For as long as people have been making stuff to sell to each other advertising has existed in one form or another. From huge motifs painted onto the side of shops advertising war-time provisions, through to targeted website banner ads that can work out what your interests are, advertising has changed a lot over the years, but how does branding come into it?
The Difference Between Branding and Advertising
Although branding will run through everything you do from an advertising perspective, the two concepts are actually separate from each other.
‘Advertising’ refers to anything you do that directly promotes your company and your products/services. For example a newspaper ad promoting a special off, or banner advertising on websites to gain exposure for your website are both advertising. Branding on the other hand is more of a concept; a set of values and principles that informs the consumer of what to expect from you and your products.
An example of a company that has their brand absolutely nailed on is Apple. Everything they produce, be it software or hardware, bares the hallmarks of an Apple product, and it helps to ensure that the user knows exactly what they are going to get whether it is a desktop computer or an iPad.
Why Branding Matters
So why is branding important?
Consumers have more choice than ever before, and so it has never been more difficult to establish that consumer loyalty that was much more prevalent prior to the invention of the internet.
If your marketing efforts aren’t synchronised then it is very difficult to build that brand identity that helps to characterise your company in the minds of the consumer. Again, take a look at Apple for a company that has fostered a fiercely loyal fan base who queue around the block for hours just to get their hands on their latest product. Why? Because thanks to the strong Apple brand they know exactly what to expect from the piece of tech they’re about to buy.
When talking about branding it is typically with advertising and how you reach your target market in mind. However branding should run through everything you do, including non-customer-facing materials.
Studies have shown that people work better when they understand what their company stands for, and with this in mind you should make sure that your brand is visible throughout your premises. This can include the interior design of your building right down to your very own branded pens and coasters. Promotional Plus are specialists in promotional gifts and corporate merchandise, so check out their products for ideas of how you can have your branding running throughout your business.
Think About Your Brand First
However, before you set about defining your brand it is essential that you think about it first. You need to establish what you want your core values to be both in terms of products and services, as well as customer service.
Once you have your vision clearly planned, only then can you begin to plan how to represent your brand throughout your business.
What companies do you think get their branding just right? Let us know in the comments section below.
This guest blog was written by John Rooney on behalf of Promotional Plus – stockists of a comprehensive range of customisable and personalised products, including pens, coasters and key rings and complies with my Disclosure Policy.