There is a lot of talking about branding design, but what is it really? And, as a business owner or entrepreneur, why would branding your business matter?

What is branding design?

 

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You wake up in the morning, pour some Grind coffee in your mug and scroll down your social media feeds or perhaps read the latest news on the BBC. It’s a nice routine and perhaps you repeat it every day, drinking the same coffee and reading the same news. You are, even if you might not know it, a loyal brand fan.

Brands get true followers by evoking emotions. They pay a lot of attention to how their products and services are going to make you feel. Nike can push you to achieve more (‘’Just do it!’’), whereas Coca-Cola is all about bringing a smile to your face. In other words, brands will find their tribes based on much more than just their products.

There are a lot of ways brands can show their personality and gain loyal consumers. If you are thinking of launching your own brand, here is a breakdown of the branding process. In addition, you will find out how branding can increase consumer trust and, ultimately, lead to more revenue.

A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is—it is what consumers tell each other it is.” – Scott Cook

What are the steps in branding?

 

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Research

This is what we call the Vision phase here at Chapter. It is an opportunity to discover your story and what you want to achieve with your brand. At this stage, it’s good to take a closer look at what competitors are doing by conducting a competitor analysis. That way, we can have a better understanding of what works well within their specific industry and how we can differentiate your brand from the rest.

Branding Strategy

Strategy, as the name implies, is aimed at creating a plan for long-term goals. There are a few areas to flesh out, such as what makes your brand unique and why it matters. This will lead us to create a brand USP (Unique Selling Proposition)

You can get a clearer understanding of your brand by thinking of it as if it were a person. Is it loud, bold and a bit of a rascal? Or is it more intellectual and withdrawn? What are its values? Branding strategy will help us define all of this and position the brand within the market and, ultimately, create a strong branding design.

Messaging Strategy

How you talk to your audience matters a lot. And so do the words you use. What language you’re going to use on the website, on the products and on social media will affect how your brand is perceived. 

For example, Tony’s Chocolonely is brave and bold both in their tone of voice as in their bright-coloured packaging. On the other hand, Tiffany is very well known for their elegant and classic tone that fits perfectly with their expensive jewellery. 

Brand Identity

First and foremost: brand identity is not a logo. It is much, much more than a logo. It is how consumers see you everywhere you go, from a poster and a Tweet to the beautiful packaging when they receive the product. Besides the logo, which will be prominent on all of your marketing materials, there are a lot of other elements to consider. Colour palettes, typography, photography and illustration all determine a look and feel. As a result, they will support the brand as a whole, reflecting its values and purpose. 

A good example of that is the branding for The Rec Room, an exclusive, luxury training facility. Chapter team created this premium-looking brand and developed everything from the logo to the website.

Content Marketing Strategy

In essence, a content marketing strategy is a plan for creating valuable content in order to reach (and retain) your audience. This includes the brand website, blog, newsletter, social media and other channels. What kind of content you will be publishing depends on the target audience and potential customers. It is crucial to have prominent branding across all of the brand’s materials and content is no exception. After all, content is there to inform, entertain, surprise or delight.

For example, WeTransfer, a platform that makes it easier to share large files, is known for its beautiful art displayed on the homepage. But they don’t stop there. In fact, they launched a blog focused on sharing articles and inspiration within the creative industry, thus strengthening their brand.

What is the importance of branding?

 

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David Brier is a branding design and identity expert. He summarized the whole importance of branding in one sentence: “If you don’t give the market the story to talk about, they’ll define your brand’s story for you.” 

In other words, not only does it matter how a brand presents itself, but how everyone else perceives it. The best example of that is what happened to Burberry in the early 2000s. This old luxury brand became synonymous with ‘’chav’’ culture once football hooligans adopted the look. The term ‘’chav’’ was used in a derogatory manner to describe a person living lavishly but without good taste.

Fast-forward to now, Burberry has managed to become the British darling once again, using its digital platforms and marketing campaigns to rebrand themselves.

There are a few key elements of why branding is important:

Brand loyalty

Apple is an example of a brand with a cult following. Even though the capabilities of Samsung are on par with iPhones these days, Apple has built a strong fanbase over the years. Their strong brand personality, coupled with products and services that would connect with their users on a neurological level led Apple to become the leader in tech.

Brand loyalty can be achieved by not only delivering what is expected but surpassing expectations. Unexpected incentives are also a way of strengthening the bond, such as surprises and gifts on the customer’s birthday. 

Besides that, communication is key. Talking to your customers regularly both on social media and personally (either through Private Messages or face-to-face) will make sure your brand stays on top of the customers’ minds.

Trust Within the Marketplace

It is easier to trust a brand you have heard of. Just imagine the last time you travelled abroad and wanted to get a bottle of water. Did you scan all the bottles, trying to find a brand you are familiar with? Was it a bit of a relief when you found it and it felt more like home, even though you were miles away from home?

That is trust.

A strong brand builds trust with customers, but branding also helps build connections between the company and its stakeholders. If a company positions itself within the marketplace and is able to deliver on that promise, it will earn the trust of stakeholders. As a result, trust can make a difference between the intention to buy and actually buying.

Drives New Customers

The power of great branding design is in retaining existing and acquiring new customers. Despite marketing campaigns, what truly gets people to take action is word of mouth. 

Because of that, a strong brand delights, inspires and moves customers to talk about it to their friends, family and colleagues. Better yet, customers post about it on social media, spreading the word further.

This familiarity (and a bit of FOMO!) will drive new customers to try the product or service, creating a sense of trust from the get-go. 

 

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If you are new to the world of branding, we hear you. Chapter is a branding design agency in London and we work with clients all across the globe. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you are looking to launch or level up your brand (no strings attached!) If you’re still interested in learning more about Chapter, learn what it’s like to work with us..