"A brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s goods or services as distinct from those of other sellers."
- American Marketing Association
The first perception you have in mind when thinking about a product, service, or activity of a company, both in a practical sense and in an emotional way, describes a good branding.
For your customers, branding helps shape their perception of your offering. It is not only about the physical features that build a brand, but also about emotions invoked and nurtured by your brand and company.
For you, as a company, it is essentially the marketing activities you have strategized to build a combination of the two, then catalyzed by your brand identity and message.
While your competitors can have the same offering as you do, the way you position and market yourself through suitable branding activities will make a difference to your customers' perception.
Branding gives meaning to you and your brand
According to Kotler and Keller (2015), branding is a series of activities that infuse meanings into your company and offerings.
The strategy has been customized to the needs of your brand so that your customers can quickly identify and experience your offering. It gives them more reasons to select your product than any other-including your main competitors!
Who will benefit from your branding activities? The answer is, of course, your brand, but the next main needle that will be moved here is your consumers. Good branding provides consumers with decision-making shortcuts when faced with options.
You will want your brand to stand out from the crowd, and having good branding activities will add to your company’s reputation. Not only does it affect your consumers, but it also impacts your stakeholders and investors and your entire brand.
The types of branding
The type of your branding activity, which determines the tonality and campaigns conducted, will heavily depend on the nature of your business.
Let’s say that you have two brands: One caters to the luxury market, and another caters to the mass sector. The former may spend a lot of money on advertising in high-end magazines, whereas you need to select a more-effective, mass-targeting medium, like your social channels.
Furthermore, your communication tonality needs to be adapted as well. The luxury brand will use language that is straightforward and sophisticated on color palettes that consist of darker hues. Meanwhile, the mass-market brand will even use memes to speak to the customers, on color palettes that consist of brighter colors.
It is then crucial to customize your branding activities based on the nature of your brand. The types of branding are categorized into eight categories:
Look at the difference between Nas Daily and Marshall Goldsmith, in which one directs his content for individuals and the latter is a leadership coach. The way they communicate differs, right?
Marshall Goldsmith via Forbes
Marshall Goldsmith has a trustworthy, reliable portrayal appealing to the more serious and professional market.
Nas Daily via UX Planet
Nas portrays friendlier and approachable mannerisms, appealing to the mass market.
Personal branding is suitable when you are the face of your business, for instance, as a life coach, a public speaker, or a politician. Personal branding uniquely communicates your unique personality, as it maintains your professional and social reputation.
The languages you use throughout your digital presence have to resemble offline, face-to-face communications.
Did you know? This type of branding is one of the most intricate, as it deals right away with one’s personality, in comparison to a company's.
Product branding depends largely on the appearance of your brand, including color palette, photography, logo, messaging tonality, and even the type of font selected in the beginning!
It’s all about the visual aesthetic, as well as the look and feel of a product. Your goal here is to change your customers' perceptions through brand awareness.
Like Oatly, remember?
Oatly via ResearchGate
Oatly disrupts the dairy industry with a unique product offering, and their messaging is quirky, yet easily remembered.
Service branding is similar to product branding, though the offering is intangible. Just like an insurance ad you recently saw!
Mosaic Life Insurance via Campaigns of the World
Oftentimes, service branding comes in the form of mini-campaigns, for instance, rebates, giveaways, or even that free apple on your favorite hotel reception desk.
Your marketing and customer service teams help support the success of your service branding activities, too!
The world right now is shifting to digital, but for some offerings, a brick-and-mortar store still does most of the work.
Retail branding encompasses the physical appearance of your store, which eventually describes the look and feel specific to your brand.
What are the physical appearances here? Your layout, lighting, decor, interior, music, and even the color of your door handle will create a specific atmosphere in your store.
Do you remember Muji? The concept of "less is more" for the brand is well projected to their stores across the world.
MUJI store via Better Marketing
Cultural and geographic branding
This type of branding is often hyperlocalized and specifically bound to a place. Like a tourist destination commercial or a digital banner that promotes Indonesian batik!
The Pure Lotus via SuperKos
The Pure Lotus is a Korean skincare brand that uses lotus roots and flowers from Jeju Island. Through the illustration, each of its product branding activities clearly showcases the island and its lotuses.
Corporate branding indicates the personality of a brand. It resembles personal branding, but mainly for companies.
A strong corporate brand can help a company stand out from its competitors, build customer loyalty, and even attract new customers. The most successful corporate brands are those that are able to effectively communicate their unique values and benefits.
What is normally included in corporate branding? That’s right! It’s your mission, vision, core values, price point, target customers, and even how you treat your employees!
Coca-Cola via Delish
In one of their campaigns, Coca-Cola showcases their inclusivity in diversity, hence the "Share a Coke with…" campaign.
Online branding, as the name implies, occurs online. It includes everything from creating and maintaining a digital presence across an ecosystem, using different types of advertising, like pay-per-click and search engine optimization.
Sixty-three percent of the world right now is connected to the internet, and it is only going to grow. In today's digital world, an effective online branding strategy is essential for any business that wants to succeed.
The goal of online branding is to create an online presence that is both professional and friendly and that helps potential customers learn more about your products or services.
Just like a TikTok ad you often stumble upon!
Uniqlo via YPulse
Uniqlo’s campaign to tap into the younger market via TikTok.
Offline branding is the exact opposite of online marketing, and it normally encompasses all the marketing materials you can touch with your hands! Yes, it also includes the retail branding we talked about above.
However, offline branding includes much more than that. It also showcases your offering on billboards, T-shirts, van stickers, brochures, and even radio advertisements!
Tomorrowland ticket via We Rave You
Have you determined your business's strategy and branding requirements? Which branding type can you choose for your business?
Let us help you. Talk to us here!