How to practice brand building
Brand building, also called branding, means developing and establishing a recognizable brand. By employing various measures and strategies such as design, communication, tonality, logo, company name and product designations, you can shape your brand or add value to your corporate identity.
- What is brand building?
- What’s the difference between brand building vs. marketing?
- Types and strategies of brand building
- Important steps and measures for successful brand building
- Examples of successful brand building
What is brand building?¶
Brand building refers to establishing a brand or brand image associated with your company, service offering, contents or products. In other words, it’s all about creating a corporate identity. An appealing, high-quality brand adds value to a business by conveying a positive image to clients. Successful brand recognition is associated with reliability and brand values. Brand building encompasses marketing strategies including advertising campaigns, networking events, image campaigns or charity actions and collaborations.
The main goals of brand building or branding include:
- Establishing a brand identity for companies, products, services, individuals (e.g., in sectors such as art, politics or entertainment), institutions or websites and online shops
- Shaping your business image for an improved market position
- Strengthening customer loyalty or retention through memorable branding
- Positive influence on purchasing decisions and tapping new or larger client groups
- Definition of unique selling propositions, which can be automatically linked to your brand
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What’s the difference between brand building vs. marketing?¶
While brand building is closely linked to marketing and can serve as the goal or basis of a marketing strategy, the terms aren’t identical. Marketing uses advertising measures to add customers and drive sales while brand building includes more abstract goals.
This includes, for example, strengthening customer loyalty and creating a positive brand perception. And while marketing is technically possible without brand building, branding doesn’t work without specific marketing and advertising measures. At the same time, branding strategies should always be included when defining your marketing strategies.
Types and strategies of brand building¶
Brand building plays an important role in developing a corporate brand and brand identity for the self-employed as well as small, medium and large companies. The goal is becoming a recognizable brand. Your name, logo or appearance should trigger positive associations among (potential) clients and foster customer loyalty.
The various types and strategies of branding include:
- Product Branding: Products are perceived as brands (e.g., Coca Cola, Apple devices or IKEA furniture).
- Corporate Branding: The company appears like a brand or is perceived as a brand independent of the specific product (e.g., Disney, A&T).
- Employer Branding: Employees and (co-)owners identify with the company or brand (e.g., Apple, Tesla or Facebook).
- Personal Branding: Individuals are perceived as brands through personal branding and become advertising vessels for products or organizations (e.g., David Beckham, Brad Pitt, or Greta Thunberg).
- Emotional Branding: Marketing and advertising efforts for better branding are emotionally conveyed through emotional branding to appeal to customers and clients subconsciously.
- Retail Branding: Describes retail companies that are perceived as brands (e.g., Amazon, Alibaba or Rakuten).
- Co-Branding: In cooperation with other brands, co-branding leads to the creation of joint products or services boosting the perception and visibility for participating brands.
Important steps and measures for successful brand building¶
For successful brand building you should be able to answer the following questions:
- What should your brand represent or convey?
- Who’s your brand’s audience?
- Which USPs create a distinctive and unique brand?
- Which measures, channels and media are you going to use to market your brand?
- Which storytelling tools could help boost your brand recognition?
As a simple guide for brand building and brand design, you can use the checklist below:
Brand design is among the most important aspects of brand building, because how a brand is perceived largely depends on its visual design. A suitable logo and emotionally appealing brand colors are central to this purpose. For example, Coca Cola uses a distinctive corporate logo, strong colors and product design. In combination these aspects embody its unique brand identity. Equally important are typography, visual language as well as graphics, illustrations, animations and icons.
Value of a brand¶
A successful brand convinces with a striking design, the quality of its products, and its brand and corporate values. This includes a brand’s social commitment, focus on equality, environmental awareness, social justice, and team spirit. These aspects bolster customer loyalty and improve the image of a brand.
Register and secure brands¶
A successful brand tells a story which sets it apart from others. Visual storytelling through advertising measures on social media, online, promotional videos or other media is one important tool. You can also condense plenty of information into brand slogans and your website information.
Integrity and flexibility¶
A recognizable brand has a recognizable design and a strong story. You’ll want to keep an eye on current social and creative trends. Don’t shy away from non-linear or new approaches and measures. This is a great way to extend touchpoints and reach new audience groups. A touchpoint analysis using customer journey mapping is always useful.
The storytelling approach is also closely linked to your communication and the tone of your brand. Ensure that all brand communication corresponds to the respective marketing measures and brand values.
Marketing guidelines for company culture¶
A uniform appearance is based on clear brand guidelines to define and communicate corporate goals across teams. Brand-building measures must be measured against these goals.
Assets of a brand¶
Brand assets are closely linked to brand design. The style guide and design guidelines ensure the creative and visual appearance of a brand remains uniform and consistent across all areas.
Positive customer journey¶
Customer satisfaction and an understanding of brand perception from the customer’s point of view is particularly important for brand success. Branding should ensure your content is user-friendly and adapted to different devices. From first contact with a brand to concluding a sale, a positive user experience makes for a successful customer journey and brand experience.
Examples of successful brand building¶
Strong and appealing brands tend to be at the forefront of the market. If you shop online or in-store you already know that a brand can subconsciously influence your purchasing decisions. Brand building enables you to tap into the same strategies to establish a recognizable brand. Check out success stories and best practices for some ideas of successful strategies. These can help shape the direction of your brand building. Here are some of the most successful examples of brand building.
Once a compact search engine with a striking logo and color scheme, Google is now a billion-dollar IT group spanning many different industries. The group regularly invests in new technologies and security features. The success of Google is in part due to its clever marketing, brand building and acquisitions of competitors. The company now plays a major role in shaping people’s and company’s online identity.
Amazon has quickly become the market leader in eCommerce thanks to its excellent online shopping features. AWS is one of the largest cloud platforms globally. Amazon’s success has been shaped by its excellent customer service, the Amazon Prime concept, and its distinctive design. The same can be said of Amazon’s storytelling, its versatile range of services, and successful branding. Speedy delivery maintains a positive brand perception.
Apple has always focused on customer loyalty, from logo to product design to its proprietary software solutions. The high quality of its products, personal branding and the “cult of personality” created around Steve Jobs as well as emotional branding using modern, original advertising in the form of commercial clips have played a major role in shaping Apple’s brand perception. Likewise, co-branding through, for example, collaborations with artists such as U2 and its uniform design language continue to drive its highly recognizable brand.
The advantages of IKEA products (DIY construction, low prices, minimalist design in original colors, etc.) are also components of its brand identity. This has been significantly shaped by emotional storytelling in the form of original, funny and emotional advertising campaigns.