Friday, October 29, 2021
People don’t just want to buy your products and services. People buy into the brand itself. Expanding your marketing efforts beyond pushing products and services to what your brand means and what it stands for is beneficial as it fosters brand loyalty.
Corporate branding focuses on creating a distinctive look and feel for a company. Its goal is to create a prominent yet positive image of the company as a whole and not just of a singular product or service. It leaves a positive impression in the public’s mind long after engagement or exposure to the company when done well. It also has an impact on the employees and influences the company's identity through the attitudes that drive it.⁽¹⁾
It can help set the tone (on both a conscious and subconscious level) on how the public views your corporation. It can be what makes or breaks your ability to create business prospects. Through branding, we can create a visual representation of the business that can help increase the corporation's awareness among employees, shareholders, and consumers. It allows us to shift towards a more clear and coherent personality for the business, allowing for a fuller, more distinct image to the public. Successful corporate branding immediately sets the standard of professionalism for all inside and outside of the company, which influences individuals such as consumers, investors, employees and peers. The effects of successful corporate branding help create a more credible company image for peers within the industry.⁽¹⁾
In short, corporate branding allows us to create a long-term image with the public and peers within the industry. Without it, it could be hard to carve out a distinguished position within the marketplace and create a reliable and sought after brand.⁽¹⁾
Clients typically choose to do business with brands they share values with.
When developing an out-of-this-world brand, highlighting and dramatising the brand’s intrinsic values help build an emotional connection with the target audience – something equally vital where branding is concerned, and not just in retail or commercial industries, for example.
Branding done right prepares the groundwork for brand loyalty to follow in its wake. This is important because brand loyalty often has the potential to last a lifetime and even be carried over to future generations. In investment terms, corporate branding is what you would call a ‘no-brainer’.
There are virtually endless benefits associated with branding. Here are five great benefits of corporate branding, which any business can look forward to when having their corporate branding developed:
Strong brands work to build brand recognition with clients. This means that when a consumer is looking for a specific product or service, they are able to identify your company at the moment. Consumers are generally more likely to select a brand they recognise, as opposed to one they don’t – even if they do not know the company at the time.
Your brand’s ability to differentiate you in the marketplace is what determines its equity. When brands influence the customer decision-making process, such as clients being able to identify your brand in the marketplace, it gives your company a competitive edge over the competition. The more you invest in your branding, the greater the recognition will be. The more recognition, the better your brand will compete against the competition.
It is easier and more cost-effective to expand a product line when you already have an established brand and loyal clientele following. With a loyal brand following, your customers will be interested in your new product and even look forward to more new releases.
The recognition and elevation that a strong brand builds upon all lend to greater customer loyalty. Customers are attracted to brands they share values with. When you build a strong brand, you need to convey these values to build an emotional connection with customers. Brand loyalty often lasts a lifetime and even transfers to future generations.
A solid, reputable brand fosters credibility with customers, industries, and the marketplace as a whole. As you build your credibility, so you also build your bottom line. Everything goes hand-in-hand, and the more you build your corporate brand, the more likely you are to get the sale.
Coca-cola: This is the very first drink we think of when we think of fizzy drinks. Coca-cola has managed to remain relevant and as one of the biggest brands in history. When we look at the branding of Coca-Cola, we can see how they consistently make use of branding that appeals to a wide range of consumers. However, Coca-cola is more than just one drink and is a multinational beverage corporation that has been able to stand as one of the largest beverage companies in the world through the use of corporate branding.⁽¹⁾
Apple: Apple is one of the biggest technology giants in the world and offers a wide variety angle of products. Apple has been able to distinguish itself from other technology corporations through the use of branding that has allowed for a reputation of quality, class and quality that is highly popular amongst consumers. With the use of a subtle yet memorable name and logo, it is associated with some of the best electronic gadgets out there. Apple also focuses on having minimal and chic designs that span across all products, which help create a coherent yet eclectic range of products, an important part of its branding.⁽¹⁾
Nike: The co-founder of Nike once said, “If you have a body, you are an athlete.” The simplicity of this statement plainly states that their goal is to appeal to all people and that their sportswear is intended for all. Creating clever slogans and statements can help create a coherent identity for your company and overall contribute to more effective branding.
