When you think about Coca-Cola, what comes to mind? Is it the taste? The color red? Or, maybe the logo? Or maybe you think about one of the many Coca-Cola commercials you’ve seen throughout the years? When you think of all of these things, you’re thinking of the Coca-Cola brand as a whole. And, if a large number of Coke-related images and ideas popped into your mind when you thought of Coke, then Coca-Cola-Company did its job of properly branding the sweet-tasting soda. When posing the question, what is branding, it’s easiest to start by first thinking about iconic brands, like Coke.
How is it Defined?
To properly understand what branding is, you must first be able to understand what brands themselves are. Brands are the images and ideas consumers think about and connect with when they think about a specific product or service. These images and ideas can originate from any number of things: the brand logo, design, slogan, jingle, or spokesperson.
A Good Definition: What is Branding
The communication and delivery of the attributes and characteristics that tell a consumer what the brand stands for. This also means that if a marketing specialist is doing his or her job, consumers in the target market should be able to recognize when an idea or image of a brand is wrong. Moreover, the brand should be recognized by more and more people throughout its existence. Brands should also be able to evolve with time, by giving consumers a fresh perspective on is as it relates to current affairs.
How to Brand: the Basics
Marketing professionals should work on developing brand recognition and reputation strategically through the brand’s existence. This is done by working on its design and concept. A number of tools can be used, such as radio and TV commercials, the company or brand website, and on social media. But, all the marketing tools should follow a set of standards that the company has set forth in order to maintain brand quality and identity. For example, if the logo has a specific red and blue in it, the brand should follow that same shade of red and blue in its design. The brand should not deviate from its colors. Doing so could confuse consumers, whether consciously or unconsciously. However, that is not to say that a brand should just keep repeating it’s same old tactics, it should be able to evolve to stay relevant for consumers. The important thing is that its customers can still recognize it while seeing it in different ways.
Take LEGO for example. Founded in 1939 to make wooden toys in Denmark, it has turned itself into a multi-billion dollar company due to the fact that it has evolved based on culture. LEGO today has a theme park, movies, and a factory where customers can build custom creations. Because LEGO has stuck to its iconic colors and fonts, as well as its mission of constant creativity, its brand has been able to stay recognizable for decades.
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How To Build Your Brand Online
Branding should be an important and integrated part of your online activities. These efforts can build a brand reputation and go beyond the original product offering or service. It can also add a ton to the revenue stream of the brand.
When marketers are working on their efforts, they should use web pages and SEO (search engine optimization) to figure out the details of the campaign.
Here are some of the highlights when building a brand online:
- The domain name (www.something.com) should be a coordinated effort with the brand. The domain name should align with the brand name; matching domain names will help consumers easily type in the web address to find the brand.
- Use a branded link, otherwise known as a Vanity URL or a Custom Short Link. A branded link is the shortened URL of a link you want to share online with a major added perk, the link has your brand written right in it! Unlike regular shortened links that have the brand of another company in them, branded links have YOUR brand, helping to increase recognition and awareness.
Check out how Virgin has been using branded links to increase its brand awareness on social media.
- The images used on the web pages should have the same look and feel as the brand itself. They should be chosen very carefully.
- Any social media efforts should follow all brand guidelines as well — any and all images, ideas, discussions, logos, and designs used on social media should match the branding guidelines the company has set forth.
- The website itself should be custom-created. This means that the company should set aside an adequate amount of money to employ a web designer to achieve exactly the right design for the brand instead of using a pre-made website theme.
Branding is a way to develop an important company asset and to leave a lasting image in a consumer’s mind. Even more than that, proper brand efforts will achieve a positive reputation for the company. It should seek to build an expectation by consumers about the product offerings or company services and can encourage products and services that exceed every subsequent product developed, bringing more and more innovation to the company’s full product or service lineup.
- Linking to live video: Facebook Live tips for marketers
- 6 brands killing it with co-marketing campaigns
- How to choose the perfect brand name
- How to rebrand: 4 must-follow steps
This Article is About:
- The elements of a brand
- What is a brand?
- How to build a brand
- Online branding
Originally published: July 23th, 2015.
Updated: September 27th, 2018.