Knowledge Base > Marketing Tips > What is Branding? Simple Guide
A brand is a word or phrase, logo, or design that distinguishes one seller’s goods or services from those of other companies. Originally, the word “branding” literally meant “marking using fire” – in particular, cowboys in the Wild West branded their cattle to know whether they belonged to a particular ranch.
The definition of the word changed over time – now it refers to any trait that is relevant to a specific product or service line and helps distinguish it from its competition. A brand is related to ideals and promises standing behind the product that a customer can see and believe in. A brand is an identity of the company and is often considered to be the most valuable asset of a business.
In this article, we will explain what branding is, how you can use it – in particular in the publishing business – to attract customers, how to create a strong visual brand, and how to present your brand to an online audience.
Branding is the act of creating and shaping a brand vision for the consumers’ purposes. Good branding is essential for providing significance to your business, organization, products, and services. As a result, many companies create strategies to help their customers easily recognize their products.
Good branding works with a single glance – everyone in the world knows the shape of a Coca-Cola bottle and can recognize the font, regardless of what language it’s written in. Even though Pepsi tastes very similar, Coca-Cola managed to create the feeling of distinction that enticed people to purchase their product.
In the end, a brand is what you feel when you purchase a product. The main purpose of marketing and brand strategy is to make your product be associated with the values that the brand promises. For example, if you identify your products and services as addressed to young males, you know your customers will respond better to branding related to athletes, sport, action – even if the product has nothing to do with sports. Older people will respond better to brand identity, related to family and community – but of course, this depends on the culture of your market.
As you can see, in order to create a strong brand, you need to research your market, your potential consumers and know your competitors and your company’s reputation among your target audience.
Brand identity in printed media
Another area where brand identity and branding are especially important is printed media. Visual identity is very important when you create magazines, e-books. People tend to look at the physical objects they hold and they analyze them more closely, and that causes them to compare media to printed style.
You can and should develop a brand for your online magazine or catalog. This means you have to take care of many things, especially visual consistency. Your marketing materials must be consistent in the use of logo, color, fonts, images, and text style and message.
- A well-designed logo is crucial and it should also meld well with the rest of the design. If you have a logo styled as a pencil sketch, for example, it’s a good idea to use the color palette in shades of grey or in binary colors to create a consistent visual identity.
- Your color should match your product or service (for example, lawyer companies would benefit from a more muted color palette, while pre-schools could invest in pastels), your target audience and customers (if you find that a large percentage of your customers are women, they will respond better to muted colors like beige or powder pink) or the history of your company. Coca-Cola traditionally uses red and white and it’d be hard for them to choose another color palette for their brand. Branding using color is a time-consuming and labor-intensive process that necessitates extensive research.
- Fonts and typography are also reflective of the personality of your brand. Serif fonts are appropriate for more established companies while you could use sans serif fonts if you’re addressing younger customers. Monospace fonts can speak to IT professionals or movie buffs, and they all reflect your corporate strategy. If you want to create a brochure, think about the legibility – don’t necessarily use the font you use in your logo, especially if it’s difficult to understand.
- The message and style of your text are also as important as your logo and visual elements in building a successful brand identity. Jokes and humorous style might work well for the IT crowd but won’t sell a travel brochure. However, even a professional, neutral style appropriate for, for example, a law firm, doesn’t have to be boring. Evocative language, storytelling, unique concept – they can all distinguish your company from the competition.
Raise your brand equity with flipbooks
Flipbooks from Publuu make personalizing and branding your PDFs and marketing materials as easy as pie. Thanks to the realistic effect of flipped pages and high-resolution images they seem as realistic as they would be in physical form. This can help you stand out among your competition by itself, and speak to your customers’ imagination. But Publuu can help you with branding in a varietymore ways!
Create online documents that reflect your brand
Publuu can help you create online documents that reflect your corporate brand and demonstrate your values to your customers. They will look great as marketing tools and present themselves in a fantastic way. Publuu lets you match the color palette of the document even further – change the music in the background and the texture displaying of the displayed document. These subtle ways are also a method of creating your company’s brand identity.
Publuu’s magazine branding example
View more online flipbook examples
You can use your logo as an automatic watermark or to personalize your flipbook-catalog without having to manually place a logo on each page. Pattern repetition is very useful for building brand equity – the more your customer sees your logo or other important visual elements, the more accustomed he will be to your branding.
You can mix and match your icons to reflect your corporate brand strategy and identity. Even minor details can have an impact on your target audience. Your loyal customers will notice your logo and may subconsciously associate it with your brand.
Publuu-created flipbooks are also very mobile-friendly. They load quickly and are available on all devices that are compatible with modern browsers. You can enter your market by allowing your customers to learn about your company and its value through their smartphones or smart TVs. If you sell magazines or other similar content, you can display it seamlessly for the sake of your design or branding.
Publuu, because of the ease with which hotspots and links can be created, can be another great tool for increasing brand recognition. You can use the PDF to link directly to the relevant site, associating an image with your brand. You can also integrate your brochure or magazine with your online presence by linking to and from your social media.
Flipbooks allow you to embed your PDF on your website and social media, which can be critical for your brand strategy. Your branding can be unified across all media platforms, providing your customers and business partners with a smooth, seamless experience. You can even integrate your video content with your PDF to create a unified visual identity that highlights your brand and values.
Why should you invest in branding?
Many businesses nowadays consider branding to be an additional cost to their marketing budget. It’s important to remember that marketing is always an expense – it doesn’t produce immediate results, but it does bring more customers to your brand, driving sales indirectly.
