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What is branding?

In a nutshell, branding is there to reflect the true values the company is bringing to the market. It should also  differentiate and elevate your business from your competitors.

So how do you go about ‘branding’ a business? It’s not just about the logo, or what fonts and colours to use. It is so much more. A brand is a perceived image of the overall experience you have. That’s why brand strategy, along with defining a brands’ visual identity is important.

There are a few steps to follow when branding a business:

1

Brand strategy

Brand strategy is an important first step. It can be in-depth with research and analysis, or more light-weight, depending on the business. The important part is taking the time to do some research and reflect on the business in order to define values and a personality that is truthful.
2

Naming and messaging

Usually naming and messaging (tone of voice) will come after the strategy, because how do you know what you want to say and how to say it, if you don’t know who you are?
3

Logo and visual identity development

Once we’ve figured out who you are, the next step is visualising this identity in the form or a logo and corporate identity, such as colour, font usage, image treatments, illustration styles and layout guidelines.
4

Guidelines

Once the identity has been finalised, brand guidelines or an identity overview document should be produced. The guidelines are there to outline best practises and uses, showing how best to use all elements together in a cohesive manner.
5

Roll-out

The roll-out phase can be either limited or extensive. It could be the design of business cards, email signatures and your website, to interior/exterior signage, vehicles, sales decks, reports and brochures.

Why do you need branding?

Without branding, establishing meaningful connections with your audience is hard. By creating a brand with soul, an authentic brand, it can make meaningful connections. Going to the heart of the brand can only achieve this.

You need to find what the brand should stand for, and what it should stand against. This is done to pinpoint the true purpose of the brand, its positioning, and establish a personality that is reflective of the brand values. By defining and establishing a clear brand, your brand will become impossible to ignore.

what is branding

Branding terms explained

Brand

A brand is formed by how it is perceived based on the overall experience. This perceived image is an emotional image. It is the sum of all the feelings, attitudes and perceptions that people have. This includes both tangible and intangible characteristics of a company, product or service.

Branding

Branding is the actions taken to build a certain image of your company, product or service.

Brand strategy

Brand strategy is the verbalisation of a brand set out in a long-term plan to achieve the business goals. Elements to establish within brand strategy include things like; brand values, tone of voice, perceptions, target audience, competitors, vision and mission, positioning, purpose and personality.

Brand identity / Corporate identity / Visual identity

Brand identity, or corporate identity or visual identity, which it is sometimes referred to, are very similar things. A corporate identity refers to the perception of the entire company, whereas a brand identity could just be a single product or service that a company provides. So one business could have many different brand identities for it’s different products or services but only one overall corporate identity.

The term visual identity can be used for both brand and company. A visual identity is the collection of all visual and tangible elements that together create the brand/corporate image.

A visual identity can consist of elements such as the logo, colour palette, typography, font usage, imagery such as photography, illustration, iconography and layout.

Inconsistent or non-existent use of a brands visual identity will result in a less than optimal brand perception. Brand guidelines are there to help ensure a consistent and ‘on-brand’ visual identity execution, and shows how all the elements should be implemented.

Logo

A logo identifies the business/product/service it its simplest form via the use of a brandmark, wordmark or combination of both. But a logo alone is unlikely to add sufficient value to a business. Logos in general are only meaningful in context. The logo, the brand strategy, the tone of voice, the visual identity and guidelines all together play a part in establishing the brand image.

We offer different options when it comes to branding, but our process follows similar steps. Are you looking to create a corporate identity or rebranding a product or service? Get in touch today and we’ll be happy to chat through our process and options.