Business Branding Ideas: The Ultimate Branding Strategy for 2023
Table of Contents
Branding is the way people identify your business.
It is the process by which your target audience gets to know who you are and experience what our business has to offer.
But building successful brands can be challenging.
After all, branding is not just about a logo – it is the overall reflection of everything your business does – everything from your customer service, social media posts, email marketing, business cards, staff identity, digital marketing campaigns, and advertising materials to your office premises come under your business branding.
Oxford Dictionary defines branding as “the activity of giving a particular name and image to goods and services so that people will be attracted to them and want to buy them.”
Yet, there are many brands and small businesses that are unable to come up with an excellent strategy to capitalize on their target market.
This blog post aims to attest to the same and present you with an introduction to branding, what it is about, and how a brand personality will help your business grow while providing you with a few tips and ideas to boost your brand’s identity.
Here’s what this blog post will cover,
- What Is a Brand Identity?
- Why Is Branding/Rebranding Important?
- Why Do You Need A Brand Logo?
- What is the Purpose of Branding Strategy?
- Why are creative branding ideas important?
- Types and purposes of business branding strategies
- What are the 4 branding strategies?
- 10 Unique Branding Ideas to Boost Your Business
What Is A Brand Identity?
Brand Identity is different from branding. While branding is the overall process of promoting your brand to the audiences, brand identity is the visible elements, such as the brand colors, brand logo, and design that help distinguish the brand in consumers’ minds.
To put it in simple terms, it is the visual aspect of a brand. Think of Apple’s ‘apple’ logo design, Nike’s ‘swoosh’ logo, or KFC’s ‘smiling grandpa’ are instances where a brand’s identity is associated with a symbol or visual aspect.
A brand identity is a collection of various elements that, when put together, create a strong visual image of the brand. This is also called branding assets. It is how a business expresses and describes itself on its marketing materials, the colors representing the brand, and how it markets itself on social media. A strong brand identity will strengthen a company’s popularity and presence in a competitive market. Check out the differences here, marketing vs advertising.
Why Is Branding Important?
Branding was (and still is) misunderstood and reduced to its aesthetic component brand identity, visuals, and design. Many new and high-level marketers still follow the same old branding vision, even though the concept and meaning of branding have evolved over the years.
While brand identity works on visually pleasing the audience, branding does that, and more with other promotional works to increase the brand values such as marketing strategies, advertising, communication, social media marketing, content marketing, brand strategy, brand positioning, and brand attribution.
Also, studies have suggested that about 75% of the audiences’ purchase decision is derived from their emotions. Of course, the reason for such an emotional attachment toward a specific brand is smart branding.
But other than raising the emotions, business branding ideas include credibility, motivation, brand awareness, consumer motivation, and referral programs, among others.
How Branding Will Boost Your Business?
As already mentioned, all your branding efforts make you stand out from the crowd. It influences your target audience on how they look at your brand and increases brand awareness. Branding can be said to be a collaborative study and market research on the audience’s psychology, impacting business growth at large.
This is also the reason for the expansion of the world of brand agencies. Since most brands fail in making their business presence felt. But with the help of a brand agency, they can get things done in order. Especially when setting up their brand message and publicizing their business stand.
“Branding is the art of differentiation. Brands exist because people exist,” David Brier.
The Role of A Branding Team/Brand Agency
Promoting a brand is a tedious process. No matter how big or small the brand is, it is the essence of a company and needs to be treated with care. As with any living thing, a brand needs to be nurtured, fed and looked after.
Unfortunately, getting caught up in the day-to-day operations of running a business can make thinking about the “brand” difficult.
In many places, the constant state of a brand strategy is all about
- The content creative ideas of the marketing team
- The sales team’s dynamic interaction with target customers to closing the deal
- The finance team’s focus is on the income vs. expense chart.
Even the major branding know-how is pushed to focus on other persisting current issues, due to which the actual branding efforts take a back seat. Here, a branding agency comes into the picture and actively takes the reins of brand promotion.
The roles that a brand agency covers
A brand team does not just focus on fonts and color use. Its job is far more expansive. The brand team functions as an internal agency; they coordinate with all other departments.