Keep your brand working
While advertising can influence customer behavior and brand loyalty in the long run, branding is more than just a basic strategy. If you want to build a strong brand, you must devote a significant amount of time to brand identity and brand recognition. Branding is simply a long-term marketing strategy that produces measurable results over time. Many well-known products and services have changed their identities over time – remember the New Coke?
When you don’t offer clear-cut products or services, but instead perform more complex tasks, a good brand is essential. Customers are more likely to approach your brand as if it were another offer once they know what to expect from it. Instead of researching your offer, the customer notices your branding and thinks to themselves, “Oh, it’s a Disney brand.” In this way you can clearly distinguish your service on the concept level.
Branding is not just for customers
Branding is also critical for investors and shareholders. Typically, you think of brand recognition in terms of your customers and consumers, the people who buy your products or services. However, branding is also important to those higher up the food chain. Why would another company want to invest in your brand if you don’t have a successful brand identity?
The same is true for potential employees or collaboration. People prefer to work for well-known brands; for example, if you’re an artist, would you rather draw cartoons for a local website… or for Disney? Many people would choose a more well-known brand for exposure and recognition, even if it pays less. Long-term benefits and value of working with successful brands might be more important than money itself. These are just a couple of values of a successful brand. Branding might result in lowering your costs as you boost your image.
Products, in general, have a limited lifespan; you must constantly change your design and service based on your workers. Brands, on the other hand, have a longer lifespan. With minor changes, a well-chosen logo design can last for decades. With the rise of social media, your strategy should be based on contact with your target audience and approach, rather than just visual identity.
What is Brand Promise?
A brand promise is a brief, simple statement or motto that informs customers about what they can expect from the brand. It can be a company tagline or a mission statement, but it can also be completely separate from your corporate identity. It is perfectly acceptable for your mission statement to be that you “provide services to customers”.
A Brand Promise, on the other hand, may be more complicated. Burger King and McDonald’s, for example, both offer similar products to similar groups of people – but McDonald’s is much more family-oriented, whereas Burger King emphasizes the method of preparation of their burgers.
Rather than simply stating what you do (“sell burgers,” for example), describe the experience your company can provide. Two burger chains may describe their products differently: “real meat seared over real fire” emphasizes flavor and experience, whereas “have a good time” emphasizes community. It carries a lot of meaning for your consumers. You can imagine two very different restaurants, each with its own distinct personality.
A good brand promise can be quite difficult to create, and you need to know your brand guidelines and the industry. When you break this promise, this can lead to the loss of reputation and market share – and only the best brands actually deliver what they promise. Try thinking about how your customer will experience your service, how they can distinguish you from the competition.
A good brand promise can be quantifiable, such as “we promise 15 minutes of delivery” or “we promise more value for your money.” You can easily identify brands that are verifiable and capable of providing relevant value to their customers. Something like “the tastiest pizza in town,” for example, is so broad that it has little meaning for your customers. Make your brand guidelines clear and simple to follow.
How to build a quality brand
As you can see, we can’t give you a step-by-step guide on how to create a brand. Good branding necessitates a lot of work and constantly changing strategies. However, we can provide you with a general example of a brand strategy that you could use.
What is your target audience?
You won’t be able to gain loyal customers until you figure out who they are. If you want to raise brand awareness, your brand must resonate with your target audience. The entire process must begin with determining who buys your product, who your consumers are, and why they choose your company. For example, if you discover that a large proportion of your customers are women who frequent libraries, you have learned a great deal.
What is your mission statement?
A mission statement states what you want your company to do; it is not necessarily the same as a brand promise or brand guidelines, but you can’t do it unless you know what you want. If you want your online magazine to deliver interesting content, you will develop a distinct brand from companies that are solely focused on ad space. You understand that in this case, content is king, that you want to pay for interesting authors, and that your brand is more about quality than connecting people.
What are your strengths?
Many people recommend conducting a SWOT analysis; however, you may be unaware of your market’s weaknesses and threats. What you do know is the strength of your company. What abilities do you possess that other companies cannot duplicate? What are your assets that your competitors do not have? For example, if your women’s magazine can find great, award-winning writers, that’s a huge plus for your readership. This could be a great way to build your brand around your employees, values, and other assets.
What is your visual presentation?
Brands are more than just presentation; visual image creation, from packaging to website design, can all have an impact on your brand. Rethink your logo and visual presentation, and try to match them to your customers’ needs. Try to think like your target audience if you run a magazine for women who enjoy reading. Would you use bright elements to stand out from the crowd, or would you rely on the name recognition of your star writers?
What is your textual presentation?
Text here can refer to spoken word or even TV commercials for your brand. What do you want the voice of your brand to be? Do you want your magazine to sound serious to your customers, or do you want to lighten it up with a few jokes? Do you want a more personal tone or something more professional and to the point? Keep in mind that the voice of your campaign will be the face of your brand, so be consistent.
Be on point with your branding!
Branding includes your company’s name, logo, colors, voice, and any images linked with it; yet, a solid brand is more than that. When your consumers come into contact with your brand, they must understand what it stands for. Only comic book lovers understood what Marvel was a dozen years ago; now, that brand has outgrown its niche. A brand is a representation of you and your worth.
Building effective branding will help your brand stand out from the crowd. To create branding that is comparable to that of major corporations, you must concentrate on your complete brand image and integrate your values.
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