What is Branding?

BY George Bennett, Creative Director | Journal | 01/09/2022

Branding ensures the way your business looks, sounds and behaves is aligned to inspire your target customer and your team. It’s the place where strategic business thinking and insight-led creativity meet, to make exciting things happen.

Marty Neuimeir, the world-renowned brand expert, says, “A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service or a company”. So in short, you can think of your brand as your reputation. The process of branding is there to help influence that reputation. It’s an incredibly powerful tool for your business, for your customers and for your team.

For customers the branding process builds differentiation and trust. It seeks to help you stand out, and to show customers why they should choose you.

For your team it looks to create clarity and alignment; a team member that not only understands what you’re trying to achieve, but believes in it too, becomes an advocate for what you do and helps reinforce your brand.

Every business is started for a reason, there’s a vision, an ambition or a goal. Owners know the sort of business they want to be and know how to run it, but often the challenge is how to communicate it. That’s where we come in.

What is the Branding Process at Spring?

Often people think of branding in terms of visual outcomes; a logo, a colour palette, a font and so on. But before we design anything, we must go through a detailed process of discovery or risk spending thousands of pounds on a roll out which doesn’t fit the business.

The branding process first looks to understand your business. Why did you create it? Where do you want it to go? Who is your audience? Who are your competitors? Are you premium? Are you luxury? The answers to these questions (and many more) help us build your brand strategy.

Now, you might wonder why your creative agency want to know these things. Well, the best creatives are focused on doing work that fits your business objectives, and can design solutions that directly feed your ambition for growth. If we clearly understand where you’re going, we can make effective recommendations to help you get there.

Once we have a shared picture of what you’re trying to achieve, we begin defining your brand character. To understand this, it’s best to think of your business as a person. What would they be like? What would they wear? How would they talk? Are they cool? Are they professional? Quiet? Powerful? Understanding the way you want to be perceived by others is key to informing the design process.

So now we know where you’re going and how you hope to be perceived. It’s time to move onto the design of your brand identity. This is made up of two key elements – the way you look and the way you sound. We call this the visual and verbal expression of your brand. The visual expression looks at logo, imagery, colour, font, illustration and production, while verbal expression looks at tone and language. They combine to create a look and feel for your business that is uniquely you.

The final stage of the branding process is to make sure your branding is uniform across all your brand channels. A consistent user experience is key to the success of your brand so this covers everything from your stationery and website, to your social profiles and Google listings.

So what happens after branding?

Once we’ve aligned the way you look, the way you sound and the way you behave, we have a strong foundation on which to build your brand. The next step is to confidently go out and tell the world, and for this you need marketing.

If you’d like to find out more about how Spring can help you with your branding, give us a call on 01502 726161 or email studio@agencyforchange.co.uk

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