Company Branding can be defined by the act of consciously creating a logo, business card or other visual representation of the company and its values. Company branding refers to the process of marketing a company, rather than specific commercial products or services, to the masses. The concepts and activities that go into establishing a company brand are very different from conventional product and service branding as the scope of such a brand is usually much wider. For example, a clothing manufacturer may seek to establish a firm name in the children’s wear market, and a hospital may wish to have a brand identity established for doctors and nursing care staff. In each case, the target audience is different, and the marketing messages will differ accordingly.
A strong understanding of the concepts involved in brand marketing is therefore crucial for those wishing to establish a name for themselves on the world market. A basic dictionary definition is that ‘branding’ (or ‘trademarking’) is “a distinctive marketing strategy and frequent practice used to identify and promote products”. In other words, branding is a tool for marketing. It is not a one-off visual representation that is designed to be displayed on a website or elsewhere on the Internet. Instead, it is an ongoing activity that is undertaken to create a recognisably distinct brand image.
A graphic designer working with an advertising agency is engaged in developing a set of visual elements – the colours, logos, fonts and images – that will represent the business and create a brand identity. In the recent past, branding was primarily directed towards established commercial institutions such as bookstores, restaurants and hotels that already had a recognised reputation. With the advent of new media and increased online activity, branding has moved beyond these traditional venues and increasingly incorporates social media into the overall marketing mix. This has been seen, for example, in the development of the ‘guys only’ corner of dating websites.
A new mantra has come into vogue: “The brand strategy is all about the end user [the consumer] more than the product”. The advent of online shopping and the internet has made it increasingly difficult for smaller companies to compete for the consumer’s affections. By providing a platform for the end user to shop around and compare prices, customers are making it far easier for businesses to build loyalty and trust with their target audience. The challenge for businesses in this new digital age is to utilise the power of brand strategy to ensure that they are perceived as being professional and endearing to their customer base.
A major part of the brand strategy is the creation of a visually arresting, easily identifiable logo that is both memorable and relevant to the business. The most effective brand strategies will make use of a variety of different techniques including colour, fonts, animations and graphics to create a consistent and identifiable image that can be linked to the company’s key activities. In addition to the design of the identity logo, another element of successful branding is the organization of its various communication channels. This is where brand development services can really help a business achieve its goals.
One of the most important ways in which a business can establish its own unique identity through the use of brand marketing is by way of effective public relations campaigns. This not only helps to lend a recognizable face to a company and increase visibility, but also serves to build a long term reputation. However, these public relations efforts often come at a cost, particularly in terms of time and financial investment. Fortunately, a plethora of specialist branding companies can provide a range of professional branding services that can help ensure that a company’s public relations campaign is effectively crafted and managed.
Perhaps one of the most common examples of successful branding is that of Apple Inc. The corporation has become synonymous with innovation and technological growth and over the past decade has grown to be the biggest brand in the world. However, it is not easy for a new entrant into the marketplace to set themselves apart from the competition quickly and effectively. This is why reputable branding agencies are a necessary element for any company wishing to compete in today’s increasingly competitive market.
A leading branding agency will provide a variety of consultancy services to help a business achieve its branding objectives. These may include corporate identity design, creative branding, creative graphic design, website design, and more. These firms can also work to implement a number of advertising campaigns, ensuring that a company creates a consistent and noticeable brand presence both online and offline. They can also create and manage a range of social media sites, helping a business to gain an increased online presence and build a strong reputation. In short, a reputable consultancy will help a business to define and develop its unique identity for optimal growth and profitability.