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/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?
Well, here at B&E Design Firm, we help you build 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 proudly displays should be something that does not go against what the business values. It should be a direct representation of not only what the business is about, but should also display its core values in such an easy to define way that the target audience can easily gravitate towards. This is what is known as a brand.
Corporate branding is the promotion of your business as a whole and not just the products or services that your business offers. It helps to differentiate your business from your competitors. It is the identity that your consumer base will recognise your business by.
It helps consumers connect with your business, identifying the unique selling points that your business possesses that will turn them into loyal customers that stick around for a long time. It does not matter if the business deals with one primary product (e.g. Apple) or if it deals with multiple products (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 business people 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.
An example of this type of branding being used effectively is with Vusi Thembekwayo, a public speaker and venture capitalist that has used his public image to be able to successfully market his books to tens of 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 that 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 one that is similar.
In order for a business to have effective product branding, they need to first understand what it is that their customer is looking for in their product. This allows the business to create a competitive product that they can compete in whichever field that they are in. 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 an example of a company that understands this very well. They are a South African shoe maker that began by producing sneakers that had a uniquely African flavour to them. They were vibrant, colourful and full of life, similarly to the flag of South Africa. By tapping into the need that people had for a uniquely African sneaker, Bathu were able to produce a product that is now widely regarded as unique and very exciting.
They have 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, or over the phone, or via email. This is service branding. This extends to the type of customer service options that a business can offer its consumers. 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 than before for companies to maintain a good service brand over their multiple channels. This desire to maintain good service practices over multiple channels is the main differentiator between companies nowadays.
Consistency is the main driving force behind most companies maintaining quality service branding.
Most companies try to build good reputations so that consumers return to them for more of their great service. Quality service branding does not just result in returning customers being happy, but it also allows for new customers to be happy as well, making them spread the word of a particular company’s great services for others to join in.
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).
The brand has carved 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. This has 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 a company that is well known for advertising just how unique its products are when compared to its nearest competitor. They are a company that have built themselves upon 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 people could utilise it. 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 one as well. This form of constant innovation that the company is now known for has made them an industry leader within the technology sphere.
Consumers that consider themselves creative and innovative usually gravitate towards Apple’s strong messaging of promoting these qualities within the individual user. Just like Tesla, Apple does not include the prices of their products when they market them, rather they just mention how their products can help improve their customers’ lives.
Shoprite is one of South Africa’s oldest retailers that has made a name for itself by providing goods that your everyday person 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’ opinion of your business and also helps to gain their loyalty. Through the establishment of your company’s characteristics and emphasising them, it increases 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’ 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
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 are tailored to suit the individual needs of your business and are some of the best out there.
Contact us today and let us help you turn your business into a brand.
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