If you’re looking to improve your company’s branding, here are a few simple things you can do:
- Define what you stand for, what your message is, what your values are
- Once you understand your position, align every aspect of your business so it’s consistent
- Seek ways to improve your marketing. Develop social media platforms and web presence as a whole. Depending on your niche, look to host high-profile events to bolster your image and standing
- Appeal to your customer’s desires and needs. Solve their problems, be helpful, and promote solutions where they look for answers
- Consider giving small things away for free. A focus on building relationships with customers creates trust and helps you develop a relevant and relatable brand