By Douglas Clark, G2 Ops Corporate Communications Manager
Keywords: Business, Branding, logos, fonts, formats, color schemes, marketplace, public, competitors, image and style, customer service, public relations, crisis management, social causes, philosophy, perspective, actions
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
How does a company set itself apart from its competitors and make a lasting impression on customers, clients, and the public? The voice of any one company can get drowned out by the countless competitors in the marketplace. So, we must ask the question. How does a company make itself known?
The answer is Branding. Branding and the public image of a company set the foundation of what customers can expect from it and distinguishes itself as a unique entity in the market.
It is More Than Just a Logo
Let us start with what Branding is not. Branding is not a logo. It is not a color scheme, fonts, formats, templates, quirky social media posts, or business cards. All those things are cosmetic, like make up or a specific outfit. They might help define what a company looks like, but they are not the Brand. Consider: would your company completely change if you redesigned your logo? Nonsense. Image and style are about visuals, but they are not the Brand.
So, What is Branding?
A Brand is a result – the total of what a company does, is, and produces – it is a reputation. The Brand is everyday efforts, the interactions with clients and customers, vendors, suppliers, business partners, and the public; these relationships show who you are and how well you respect the non-company, yet vital elements that go into conducting business. The Brand is the quality product or service offered to the market. A company’s Brand is the reaction to when things go wrong and how a crisis is managed. It is also how the company looks at its place in the world and tries to make a positive difference.
In short, what you have achieved with all your efforts – is the Brand.
And How do You Get There
A company can pour effort into customer service, public relations, crisis management, and social causes, but what is the point? Sure, gaining market share and turning a profit is great, but there needs to be a purpose behind that goal. Think about it. Why do companies do the things they do? Why does Coca-Cola make Coke? Why does Ford make Mustangs? Why does Apple make iPhones?
They do these things because they have a vision and a mission. Their actions support that vision, as fulfilling their mission has meaning to them. When a company stays true to its mission, all the effort, feeling, and passion poured into the work they do resonates with their customers, clients, and business partners. Following that mission clarifies what the company stands for, who they serve, and why they do what they do. Taken as a whole, a company’s philosophy, perspective, actions, and outlook coalesce and become the Brand.
The Final Word
Branding is the total of all your work resulting in a reputation. That reputation precedes and follows a company wherever it goes and whatever it does. Basing a Brand on a solid and meaningful mission and vision leads to positive and memorable Brands. But Brands based on superficial and trite missions will be viewed as the weak and disingenuous efforts they are. Building a Brand for your company is essentially constructing the company itself. Make it a good one.
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