Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business. Your company’s brand can make or break you, and it’s essential to create a reliable, consistent image that will resonate with your target market.
Google receives numerous questions from new entrepreneurs about what to do when they start their company. The replies typically advise that one of the most important aspects of expanding your business is branding.
What exactly is branding, and do you genuinely need it? Whether you’re creating one-of-a-kind books, providing engineering services, or selling beauty products, branding is an essential aspect of your company’s success.
Which types of branding are best for your project? When it comes to a business, there are numerous approaches to select from. There are several branding types available to assist a firm in establishing its presence in your competitive market.
To assist you in making an educated decision about your business’s identity, I’ve divided this blog post into sections to describe the most common types of branding.
Corporate branding refers to brands that are used by many divisions of a company. The act of adopting the same logo and aesthetic across all business platforms, including website design, social media accounts, and physical location signage, is referred to as corporate branding.
The advantages of corporate branding are as follows: Rather than needing a unique design for every sort of media, it’s more cost-effective to develop a single logo that you can use everywhere.
Because your brand is more cohesive, customers will be more aware of it since your logo is seen so much. It’s an excellent method to create a brand image that people perceive as representative of the company as a whole.
There are, however, several drawbacks to corporate branding: Because all divisions must have the same name and appearance, it might be difficult for small firms to establish a unified identity (particularly if they’re short on resources and money). If you work in a big company with numerous divisions and try to make all parts of your business look identical, there may be specific issues. There’s less room for creativity when it comes to branding choices since everything must line up flawlessly.
The whole branding approach is centred around how you brand your product. A businesses’ goods are frequently an essential element of their brand, and certain firms rely on their product to establish themselves as the best option in their market.
Have you ever noticed how the word “Coke-Cola” has become a synonym for “carbonated soft drinks”? Product branding is when a company’s logo or colour stands out to customers. Customers may link the logo or hue with a specific product by relying on brand recognition, brand equity, and customer loyalty.
Product branding doesn’t need to be limited to logo and design either – many companies have distinctive packaging for their items that influences how customers feel about them. Apple’s sleek white boxes with those tiny black dots all over are well-known for being clean and modern (and expensive). Starbucks’ green cups might not seem like much, but they help make the coffee house stand apart from other chains.
Beverage brands frequently use signature colours as identifiers: Pepsi is blue while Coke is red; Fanta grapefruit has its famous pink label, which pops out against today’s bright yellow labels on soda cans everywhere you look.
The following are some of the disadvantages of product branding: Because you must develop a logo or design that is unique from others in your sector, product branding necessitates a significant amount of effort and money on the creative process. Meaning if customers don’t like your products, they will quickly abandon your brand.
A service business might require an alternate approach for its brand than a firm that makes products. Service brands are typically more recognisable when customers associate them with specific standards rather than visual elements since services do not contain physical objects that can be easily identified by touch or sight (and most don’t even possess catchy logos).
When people think of Emirates, what pops into their minds? They envision immaculately dressed employees, sparking aeroplanes, or perhaps they expect the friendly staff who wear name tags.
It’s also possible that customers don’t have the same mental imagery of Emirates because it is not immediately clear what the word “Emirates” means (Emirates in the wrong context may not be instantly recognisable).
While some businesses might use obscure names to make their brand stand apart from others – such as Etsy, which its founders chose since it stands for everything handmade; service brands are more successful when people know exactly what they represent at first glance.
Branding becomes even more important in services than products because your logo/brand is the face of your business; customers will associate services with a company when they feel their image represents them accurately.
The following are some disadvantages to service branding: Since companies depend on images and other impressions, if you do not have enough resources to create an effective logo or get it seen by potential clients, there’s no point in trying since that would be wasting time and money.
Personal branding is a relatively new term and concept that refers to applying one’s personal image for business purposes.
Companies in most sectors must now compete with at least some degree of an online presence since their brand is often only as good as how they portray themselves over social media or other networks.
Personal branding may be used to boost business authority by leveraging its digital presence (social media accounts and other online networks).
By definition, “authority” refers to someone who has power/influence over something; if you have managed to steer your brand towards success within social circles or among potential customers – they might see you as having more authority than others in your industry who do not have the same level of influence.
Customers might think of a person who uses their identity to sell products over these platforms as having “personal” appeal – even if they do not own any companies related to what they are selling. People may associate this individual with an aura of trustworthiness because they put forth a public face rather than hiding behind corporate branding.
Though personal branding is not a must for all businesses, it can be essential to expanding one’s market presence.
The following are the disadvantages of personal branding: Since there is no established framework or rules associated with this type of marketing, you will need to learn how best to convey your image to entice new clients.
Authority branding is all about establishing credibility. The idea is simple: if you can gain people’s trust by claiming to have knowledge or insight in a specific field, they will be more inclined to accept your authority.
