This post is part of the Branding Series, a series of posts that help you understand what is, why is it important, and how to apply branding in your business.
After all, what is branding?
The branding term is used very often but rarely understood. I don’t want to confuse you, we’ll find out more in other posts, but for today:
A logo is different than a brand, which is different from branding.
A logo is just a drawing that represents your business. Simple as that. There are many ways you can represent a business. A symbol, a shape, a name written with a specific typography, or even your signature. Any of these can be used as your logo (it doesn’t mean it’s good).
A brand is more. The logo is just one little part of the brand. A specific color can be part of a brand. Remember Tiffany’s blue color or CocaCola’s red? Those are part of their brands (they even trademarked the colors, so no one can legally use them besides them). Music or sounds can be part of a brand. Textures, typography, and mascots too.
And now, branding. With branding, we go even further than brands. To make things easier, we can say that branding is how the brand works. Got it? Let me explain:
If your business was a real-life person, the branding would be the way you speak. Would you use slang? It’s the way you smell. How you dress and how you walk in public. Would you use street-style clothing or a perfectly tailored suit? It’s how you conquer trust from people. It’s the kind of emotions you make people feel. The way you act. Would you be energetic or calm?
What you see and what you don’t.
In a nutshell: branding is composed of tangible and intangible elements.
The tangible elements are what you see – like logo, website, marketing materials, videos, store decoration, etc. The intangible elements are your voice tone, your soundtrack, and all the experiences.
An element of Starbucks’ branding is writing your name on the cup. We don’t always realize this, but we feel a little more special this way. Not all coffee shops do that, right? For Apple, it’s a perfectly organized, spacious store with wooden tables. Come one, how many stores have wooden tables? But how many have the way Apple does? Right, the way they organize stores, the smell, the soundtrack inside it, that’s also branding.
In reality, you can not buy branding. You have to build it.
Think with me: You can have the most amazingly freaking design ever. The best logo, the best visual identity, the best online store experience, the best physical stores, etc. The best in every aspect.
But there’s one, and only one flaw. Your products break all the time!
You can guess what will happen in the long run. The low-quality products WILL BECOME PART OF YOUR BRANDING. Like it or not.
So, what should I do?
How do you use branding to sell more? By always providing the best for your customers. By talking like they do. By listening to what they are listening to. By mimicking them.
In reality, you’re probably doing a lot of things right now without even realizing it. Here are some examples to get you started:
- If you have a physical store already, you don’t keep it in silence during the whole day, do you? Try selecting your background music from now on AND BE CONSISTENT. A clothing store and a gym have completely different music styles.
- When you post on social media, keep a consistent tone on all channels. If you sell streetwear, study your customers and BE LIKE THEM. Do they use slang? Great, use it too! Use it on social media, on your website, in your slogan.
- And finally, no matter what your business is, ALWAYS DELIVER THE BEST. We can have different target customers, but all of them should receive high-quality products. Cheaper products should mean simpler, not worse.
Speaking of which, our studio is a real example of always delivering the best. We offer three service packages: Kickstarter, Grow, and Thrive. If you haven’t seen them yet, check them out here. Everybody gets the highest quality available in our services. The first pack is simpler (and cheaper), the last is more complete (and expensive).
My advice to you is: keep improving. Try to pay attention to the little details you make with your business. You never know if one of them might become a trademark of your business in the future.
Stay tuned for more tips.
By the way, we can help.
You can book a free (freaking serious about it) consultation call with us. Or just drop us a message. We would love to hear your story.