Updated: Oct 10
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Branding and marketing can easily be lumped together but there is definitely a big difference between them. Marketing focuses a lot on promoting products and driving sales through stuff like advertising, marketing research and customer relationship management. The goal of marketing is to attract customers and create revenue.
Branding on the other hand is about creating a unique identity and the emotional connection between a business and its customers. Branding is the first impression and the overall image of a business. Branding is a long-term investment because it influences customers through consistent and personality-filled graphics which helps build loyalty and trust. Both are super important and they play big roles in business success.
Think about the brand Apple for example it's really sleek, clean, minimalist, and professional. The packaging that they use is not a cardboard box it's custom-made for the product it's a great experience for the customer that's opening the box. Even how they design their products there's no sharp edges, edges are always curved and really organic all of that is part of their branding. If you look at their website you can see these values implemented into the design. Everything is really simple and minimal but they are still able to show off their personality in a way that is unique to their business.
To simplify things even further marketing is about getting sales while branding is about creating the emotional connection between your ideal client and your business.
Marketing and branding go hand-in-hand and both do wonders for your business.
If you've ever wondered about branding and if you really need it I am totally biased but the answer is yes because you can't expect people to pay high prices or see you as a professional if the look of your business doesn't match. Imagine if Coach for example had really messy graphics that looked like they were created on Word then you're going to question the value of that brand because the price point doesn't match the visuals.
With all that said here are the ways that branding your business can step up your marketing success.
1. Branding Enhances Brand Awareness Having people recognize and remember your business plays a crucial role in your success. If customers can easily identify and remember a certain brand then they are more likely to choose that brand over competitors.
Let's look at commercials, if you're watching your favorite TV show and then a Tide commercial comes on you're not ready to buy laundry detergent right at that second but just by watching that Tide commercial you’re aware that Tide is an option. When you go to the store later that week and you're looking for detergent you're going to see Tide on the shelves, remember that you watched that commercial and you're more likely to buy Tide over the other brands. Simply because you watched the commercial earlier in the week and you liked what they had to say and now you feel like you know that brand. Simple right? When customers can easily identify and remember a brand, it increases the likelihood of them choosing that brand over competitors. Brand recognition refers to the extent to which consumers can identify a brand by its visual cues also known as branding, such as logos, colors, and slogans.
Brand recall, on the other hand, refers to the ability of consumers to remember a brand when prompted with a product or service category. Like how the brand Band-Aid is so popular that instead of calling other Band-Aids adhesive bandages, we call all the other adhesive bandage brands Band-Aids.
To improve your brand visibly and awareness you wanna make sure that you have a consistent and unified look at all touch points so your website, social media graphics, and even things like your invoices should all look the same and be visually consistent because that's an easy way for your customers to identify your business over someone else's.
Even things like the values you share or the messaging that you're trying to put out should be consistent because people are going to remember and associate you with those specific values. Yes, it can feel repetitive to always have the same look for a business or always say the same slogans or values but consistency is key and it’s how you're going to establish that strong and memorable brand presence. If Nike were to suddenly change their just do it slogan and changed it every single time they created a new commercial that would be weird and confusing.
Let’s talk about where branding fits in social media. Nowadays it seems to be the number one way people like to market. That makes sense because there's a lot of people going on these apps and it's an easy way to stay relevant.
If you don't have branding in place and you are creating a new style every time you create your graphics not only are you wasting so much time having to start from a blank canvas but when you go to publish something people will not be able to easily recognize your posts in the newsfeed. But if you do have branding in place and you have a specific look that you always use for your posts then people are going to be able to recognize your business without needing to read the caption or without you having to put your logo on it. Just by having a specific style that is unique to you people will remember you better. Just like how red and yellow together reminds you of Mc.Donalds.
2. Stand Out From the Crowd and Set Yourself Apart from Competitors
There are so many businesses out there and branding is going to help you stand out from competitors. Imagine you're in a room full of 50 people and everyone is wearing white except for one person who's wearing a rainbow sequin dress. The person wearing the dress immediately stands out just because they are dressed differently. Being able to stick out like that in the business world is really important.
If you take that concept and relate it to the business world people who don’t have a brand in place and don’t have consistent visuals it's like they're just showing up in a white T-shirt every single time they go to market themselves. But people who have branded their business and have a really unique look they're showing up in a nicely tailored suit every single time they show up.