The team works to bring the brand to life at every step, be it for advising leadership, marketing, collaborating with HR, or demonstrating the brand’s value through everyday interaction.
1. Align business goals with brand goals
Every business’s decision affects its brand and brand image in some way. And in most scenarios, the brand’s image and reputation take a back seat – even though a business’s oversight should be in tune with the brand. But with a branding team in tow, it is much easier to make decisions that align both business and brand goals.
After all, they help you justify why and how a business decision might help or hurt the brand. The agency will also offer valuable perspective on how the decision can be implemented otherwise, identify potential challenges, and help craft a plan of execution that meets both parties’ needs and has them on the same page.
2. Brand Promotion
In many companies, a brand team and the marketing team become interchangeable. They forget that both marketing and content strategy are just tools that execute the larger brand strategy. It is the brand team that helps constitute the strategy for branding your business to your ideal customer. They then collaborate with the marketing team to determine efficient ways of promotion through different marketing materials such as social media networks, video content, online ads, email marketing, banner ads, and others.
3. Build a Culture that Reflects Brand Values
A good brand acts on its brand values every day – beyond what is expected of its delivery to its customer. For example, your brand may offer the best customer service, but if your culture is toxic or you follow unethical methods, you wouldn’t be able to sustain.
A brand team provides a brand personality that will help shape your company’s culture to support your brand and project it in the best light to the target audiences.
For example, the brand team might collaborate with your HR team to design a volunteering experience to give back to society. In addition, they can create a designated timeline where each employee has to be a part of volunteer work.
In case eco-consciousness is a value for the brand, the team might create content showing how the company implements this philosophy throughout the manufacturing chain, thus cultivating employee trust.
Being at the epicenter of the brand, it is the duty of the brand team to make sure to present the brand value in all interactions – be it with the employees or customers.
How can anyone else if the brand team does not act or talk like the brand?
4. Maintaining Brand Identity
A Brand’s identity – its looks, approach, interaction, and outward perception all play a huge role in how the brand is expressed and identified. For which “Communication” plays a major role.
The brand team has to create a strong visual and verbal identity as well as a communication channel in all mediums that will showcase and maintain a certain image of the brand in front of the target market. Especially if you have a lot of content writing, working across multiple channels, or working across offices with in-house creators, freelancers, or agencies.
In addition to creating, enforcing, and revising brand guidelines, the brand team conducts postmortems to review and measure compliance with brand standards.
5. Sharing Brand Knowledge
How would you distance the gap between your brand, the brand story, and its design among those who are the ones assigned to propagate it to the masses? In her book, The Brand Gap, Marty Neumeier notes that one of the most common issues that plague brands is “evaporation,” or the loss of knowledge.
If you note that when the people with the knowledge needed to guide and protect a brand leave ( In 2021, as per reports, the average CMO’s tenure is only 40 months) – each new generation that inherits the knowledge often receives them diluted. Which in turn strays the business decisions from the brand’s value.
Creating a Branding Strategy
The term branding strategy is also often misunderstood. Many executives simply google and get confused by the multitude of explanations. And to make things more confusing, a successful brand strategy is not set on paper – it is experiential and works based on feelings and luck (yes, luck).
A brand strategy that has worked for other brands may not apply to your brand, even if you are from the same industry.
To attempt to measure an intangible quality can be challenging, let alone conceptualize it.
A simple definition
A branding strategy (also known as a brand development strategy) is a long-term plan devised to achieve a set of long and short-term goals that will ultimately result in the identification and preference of your brand by potential customers.
This is achieved by conducting thorough market research and analysis to understand and find the most authentic way to allow the brand to position itself in the market successfully.
The challenge faced while creating a brand strategy is successfully navigating theoretical questions with real-life data while sticking to your business and brand values.
A brand strategy is especially necessary in the case of a small business.
To build a strong brand, you must consider every aspect, from your content to your design, while keeping the bigger picture in mind. Even though the approach to achieving good results differs from business to business, there are certain things you need to understand to achieve them. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to create a brand strategy,
How to create a brand strategy in 7 Steps
Check out the actions you need to follow to build a successful brand strategy that will personify your style and values and entice your audience to take note of your brand.