The simplistic yet stylish tick logo helps to create a striking and memorable visual that is easily identifiable by the public. This logo design has a finesse to it that relays confidence and reliability to the consumer. Simply products with a Nike logo or slogan on it is enough to capture consumers attention.
So we’ve learnt about what branding is, why it’s important, some advantages and even explored some examples of successful branding, now we will explore the “how” of corporate branding.
We will break it down into a few steps that can make the process a little bit less overwhelming:
Identify company mission, values and objectives: This process allows you to narrow down and focus on what will form the basis of your corporate brand. It helps initiate the steps needed to create a coherent brand that can get all employees on board and moving forward. It can help when employees need to communicate with clientele and maintain the concrete branding you set out to create.
Identify the target audience: This is a step in creating a brand that can zone in on a particular consumer that may have shared interests. Successful branding will draw the target audience in and thus inspire customer loyalty.
Conduct a brand audit: This is how we review the brand we’ve created and if it aligns with what our original vision was. How distinct is the personality of the corporate brand? How does our brand align with the target audience? An objective approach would be to gauge the perceptions of those not a part of the branding process, such as family, friends and employees, to see if the branding of the business aligns with your original vision.
Differentiation: In today’s world, trying to offer a unique service or product is hard to come by, so at this point in the branding process, the goal is to create a point of differentiation. How do we stand out against others? Well, simply by corporate branding, we can create a corporate image that separates us from our competitors. With your point of differentiation identified, we can then stand out in an already oversaturated marketplace.⁽²⁾
Name and logo - Now that we’ve created a brand, we want to make sure that we create a distinct and identifiable way of identifying our brand. One way to do that is to focus on a unique yet punchy name that relates to our business well and further capture our company’s branding in an equally distinct and striking logo. Both the logo and the name of the business needs to be easy to remember and easily recognisable. ⁽⁴⁾
'Nuditea' is a tea product based in the Northern Cape, where the Meulsteenvlei farm produces rooibos plantation, the name composite of 'nudity' and 'tea', creatively appropriate for a natural and organic rooibos tea brand. The name's relevance demonstrates to the consumer that they are selecting a product straight from the earth. A soft and organic look is further communicated through the rounded logo and neutral colour palette.
Package design plays a big part in branding, in this case with the story of “Adam and Eve”. The story incorporates the idea of the first creation of how everything was natural and organic, a first of its kind. Instead of the woman offering an apple, she offers a cup of rooibos tea. This narrative implies that the tea is pure, perfect and desirable and that it would be too tempting not to try.
Video 1: SKK Engineering Logo Reveal Animation
SKK Engineering provides support to the industrial asset maintenance and plant management sector. The corporate branding, better known as the logo, is shown in the meticulous alignment of four quartered circles along a central axis. It is a balanced symbol, evenly weighted on both sides, made of circular and triangular elements, symbolising strength, unity, and precision. The logo also references shapes and structures found in engineering equipment and machinery, as seen next page. These principles are represented in “Video 1”, where SSK Engineering reveals its logo in an animation format.
Key ideas in the logo:
Implementation: Now that we’ve created our corporate brand, let’s realise it! Part of this would be finding a structured way to implement the corporate brand throughout the business and make it part of the its DNA. Examples of how to implement branding would be ensuring the correct usage of logos, colours, fonts and themes are used throughout various media across the corporation and creating guidelines of what to check for and how to implement corporate branding.⁽⁴⁾
At Creative Caterpillar we create brand strategies that go beyond just the product itself, contact us for a free consultation www.creativecaterpillar.co.za