In the case of services such as law firms and medical practices – this means convincing customers that their company will adequately represent them in court or treat them correctly (which requires a considerable amount of trust).
Since most companies rely on marketing strategies that seek to connect with potential clients directly, individuals who wish to gain authority may use their personal brand over social media channels to gain influence within specific groups.
For example, if someone wants to be a self-help author but doesn’t have any credentials or degrees to back up his/her advice; they could create a personal branding campaign over social media channels and use it as an opportunity to promote their books.
People who trust the individual will be more likely to buy their book (where most of these authority marketing campaigns gain profits).
The main disadvantage of authority branding is that it may be deceptive to clients. Because this form of branding might appear deceptive, businesses that rely on its concepts are advised not to mislead customers into believing they are genuine authorities in their fields – when, in reality, there isn’t any real evidence behind them being “experts” in those sectors.
Distinctive branding is all about creating a product or service that distinguishes itself from its competitors.
If you have managed to create an innovative idea in your industry which no one else has – then you might find yourself with the opportunity for distinctive branding.
The most common way this works is by using creative design elements when it comes to manufacturing products. Yet, many companies fail to realise how vital designs can be when selling their services (e.g., websites).
A company’s brand should always consider human psychology and what makes people feel comfortable and enthusiastic about certain concepts/ideas. This means avoiding heavy-handed corporate logos, instead opting for more subtle options like trendy colours or fonts.
The main disadvantage to distinctive branding is that it may not work for every business. While this form of branding can be very effective in creating a unique image, companies need to remember they are also competing against other brands as well – and if their idea isn’t strong enough to stand out on its own (or doesn’t have anything special about it), then people might end up ignoring the company or worse their products and services.
Geographical branding is all about associating your business with certain regions.
Suppose you have a physical location where customers come to purchase products/services. In that case, it might be in your best interest to use geographical branding and localise the entire process from start to finish.
For example, if someone has an e-commerce shop, they could promote their company’s presence within one specific region of their choice (e.g., New York City). This way, people will feel more inclined to accept whatever this brand is offering goods or services because they trust its reputation within that area.
The main disadvantage of using geographical branding is that companies that do not physically have any brick-and-mortar locations will not use this form of branding.
The primary objective of brand development in the business sector is to link yourself with a particular industry so that people understand what your company does and why it exists in the first place.
For example, if someone owns an online store that sells environmentally friendly pet products, they might want to create an “eco-friendly” brand for their business (e.g., Eco Pet Market). This way, customers interested in buying these items will know precisely where to go when they need them (instead of searching through numerous other websites). The drawback here is that companies should avoid focusing too much on one aspect or idea because this may alienate customers from their industry.
The main disadvantage to industry branding is that it could be difficult for people outside of the specific sector to understand what a company does. This means more effort will need to explain your business in simple terms and concepts, which can hurt overall sales numbers if not appropriately handled. The industry branding approach may not work for every company.
The main goal of online branding is to represent your company as a credible authority when it comes to the products/services you are selling.
For example, if someone has an e-commerce shop, they could promote their company’s presence within one specific niche (e.g., automotive). This way, people will feel more inclined to accept whatever this brand is offering goods or services because it’s seen as “the best” in its field.
One disadvantage with using online branding is that companies may end up focusing too much on promoting themselves and forget what matters: creating quality products for customers which meet their needs/wants – instead of pushing them into buying items just so the business can make more money.
The primary goal of offline branding is to get the public aware of a firm’s presence regarding the items/services being provided.
As the name implies, Off-web branding is the process of creating a distinct visual identity for your organisation. Offline branding necessitates a combination of excellent design and outgoing spokespeople to represent your brand, whether it’s distributing business cards or setting up sit-down lunches with targeted clients or leads.
An advantage of offline branding is that it could be easier for interested parties to find out more about your company and purchase products/services from you since there’s a physical location they can go to.
The main disadvantage of using offline branding is that companies that do not have any brick-and-mortar locations will not utilise this form of marketing.
Co-branding aims to create a whole new identity by combining two or more organisations (firms) strengths.
For example, suppose someone owns an online store that sells environmentally friendly pet products. In that case, they might want to team up with another company that creates custom pet collars so customers could purchase both items in one location (e.g., Eco Pet Market).
This way, everyone involved will benefit from the arrangement and attract as many potential clients/customers as possible through their combined efforts.
One disadvantage of using this form of branding compared to others is that it may not allow companies enough creativity when creating such projects, which can hurt overall sales numbers if not appropriately handled.
Ingredient branding aims to develop a distinct new personality for one product or service by combining many concepts/themes.
For example, suppose someone owns a restaurant that serves Italian food but wants to add Indian cuisine into the mix. In that case, ingredient branding is one way to go about it (e.g., Fettuccini Biryani).