1. What do you stand for?
The competition today is fierce. In addition to that, customers demand authenticity more than ever. This means you must repeatedly prove and keep your brand consistent in its values and audience perceptions.
Keep in focus these points when you have to navigate through your brand’s existence and define your identity to the target market,
- What is the reason for your existence?
- How will your brand behave?
- What is the goal of your brand?
- How do you plan to achieve your goal?
Once you have answers to all these questions, you can easily create a unique identity for your brand.
2. Know your Audience
“Brand is not what you say it is. It’s what they say it is,” said branding guru Marty Neumeier.
You can build the most competent and well-designed brand in the world, but without any customers, it is nothing. To become one of the top brands, you need to win over the audience. Once you have your target audience in line, you will successfully shape the perception of your business.
Knowing your target audience is crucial for converting leads into customers, but it is also equally crucial for understanding how people connect with your brand. For instance, think of Starbucks – the coffee shop for everyone. They target customers with coffee designed and in various styles to cater to the taste buds of everyone. They also give their customers the option of customization, which provides them with a sense of inclusivity. Starbucks is successful because it understands the customers and pays attention to their needs.
Defining your target market paints a clear picture of who your ideal customers are. Beyond this, you need to understand their driving decision – what motivates them? Who inspires them? Where are their pain points?
With the help of market research and analysis, you can categorize your audience based on similarities ranging from age, gender, and geographic location to behaviors – known as market segmentation. Altogether, this helps you create your typical buyer persona.
3. Find your strong point
Healthy competition never hurts. In fact, understanding what your competitors are doing will have you know your brand position – both in the market and in your customers’ minds.
What makes your brand stand out? What is your unique selling point?
List out the strong points that separate your brand from the competitors. Because simply stating that you have an amazing brand or business will not help sell products. You need to prove to your target audiences with proof that it backs up your claim.
You can achieve this by conducting a SWOT analysis that will answer
Why is your brand a better option than competitors?
Where is your brand lagging in terms of other popular brands
What new opportunities can your brand utilize for your audience to have a positive perception?
What are the threats your brand faces?
Another method is perceptual mapping. Plot contrasting qualities such as the quality, size, price, safety, and performance of the brand versus its competitors – you will now have a visual representation that will help you locate the gaps and opportunities.
Once you have your analysis, you can create the brand positioning statement. Using this statement, you and your team (in case you hired a third-party – the branding agency) will understand where your brand stands in the market, who’s its target, your understanding of the latest trends, its position in the digital world, and also know the position of other brands in the market.
An inspiring example is that of The Ordinary. The successful brand understood and identified the huge gap in the skincare industry for high-quality products at an affordable price. This allowed them to find their strong point and create a spot for themselves. Though a relatively new brand, they exist everywhere.
Their entire brand strategy reflects this bold move and the idea that “The Ordinary exists to communicate with integrity and bring effective, more familiar technologies to market at honorable prices.”
4. Tell your story
Storytelling is the best way to build trust and engage with your customers. A well-written brand narrative that is truthful and states your purpose gets your audience’s attention, evokes their emotions and piques their curiosity.
Your story is your opportunity to showcase your brand personality and differentiate yourself from your competitors.
To let your brand story have a lasting impression, you need to find a voice that encompasses the vibe of your brand in the most honest and meaningful way.
In addition, your brand’s voice enables you to add emotion and adds a personal touch to all your communications.
For this, you need to ensure that your brand voice is consistent and recognizable. This is important for both internal and external communication.
Alongside, you need to ensure that your brand’s tone adapts to each situation. Since the same information, when used across different channels such as direct mail, social media, newsletters, ads, videos, and other branding methods, will get presented differently.
Thus, you need to be mindful of the usage of various platforms to ensure that even if your tone is different, you have a consistent voice that suits the audience and the situation
5. Design your Identity – The Brand Logo
Visual branding is an integral part while designing business branding ideas. A strong visual design allows you to make an impression and speak to your audience without words while getting them to take notice. An authentic brand identity is when the brand is solely recognized based on its visual elements.