It's like when you go to the store and you wanna pick out a new bottle of wine but you're not sure what to choose you're going to choose a bottle of wine based on a label that you like. Based on a label that you resonate with. That's what branding does for your marketing efforts, it sets you apart and says pick me pick me!
If you're marketing yourself and you're running ads or you're posting on social media and you’re just blending in with everyone else how do you expect people to stop what their doing and look at your ad or your post?
3. Having Branding in Place Will Make Customers Trust you More
In order for your marketing to be successful you need to be able to build trust and credibility in the minds of your customers. If a customer recognizes and trusts a brand they're more likely to click on your ad or read your flyer or your social media post and hopefully purchase or book your services. You can't expect people to trust your brand if you're putting stuff out there that looks messy, overdesigned, and hard to read. And I'm not saying that to make you feel bad because those are common mistakes for DIY designers. I'm just saying that you want your brand to look the part so that people can trust you.
4. Branding Gives Your Business the Emotional Connection It Needs A good brand is going to establish an emotional connection with their ideal customers and that's going to give them an edge in marketing. Emotional branding taps into customers' feelings, values, aspirations and is really going to create a deeper level of engagement and loyalty.
By having the right graphics in place for your brand you're able to evoke emotions that align with your customer's values and that's going to create a really strong and long-lasting relationship with your customers. Let's say that you sell essential oils and you want to brand your business in a way that is a little magical, a little mystical, kind of witchy then you're going to attract that kind of clientele to purchase your items. They're going to see your magical mystical witchy vibes and they're going to resonate with it because they also feel a little magical and witchy themselves. It automatically makes them trust you more because you guys have the same vibe.
Emotions are extremely powerful. You always remember how something makes you feel. If you don't have branding in place this can go the opposite way as well. If your branding is generic and plain then that vibe is going to come off to the viewer and they're just gonna view you as generic and plain. They are going to have a hard time seeing what makes you different and why they should choose you over someone else.
5. Branding Makes Your Business Consistent and Recognizable Branding makes sure that you're business looks consistent on all channels of your marketing. If people were to go on your website, see a flyer, and click on your social media they will have a consistent experience.
This familiarity is important and it helps your customers recognize your brand no matter what channel they find you on, Instagram, Facebook, Linked In, your website. Imagine if your favorite peanut butter brand changed its label design every 3 months. It would be very frustrating and hard for you to find that product every single time you shop. We like it when things are predictable and consistent. When we know what to expect we trust it more and we appreciate the consistency. If someone loves your Instagram posts and they know your style and recognize it in their news feed they are going to stop their scroll and read your post. Branding is as simple as that.
Recap Branding plays a major role in marketing success. If you feel like your marketing efforts are not being seen not having branding in place might be the reason. Maybe your fonts are hard to read or there's not enough contrast between the colors of your designs. Or maybe your look is just too generic and it doesn’t stick out and people are glazing over your materials.
If you're able to create a brand that is cohesive and entertaining and just plain old looks good and is full of your personality then why wouldn't you take the leap to create a professional personality filled brand that will give your business success? You have to be uncomfortable and make changes in your business that are no longer working if you want to succeed. If you are ready to have a new brand and you want someone to do it for you go ahead and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be happy to help. Or check out my website www.zsquaredstudio.com and you can take a look at my services. Or if you have a small budget and are just starting out check out my DIY mini brand course at www.zsquaredstudio.com/diybrand to learn more about how you can create a professional brand that you designed and can be proud of. Here's a recap of what we learned today
Branding Enhances Brand Awareness: Consistent branding, including visual cues and messaging, improves brand recognition and recall, increasing the likelihood of customers choosing your brand over competitors.
Stand Out From the Crowd and Set Yourself Apart from Competitors: Branding helps you differentiate yourself from competitors, attracting attention and making your business more memorable.
Make Customers Trust You More: Having a well-designed brand builds trust in the minds of customers, increasing the likelihood of them engaging with your marketing efforts and making purchases.
Gives Your Business the Emotional Connection It Needs: Effective branding taps into customers' feelings, values, and aspirations, creating a deeper level of engagement and loyalty.
Makes Your Business Consistent and Recognizable: Branding ensures a consistent and recognizable experience across all marketing channels, making it easier for customers to identify and engage with your brand. Have a great day and Happy Designing!