The advertising of the business culture/brand is known as corporate branding.
A brand, as Jeff Bezos once put it, is what others think and say about you or your business when you aren’t in the room. The products and services that a business offers form part of the brand.
Struggling with your brand strategy?
If you had to figure out your brand strategy right now, would you be able to do it?
At B&E Design Firm, we help you understand the importance of corporate branding and assist you in building your brand from scratch. We believe that in order for a business to stand out among its competitors, it needs to present itself in a way that proudly shows off everything that the business stands for.
This public image that the business displays should be something that doesn’t go against it’s values. It should be a direct representation of not only what the business is about but also it’s core values. Done in such an easy-to-define way that the target audience will gravitate towards it. This is what is known as a brand.
Corporate branding is the promotion of your business as a whole. Not just the products or services that your business offers. It helps to differentiate your business from your competitors. Its the identity that your consumer base will recognise your business by.
It helps consumers connect with your business by identifying the unique selling points that your business possesses. Turning them into loyal customers. It does not matter if the business deals with one primary product (e.g. Apple) or if it deals with multiple (e.g. Unilever). Not to be confused with product branding, which is the advertising of a specific product that the business sells. Without highlighting the company that either produces or distributes that particular product.
Traditionally, corporate branding has been a tool that many businesses have used to build themselves up and make themselves stand out from their competition.
Corporate branding is not limited to specific elements of a business, be it the business’ logo or name. Rather, it is the total embrace of all aspects of the business. These include:
Personal branding is something that is usually associated with the rich and famous. Be they an athlete, film star, or politician. Becoming famous (or infamous) is a huge factor in many businesspeople attaining their success. Their social profile helped them get many clients and generate a huge fanbase. This fanbase can, in turn, be used as a means of generating revenue for your business.
This type of branding is being used effectively by Vusi Thembekwayo, a public speaker and venture capitalist who has used his public image to successfully market his books to thousands of people around the world. Beyond that, he has been able to generate a healthy public interest in his business ventures, that has seen him become one of the most successful investors in South Africa today.
Product branding is the most common type of branding that exists out there. It is the advertising of whatever product a particular business sells to its consumer base. This type of branding involves the use of words, colours, and images to set one product apart from another similar product.
For a business to have effective product branding, they need to first understand what it is that their customers look for in their product. This allows the business to create a competitive product. Understanding the desires of the consumer base will allow the business to have a better brand strategy process, which will lead to a better product roadmap.
Bathu is a South African shoemaker company that began by producing sneakers that have a unique African flavour to them. They’re vibrant, colourful, and full of life, similar to the flag of South Africa. By tapping into the need that people had for a uniquely African sneaker, Bathu was able to produce a product that is now widely regarded as unique and exciting.
They’ve since branched into making other forms of shoes, not just sneakers. And while the shoes may be different, their core value of giving them that African flavour is still at the heart of the brand.
No matter the field your business operates in, ensuring that your business delivers quality services is going to be one of the most difficult challenges that your business will encounter. Services are the lifeblood of any business. They represent the interactions that your business has with its customers.
It does not matter whether these services are provided in person, over the phone, or via email. This is service branding. This extends to the type of customer service options that a business offers. Every interaction with a customer is a part of this form of branding.
The ever-growing usage of the internet has made it slightly more difficult for companies to maintain a good service brand across multiple channels. This desire to maintain good service practises over multiple channels is the main differentiator between companies nowadays.
Most companies try to build good reputations so that consumers return to them for more great service. Quality service branding does not just result in returning customers being happy. It also allows for new customers to be happy, making them spread the word about a company’s great services.
Tesla is a globally recognised brand that deals primarily in the production of electric vehicles. They are a luxury brand that is slightly more expensive than their competitors, and as a result, they market themselves without mentioning the price of their vehicles. They instead choose to focus on other factors whenever they market their vehicles, primarily the range of their electric vehicles, how environmentally friendly they are (for the most part), and the numerous safety records that they have met (Teslas are the only cars to have ever received 5-star ratings for safety).
Tesla carves out a niche market for themselves through their fun, quirky marketing campaigns (or lack thereof). And the strong personal branding of its CEO, Elon Musk, who is a well-known lover of memes. It allowed the company to advertise through quirky features on their cars, such as dog mode, sentry mode, and even fart mode (yes, the cars can fart).
Apple is well known for advertising how unique its products are when compared to those of its nearest competitor. They build themselves on the values of innovation and creativity. And when they market their products, they do so by speaking about these very same qualities to their consumer base.
The iPod revolutionised the way in which people listened to music in the early 2000s, before the iPhone came around and blew everyone away with how it was designed and how it could be utilised. It brought the world into the age of the smartphone and essentially changed the way people interacted with each other, not only on a proffessional level but also on a business level. This form of constant innovation that the company is now known for has made them an industry leader within the technology sphere.
Creative and innovative consumers usually gravitate towards Apple’s strong messaging about promoting these qualities within the individual user. Just like Tesla, Apple does not include the prices of their products when they market them. They just mention how their products will improve their customers’ lives.
Shoprite is one of South Africa’s oldest retailers and has made a name for itself by providing goods that everyday people can afford. They offer a wide range of services that go beyond serving quality food products at low prices to their consumers. They have a range of in-house services that include the following:
These services have allowed Shoprite to connect with the lower-income retail consumer more than any other. Their form of service branding has allowed them to become an industry leader.
Corporate branding is important to any business, be it big or small. It conveys the company’s uniqueness and promotes its core values. This is presented in different ways.
Corporate identities allow businesses to have multiple avenues in order to market themselves to their customer base. Establishing a powerful corporate brand helps to shape your customers’ opinions of your business and also helps to gain their loyalty. Through the establishment of your company’s characteristics and emphasising them, it will certainly increase the chances of customers being loyal to your business.
Through constant visualisation, a business can create awareness among its customers, shareholders, and employees. All of the business’s key positive aspects will be burned into customers’ minds, thus creating a basis for recognition of the business among its various competitors.
Strong corporate branding does not allow for any vagueness or inconsistencies to pop up when it comes to a brand’s personality. It showcases everything that the company has done in order to make sure that it projects its best self, leaving no room for misrepresentation.
Therefore, it is crucial for a company to have employees that know the corporate brand well enough that they can spot any inconsistencies that may result in it being misrepresented and work to quickly fix whatever it is that may be a hindrance to delivering strong corporate branding.
A corporate branding campaign is an opportunity for your business to either invent or reinvent itself in the customers’ minds. When starting a corporate branding campaign, there are a few things to consider. These things are all dependent on the needs of your business, which will vary from campaign to campaign.
Steps to consider when doing a corporate branding campaign
When doing it yourself, one of the first things to remember is that money cannot replace time. Throwing a lot of money into the campaign at the beginning, all with the hope of speeding up the corporate branding process, will result in a message being delivered that has zero consistency over time. Frequently, consistent corporate branding lasts longer than branding that overwhelms in the beginning but becomes slow later on.
Take the time to find out who your target audience is. Knowing exactly who you are targeting will help you effectively market your corporate branding to the right people without wasting a lot of resources.
You have to make it easy for your consumers to interact with you. Do not layer your corporate branding with multiple messages. It is best to just stick to your primary message, one that you want your audience to know you for, which should be attractive enough to make your consumer base want to return for more.
Do you want to build a business with loyal customers? Here at B&E: Design Firm, we specialise in crafting excellent corporate branding that leaves a lasting impression on your target market. We are a corporate branding company situated in Durban. Our comprehensive list of digital marketing services is tailored to suit the individual needs of your business and is some of the best out there.
Contact us today and let us help you turn your business into a brand.
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