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7 March 2024

What is a brand?

The concept of branding is everywhere. From the products we use daily to the services we rely on; brands permeate every aspect of our lives. But what exactly is a brand, and why is it so crucial for businesses?

History of brand

The roots of branding can be traced back to ancient civilizations, where symbols and marks were used to distinguish ownership. Over time consumers came to recognise these markings and began to use them as a guide to quality. Ironically, many modern businesses have failed to make a similar link and still view branding as purely visual. As societies developed, mass production emerged, and the critical importance of branding became clear. When your product looks identical to the trader next door, how do you differentiate your business and products from theirs?

This has become even more important in the modern world. Markets are much more saturated, leaving the customer spoilt for choice. Your brand doesn’t just make you different at first glance, it’s often what the customer is buying into.

The fundamentals

A brand comprises several interconnected elements, each contributing to its overall identity and perception. A brand is not simply how your business looks, but how it speaks, what it thinks and feels.

It all starts with segmentation – This is deciding who your business is trying to sell to. Looking at the psychology of the brand and how it aligns with the consumer. What do they care about and make sure your brand fulfils this desire. Unless you’re an avid driver, cars are largely the same. It gets you from A to B, but your promise of what happens between A and B is how you define your identity. If Mercedes promises to get you from A to B in the most comfortable way possible, that’s a brand identity.

Types of brands

Brands come in various shapes and forms, each serving different purposes and catering to distinct consumer needs:

  • Product Brands: These brands are associated with specific products or services offered by a company. Examples include Xbox for gaming and iPhone for electronic devices.
  • Corporate Brands: Corporate brands represent the overarching identity of a company and encompass all its products and services. Examples include Google, Microsoft, and Coca-Cola.
  • Personal Brands: Personal branding involves promoting individuals as brands. This is often seen in the fields of entertainment, sports, and entrepreneurship, where individuals leverage their expertise, reputation, and personality to build a brand identity.

Benefits of a brand

The benefits of branding extend far beyond mere recognition:

  • Customer Loyalty: Strong brands foster loyalty and advocacy among customers, leading to repeat purchases and positive word-of-mouth recommendations.
  • Premium Pricing: Well-established brands can command premium prices for their products or services, as consumers perceive them as offering higher quality or unique value propositions.
  • Competitive Advantage: A strong brand differentiates you from competitors, giving you a leg up on a rival that doesn’t clearly illustrate who their business is, and why they do what they do.

Summary

Branding is a multifaceted concept that plays a pivotal role in shaping consumer perceptions, driving loyalty, and creating value for businesses. If you’re serious about growth you need to be serious about brand. More than just logos, slogans and colours, the brand can ultimately be the difference between a sale or a missed opportunity.

This is a vastly condensed look at the concept and practice of branding and doesn’t begin to look at the intricacies of putting this into action for your business. Creating and communicating a brand that impacts takes real skill and expertise. The Bauer Create team are made up of digital, creative and advertising experts based across the UK. We believe in delivering results for our clients, our mantra is ‘everything we touch must deliver a return on investment for our clients’. We work with clients of all shapes and sizes and across the whole of the country.