A brand is a unique identity that gives a business recognition and differentiates its products and services from other brand names, in an increasingly competitive market.
The process of branding involves creating a distinctive image, name, symbol, slogan, sign or design, for a particular business or organization, that establishes a business in the mind of the consumers.
People relate a brand to its logo. There are many famous logos that speak for themselves, for example, Jaguar, BMW, Mercedes, Lufthansa, Gulf Air, etc., to name a few.
In such cases, where the symbol of the brand is so recognizable, the brand hardly needs to strive to over-use its name or what they make/do.
Company symbols evoke powerful emotions in people, like the red plus symbol of The International Red Cross is synonymous with humanitarian aid for all the humans on planet Earth, or, the giant yellow M for McDonald’s that stimulate childlike feelings within us for delicious burgers, fries and shakes.
Consumers distinguish certain brands with wholesome attributes. For instance, Bajaj Scooters were considered to be a reliable and safe brand, complete with their jingle ‘Hamara Bajaj’, the brand invigorated the feelings of unity and family, in every Indian, many decades ago.
So, what purpose does corporate branding serve?
Corporate Branding is not only about reaching out to your target audiences, so they may choose your brand over the competition, it’s also about creating a unique identity for yourself, in your domain, so the consumer relates your brand to be the sole provider of a particular kind of good, service, product or solution, within your expertise.
- Convey your message to the consumer in a clear and concise manner.
- Establish your reliability in the eyes of the consumer.
- Build an emotional connection with your target audience.
- Encourage consumer loyalty and influence buying behavior.
Corporate branding should be more than just a sales and marketing effort. If it solely exists to serve company interests, consumers will see right through it.
Your brand shouldn’t get a reputation as a greedy, emotionless, money-making machine.
Corporate branding can only be successful if you put consumer interests at the heart of every branding initiative and be genuine about it.
The best branding strategy involves an integration of corporate policies with consumer relationships. The campaign should promote company agenda, in a way that doesn’t seem too ‘pushy’, but also makes the consumer feel heard and looked after.
Businesses should invest in consumer research and take the time to understand consumer psyche.
Modern-day markets are full of numerous brands and each and every one of them vie for consumer attention. Effective branding will help you establish a niche in the mind of the target audience.
Branding is the first step in marketing communication and its the most important one as well. It is the blueprint that determines corporate communication, on every level.
Your corporate brand serves as a consolidated overview of your business objectives. Every other strategy or plan for promotion is built around your brand.