Thus, an identifiable brand style guide consistently conveys your brand’s message across mediums and contributes to your brand’s overall look and feels.
Especially if you are a small business, then a good business logo design can create wonders. Since small business branding ideas must attract the target audience to know them before they sell products.
Some of the essential visual elements of a brand are,
- Brand Logo
- Brand Colors
- Business cards
- Photos, illustrations, and icons
- Brand Videos
- Social media page
- Physical assets (printed brochures, merchandise, and packaging)
6. Take time
Keep in mind that it is a long and tedious process for a brand to get accepted by the audience. There are many complexities, from connecting your vision to cultivating customer relations to promoting your brand’s identity; it requires a lot.
It doesn’t make sense, nor is it feasible to do this over and over again, unless you are in a rebranding process and marketing as a totally new company with a new logo design, website, and other brand elements on all spaces, including various social media sites.
Whether rebranding or not, it is best to let your brand slowly grow into the market and the minds of your customers. After all, a good brand strategy should stand the test of time and stay relevant to the latest trends related to the brand. Find the perfect Twitter marketing tips.
7. Include your Team
Building a brand strategy should be a collaborative process. Thus, it is best to include your team, right from the stakeholders, to the employees and external experts like an agency if needed. If possible, try to include potential customers – after all, your customers will believe if their co-buyers vouch for the brand more than what the brand says.
Ideally, you will create a designated team that focuses on building, designing, and giving life to your brand across all levels.
Types and Purpose of Business Branding Strategies
Individual branding works best for large companies that have more than one well-known product in the market. Through this strategy, they can give each product its own brand name and personality, giving them a unique identity among their peers.
A fitting example is Samsung. The manufacturing giant has products in both the electronic and automobile industry. Take a look around, and you’ll find a Samsung Phone, Fridge, Washing Machine, and Microwave, among other appliances.
Another example is Apple Inc. The parent company has its own set of loyal customers and also markets each of its products, the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, as individual brands.
What do you think of when you see “Levis”? Jeans and white t-shirts. Or When we say, Louis Vuitton? Hand Bags.
That’s right. These brands follow the strategy where their names recognize them. Through this strategy, your brand is remembered by not just your customers but also future potential customers.
Attitude branding refers to a type of business branding where the brand or company relies on its audience’s overall emotion or attitude to market its products—this type of strategy markets on feelings by creating an emotional connection between the brand and its customers.
The best example of this type of business branding is the sports brand “Nike.” Their slogan “just do it” promotes the idea of a healthy lifestyle that also aligns with their brand products that sell everything athletic.
‘No Brand’ Branding
This type of branding is also referred to as minimalist branding. They are brands that seek to let their products speak for themselves without any extra add-ons, which many others provide their consumers.
Some of the no-brand branding examples are Brandless, The Ordinary, and m/f people. You can see on Brandless’ website that their packaging and the overall aesthetic are kept simple. This aligns with its mission of providing reasonably priced food to people without a distinctive brand.
As the name suggests, Brand Extension is the process when an existing strong brand decides to extend its success to a new venture. Many brands capitalize on their existing popularity among customers to promote their other products.
A befitting example is the sports and athleisure brand “Nike.” The brand started off as a seller of athletic shoes, gradually shifting focus to apparel, accessories, and sports equipment – all promoted under the same name. Check out the marketing campaign guide and make some new campaign strategies.
How You Can Leverage Your Branding Ideas With All Time Design
Branding aims to ensure that you deliver what they are looking for.
People form opinions about brands according to what the brands say and do, what their close ones think of them, and how they gauge their decisions and actions. It is a general indicator of whether they like the brand or not. Find how brochure design is helpful to marketing strategies.
The key here is to take steps that will make people that matter to you the most (in this case, your target audience) think of you in the best way possible.
And the best way for your creative branding ideas to reach your audiences is through the help of impeccable designs. With the help of a design agency such as All Time design, get the best professional graphic designers to create world-class design and content for branding your business.
Book a Demo or Sign Up today to add value to your brand and make the best marketing strategies.