One disadvantage of using this type of branding compared to others is that companies may struggle to incorporate all aspects together effectively, which could hurt overall sales numbers if not appropriately handled.
When implementing micro-branding for your business, the objective is to create a unique personality for specific products or services offered instead of focusing on multiple things at once.
For example, suppose someone owns an online retail shop that sells Italian products. In that case, they might want to design a small logo for each item (e.g., handbags) instead of incorporating everything together in one large image/logo.
This way, customers can feel more connected with the items being offered based on their unique brand personality since it’s not shared among all goods and services sold by this company.
A disadvantage of micro-branding is that while it may facilitate cross-platform implementation, there may be less cohesion in terms of overall sales when compared to more significant brand identity.
This type of branding is all about companies/organisations using their social influence to promote a cause or initiate change in the world that they care about.
Some examples include Toms Shoes giving away one pair for every purchase made, UNICEF hosting donation drives during special holidays (e.g., Halloween), etc.
One advantage of this form of marketing compared to others is that it allows businesses and organisations to interact with potential customers on an emotional level which can lead them into wanting to buy products from these brands down the road – especially if those items are related in some way towards helping out said cause(s).
On the other hand, however, there may be limited success when trying to convince people to buy items that are completely unrelated to this cause (e.g., a business selling T-shirts with the same branding).
The main disadvantage of using activist marketing is that companies/organisations may struggle to find ways to interact with customers on an emotional level that’s relevant for their brand – especially if it doesn’t fit into any of their core values or mission statements.
The various methods of brand development, including offline and online. Multimodal means that you can use more than one type to promote your business in the most effective way possible.
For instance, a successful brick-and-mortar store may not have too much trouble establishing an online presence so they can attract new customers from all over the world.
Or maybe a company has already built up quite a bit of goodwill within their industry but doesn’t want to focus on promoting themselves any further; instead, they might decide to donate some money toward philanthropic efforts (e.g., donating products or services). This will give them strong moral credibility among potential buyers, which could encourage sales down the road even more so than before.
Having a multimodal branding and marketing strategy can be very effective for businesses and organisations that sell goods or services with the potential to reach a large audience – but it may not work as well when geared towards smaller audiences.
The objective of no-brand branding is to create a positive image in the minds of potential customers by not having any official brand identity or logo.
Some examples include Apple’s computer products like MacBooks, iPhones, and iPads that don’t have an actual name but are referred to as such (e.g., “I bought my mom an iPad for her birthday”). This practice significantly differentiates these devices from others on the market since they lack a traditional logo/identity that companies typically use when promoting their items.
One advantage of using this type of marketing strategy is that it can make your product more appealing than those with logos. Consumers tend to be drawn towards familiar images instead of something new and different.
The main disadvantage of having no-brand marketing is that it can confuse potential customers because they have to figure out for themselves what your product/service even is – especially if you don’t give them any information about the item or describe its features and benefits in detail (e.g., “What do you mean by ‘iPad’? What does it do?”).
This type of brand identity involves being completely open and honest with customers so that there are never any hidden agendas, secrets, etc.
Transparent branding may be used in conjunction with other forms of branding depending on the company’s needs at a given time. Still, as long as consumer trust remains high, then this is likely to be an effective way of doing business for quite some time.
However, there are many potential risks associated with transparent branding including the possibility that customers may not take you very seriously or have too much faith in your words – especially when they can’t see any evidence (e.g., “I’m going to build a bridge between here and Europe”).
It’s also important to note that this type of brand identity should only be used if it fits into your overall marketing strategy; otherwise, transparency might end up being harmful more so than beneficial – depending on how well you’re able to deliver on what you promise without necessarily having all the necessary components/resources available at first.
This type of brand identity is used to attract the attention and curiosity of customers by doing something unusual or unexpected – e.g., surprising them with a unique experience, creative advertisement, etc.
One advantage of guerrilla branding and marketing is that it can be more memorable than other strategies which will make your product stand out from others on the market; however, this may not necessarily translate into you getting more sales if people aren’t able to connect what they liked about you back to whatever business offering(s) you’re promoting (e.g., “Who was that guy who gave me free ice cream? What does he have against chocolate?”).
It’s also worth mentioning that guerilla branding can be risky because it might turn customers off instead of attracting them if they feel tricked or deceived in any way (e.g., “This company is trying to force me into buying something I don’t want”).
As you can see, there are many different types of branding that companies need to be aware of before they make any final decisions.
For this reason, it’s important to do your research and ask for advice from experts in the field (e.g., branding agency) who can help you determine which type of marketing strategy will be most effective based on what you’re trying to accomplish as well as how much money/time you have available at any given time.
To help give some perspective on this topic, contact Sanders Design today. We can help you figure out which types of branding will work best for your business so that you’re able to attract as many customers as possible.