The concept of brands and branding has been around for centuries, and has evolved alongside our concepts of ownership and quality.
So what is a brand in today’s modern world? A brand is simply the perception of your business or service in the eyes of your audience. It’s the images, messaging, and feelings people get when they think about your product, mission, or customer service. It’s really what your company or business means to your audience, so it’s not something tangible within an organization. You can’t fit a brand into a file or document, because it’s an experience people have with your business.
Having a brand is different from branding, rebranding, or extending your brand. These are processes that relate to your brand and require you to demonstrate an ongoing effort and commitment to shape your customers’ perceptions of your company.
Let’s get into these processes and what they entail.
Rebranding is a process that happens when it’s time for a change in your business. Usually, when we talk about rebranding, we mean an extreme, drastic change to an existing brand.
Rebranding looks different for every company. For some, it could mean a complete name change. For others, it could be a new logo and website design. It all depends on what your company needs.
The time to plan a rebranding campaign is also subjective, but generally companies rebrand when their current brand no longer aligns with what they represent. This could be because of management changes, market shifts, or any significant change in the way you conduct business.
If your company is planning or considering rebranding, it’s important to partner with a marketing agency that understands your goals and vision for your business. That way, you’ll establish a brand that will remain relevant for years to come.
The Process Of Brand Refreshing
A brand refresh is different from a total rebrand, but it can still achieve measurable results for your business. A brand refresh is when you’ve established a lot of value and recognition in your existing brand, and you don’t want to completely do away with it, but rather revitalize the brand to inspire and encourage more business.
Why do companies choose to do a brand refresh? It could be for a number of reasons. Usually, it’s sparked by either new opportunities or new challenges. For example, if a new competitor appears and starts to grow rapidly, it might be time to think about how you can stand out and remind your customers what makes you and your brand the best option.
Brand refreshing can mean you make slight changes to your color palette or logo, or you add and expand your current messaging. It can also mean that, in order to expand your reach, you speak to a wider audience and draw in different audience personas.
Whatever the path your company takes, it’s important to note just how effective a brand refresh can be. It can serve to draw in new customers and help you keep pace with a changing market.
What’s A Brand Extension?
A brand extension usually does not change many foundational elements of your brand, but rather allows you to do what it says — “extend” your brand into other markets and territories.
This could mean you introduce a new product line targeted to a different demographic, and add some new elements to your brand while using your original messaging. It could also mean your expanding your services to a new city, or trying to sell to both women and men. As with all facets of branding, this process changes depending on an individual company’s goals and aspirations.
How Do I Know If My Brand Is Strong?
Now that you understand the different processes branding can undergo, let’s talk about some elements of a brand that make it stronger than the competition.
Maybe this goes without saying, but in a world where it feels like almost every business possible has been created, it can be tricky to stand out. Think about if you were to start a coffee shop. Never mind the industry giants like Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts, but you’ll also have stiff competition from other local coffee shops down the street. And what will make you stand out? Locally sourced coffee? Free coffee for seniors? Specializing in dark roast?
There’s plenty of possibilities to help build an authentic brand, but it’s up to you to find something that will stick. Brainstorm, make mistakes, and find the most concise way to tell customers why you stand out, and why they should choose you.
An extremely important part of branding is effectively communicating with your audience. Your customers need to feel like they are being listened to and that their needs are being met.
When you create a brand that’s relevant to your audience, you help build an emotional connection with those consumers. This is an invaluable effect of brand building, but it takes time and understanding to achieve this connection. Listen to your customer base, and respond with branding that’s relevant and responsive.
A great way to give your audience a reason to relate to you is by being bold and steering clear of indecisiveness. More often, we see audiences drawn to brands that know who they are in a sea of companies that choose to stay the same.
When you make a definitive choice of who you want to serve, and ultimately what you represent, consumers will appreciate that. If you try to appeal to everyone, you appeal to no one.
About ADVAN Design | Premier Digital Marketing And Branding
Whether you’re planning a brand refresh, brand extension, or complete rebranding, you need to put your trust in a marketing agency that understands the principles of branding. Here at ADVAN Design & Marketing, we can offer just that.
ADVAN is a Northeast Ohio based company specializing in marketing, graphic design, website design and management, and SEO services. We have two decades of experience in taking a company’s brand and elevating it to the next level using traditional and digital marketing practices.
When you’re ready to take the next step for your brand, give us a call. Visit https://advandesign.com/ to learn more.