What is branding in marketing? Well, before I get into that to any detail, let me point a few things out. Branding is extremely important, and it’s powerful when used right. But, it’s hard to talk about branding. This is something that’s so multi-sensory and multi-facet that you just can’t put it all into words gracefully.
Why it’s Tough:
Branding is tough to talk about because there are a lot of aspects to it that are a challenge for narrative. First, a good portion of branding is visual and possibly auditory as well. Your colors, fonts, logo and jingle or other musical associations are a big portion of the personality you’re identifying with.
There’s also the inherent sociological and psychological stuff, which challenge every other science involved by their nature. And, putting into words the nature of mental association, which ties into the stuff I mentioned before as well as a perceived attitude and philosophy customers deduce from you, as well as the association of product or service … it’s all hard to lay out. So, what is branding in marketing?
The aesthetics are hugely important. Not so much that they’re more important than other aspects insomuch as they’re equally important, and the hardest part to really talk about, without going into pretentious art and marketing terms. That would make nobody happy here.
Well, let’s just think about examples of the aesthetic aspect of a successful brand that is successfully marketed. Think of a company with a name whose logo you can instantly picture, along with their flagship product or service.
If it’s something like Coca-Cola or Nintendo, you instantly think of the color red, as both of their logos incorporate it. You instantly think of the taste of coke, and their commercial jingle. Or, you instantly think of Mario, and probably hear the iconic music of his games.
Aesthetics are how the customer tangibly defines and perceives your brand in forms of data he or she understands.
The Gray Matter:
Like I said, underneath that aesthetic is the grander associations and perceptions a customer has of your brand. These are things he doesn’t directly consider, as they translate into undertones in the aesthetic associations.
Customers associate a certain philosophy you indicate having, a personality not unlike how a celebrity conveys one. You have a reputation for standing for things, or for making mistakes.
Just as people see this aesthetic and emotional associative profile of other people, so do they see a company this way, through the brand. Not unlike an avatar on the internet, to represent a person, the brand is an avatar for a company in the perceived, real world.
Avoiding it Going Wrong:
The biggest mistake which can tack on a bad name for a brand, is customer service being abysmal. Customers will remember when customer service were jerks, slow or ineffective. They will also tell way more people of this negative experience than they would of a positive one, on average.
An added advantage of a brand is a solid self image when planning or measuring customer experience from start to finish, as well as responding to it, given the lens it provides customers.
What is branding in marketing? It’s your identity as the world sees you, and as you compete and work to reach out to customers and prospects.