Think of a product that is practically similar across the board. Say water. Now think of three different companies that sell water and how they managed to convince you to think of “their” water in a specific way. In fact, you might find that even though you’re aware that water probably just tastes the same, you tend to prefer a particular company’s water over the others. The company has managed to create a certain feeling in you about its product, and this feeling made you choose the product.
This is one way of explaining what branding is all about. But, in case you still want it broken down, let’s get into it some more.
What Is A Brand?
The easiest way to understand branding and, in turn, what a branding agency is, is to first understand what a brand is.
A brand is what your clients and prospective clients immediately think of when they think of your company and product. This image can be in terms of practicality (e.g., the beverage tastes good) and emotion (e.g., the beverage makes me feel young).
A brand is therefore not just about the physical and practical features of a product, but also about the emotions it evokes in the people that experience it. The name of the product must be a cue that suggests the physical and emotional associations of a product or a company. So must the logo, general visual identity, and the messages the company puts across.
The American Marketing Association sums it up this way,
“a brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.”
Branding is, therefore, the process and methods employed to build this perception of a given company or product to the market.
Now that you have a working grasp of what a brand and branding are, you can now dig into what it is precisely that branding agencies in UK can do for you.
What’s been said gives you a rough idea of what you might expect a branding agency to be and do.
A branding agency communicates to the market the qualities that set you apart. In a world filled with so much competition among “similar” products, a branding agency will create your presence in the marketplace by stressing specific characteristics of your product or service over others.
The best way to do this is usually through looking very closely, not just at what your product has to offer, but also what your company and team have to offer. What is your product and company personality? Yes, your product does have a personality; if you think it doesn’t, it’s time you take time to figure it out. You might be selling water, but what kind of water? What will help you start defining your water?
Take a look at the visuals your company is attaching to the product. Do they communicate a positive or negative association? Are you selling a dull or vibrant personality through your product? Does your message tie together with what the visuals and quality of your product are saying?
A branding company will build your company’s story then express it in every single facet of your product and communications. You won’t need to worry about a conflicting representation anymore as the company will make sure your brand’s message is coherent across the board.
Your clients usually don’t have the time to put together complicated multi-dimensional images when they’re in the shop trying to choose among products. A customer will choose the product which brand image is clearest and can spring to mind vividly in a positive way in a matter of seconds.
This strength in image is what your branding agency will be responsible for.
How Do They Do It?
Knowing what branding agencies are is incomplete without knowing how they do what they do.
Their methods are quite straightforward yet these need a good strategy to successfully implement. The steps to building a successful brand might include:
Clarifying Brand Perception Goals- you have to identify the one statement you aim for your clients to say about your product or service after using it.
To identify this statement, you should know your competitors very well and what they offer and don’t offer. Finding this out will help you add value to a product or service that’s already on the market and stand out from the pack in the process.
How can you create a shortcut for your customer when they’re trying to choose one product? What sets you apart as a company? That is part of building your brand’s perception.
Aligning Your Product With Its Promise -what does your business promise to offer? What mechanisms are in place to make sure that it does exactly that? You must be trusted as a brand.
Ensuring Your Messages Communicate Your Promise- everything from your company colors, logo, and all marketing material should be in service to your promise. They’re a function of your promise.
Be consistent and intentional in every part of your communication. Every piece you release to the public becomes part of the story.
Build A Successful Brand
As you can see, you can control, to a very great extent, how people end up seeing your product or service. To do this, every stage of building your business must have in mind what you want your brand to stand for. Even with this knowledge, you might still find it difficult to stay consistent, coherent, and effective in your brand building. This is where brand agencies will come in. Their expertise will help you produce the results you need in the marketplace.
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