Does My Business Need Branding?
A lot of businesses presume branding is solely for large corporations, but the reality is that branding is as important for small businesses than it is for bigger companies. Why do we need branding? Well, branding is to thank for international companies such as Apple and Coca Cola’s large-scale growth and success. In the context of smaller businesses, branding has the same purpose – to incite growth and stand out in the face of competitors.
What is Branding?
Branding delves deeper than just your company logo. Branding is the communication of your brand and communicates to your customers your business values, personality and customer promise. Branding is how you, as a business, are perceived by existing and potential customers. The use of design, marketing, advertising and a service proposition combined are elements that work together to create your brand identity. Your brand identity should let your customers know who you are, what you do and why they need you.
How Does Design Relate to Branding?
A part of your brand is the overall brand identity design, the visual identity of your brand – your brand image. This is more than just a logo, this is visual consistency between all visual collateral including:
- Marketing Collateral (Flyers, brochures, books, websites, etc)
- Products + Packaging
- Stationery Design (letterheads, business cards)
- Retail design (interior and exterior signage)
- Email design
- TV Advertising
^ Business Cards Oath Creative designed for Canterbury High Country Villas
Do I Need Visual Branding if I have a Small Business?
We know the big brands use it, but do I need to invest in strong branding and good design if I am just a small business? The short answer is, yes, and for the following reasons: first impressions, memorability, professionalism, credibility, trustworthiness and value.
First Impressions Matter
Time is money and we don’t have a lot of it. That means a lot of the time consumer’s can make purchases without doing a lot of research. Sometimes face value is all they use to make a decision on whether to use your products/services or not.
Consumers are smart and can tell if you have invested in a professional to enhance your brand or had someone make it in paint or off a generic design site such as Canva. Great website design, a sleek business card or a stand out logo can be the first touchpoint a potential new customer has with your brand, so make it count.
People tend to do business with companies they are familiar with. If your branding is consistent and easy to recognize, it can help people feel more at ease purchasing your products or services. For example, we know the golden arches of McDonald’s, their red and yellow branding has been ingrained into our minds, and we know what we can expect from them. We can see by this example, standing out from competitors and being memorable with good design is vital to attracting new audiences and growing as a business.
Feeding from the last point, visual consistency that creates memorability, in turn, signifies professionalism around your brand. Poor design and dodgy graphics can communicate unprofessionalism to potential customers who may not know your business or what it stands for. A consistent, memorable and modern brand will make you appear like a leader and expert in your industry, outdoing competitors.
Credibility and Trust
Consumers expect your company to be credible and trustworthy, especially if they are paying for goods and services. Unfortunately, you could be the best business with the strongest value proposition, but without strong, well-designed branding, you may not appear credible or trustworthy. For example, a cluttered, poorly designed newsletter with lots of pop-ups and advertising may see some users negate opening your marketing emails as it may look ‘spam’ like. Another example is a poorly designed logo may make your company visually appear like a ‘scam’.
Strong branding that aligns with your brand identity and signifies who you are as a company gives customers’ the expectation that they can trust you, and that you are leaders within your industry.
Your brand’s visual identity communicates value to your existing and potential customers. A strong brand will provide value to your business beyond your physical assets.
Think about the brands that you purchase from such as Apple or Coca-Cola. These are all brands that invest heavily into their visual appearance. Are these companies really worth their equipment, products, warehouses, or factories? These brands are worth more than their physical assets, their brand has generated value that exceeds physical value. Their design and marketing activities combined have generated a strong name which sees them grow year by year.
Communicate Who You Are
Finally, a good brand communicates who you are to your customers. Design collateral that does not reflect who you are can negate potential customers. So it is vital you communicate who you are in everything you do, and why your products or services are superior to the rest.
^ Business Flyer Oath Creative designed for Melt Massage & Beauty
Conclusion: Why Do We Need Branding?
We can agree with professionalism, credibility, trust and memorability as important elements within a business. All the previous elements are values that communicate who you are, what your business does, and why the customer needs you.
This blog aims to give you a more of a grasp into the design and branding world! Oath Creative are always open for a chat, so if you are thinking of investing in some new branding, are unsure if you need it or know someone in need of some help, our door is always open at firstname.lastname@example.org or inquire on our contact page.