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What is branding and how does it go beyond just a logo?

Branding is about so much more than a logo – it’s a strategic process that conveys the values of a business and allows it to flourish.

In the minds of a lot of people, branding is something that happens to young cattle, involves a hot iron emblazoned with the station logo and for the calf is an experience that can only be described as altogether pretty miserable. It’s basically stamping your logo on something.

So, it’s no wonder that when it comes to marketing, many people still believe that a branding strategy is simply about developing an awesome logo.

Within a marketing context, branding is actually much more than just name recognition and goes way beyond a logo.

It’s a strategic process that conveys the values of the company and its offering, using marketing methods that reach deep into where perceptions are formed and builds ones that will allow a business to flourish.

What is branding?

A branding strategy is a roadmap to forming people’s perceptions of your business. Importantly, branding informs customers about these three elements:

1. The purpose of your business

Why did you create it? Was it to bring homeowners a way to paint their houses without polluting our waterways? Was it to develop software that makes accounting easier for sole operators? Was it to make premium yoghurt for taste connoisseurs?

Think about the ways in which your brand communicates the purpose of your business.

2. Values and vision

What does your company care about and where is it going? Perhaps it’s empowering women or helping to create chemical-free homes; maybe it’s about seeing an end to battery farms forever.

Think about how your brand’s values and vision are incorporated into your brand story. Is this evident in your marketing and communications?

3. Persona

If your business was a person, how would a customer describe them?

Your branding creates an identity about who you are, in a similar way to how you dress, do your hair, and how you stand while waiting for the train all tells the world something about who you are and what you stand for.

Branding is far more than just a logo

The elements that go into creating a brand include everything a customer sees, hears, feels, smells or tastes that they associate with your brand. And yes, your logo.

While your logo is an important part of your branding, it’s not the whole story. For example, the McDonald’s famous golden arches are a key part of the restaurant’s brand identity, but the feelings of fun and excitement children experience when they see them isn’t produced by the arches alone. It’s the red and gold colouring on the packaging and advertising material; it’s the toy that comes with the kids’ meals, it’s the word ‘happy’ used in meal names and for special days.

Branding can include the colours you use in your packaging or store, the iconography or graphics you choose, the tone in the language, the images you use in advertising or in-store promotions.

While it certainly incorporates distinctive brand assets, which form a key part of your brand’s identity, a branding strategy takes in these assets and uses them together to convey what your business stands for and what it offers.

How these elements of branding are used makes a big difference to how your company is perceived. Earthy colours and rough paper stock might make you think a company cares deeply about the environment, whereas garish colours, flashing lights, and sale star bursts might make you think the company cares about providing lowest prices to its customers.

Branding strategy goes beyond simply executing marketing tactics – it encompasses effective storytelling, determines how your brand is positioned in the market, sets your company’s tone of voice, and paves a clear path for the future of your business.

Camberwell Junction’s branding reflects the shopping precinct’s heritage but also gives a nod to being modern and relevant – all of which is reflected in the brand’s broader marketing.

Why is branding important?

Branding impacts every customer and potential customer you have, at every stage of the customer buying cycle. This makes it pretty important.

Strong branding, at its most basic level, can drum up new business and bolster return visitors. It can bring people into your store or make your presence in Google search results stand out from the others.

Whether a customer is new or repeat, whether they are at the consideration stage of the sales funnel or at the pointy sales end, if branding is strong and on point, it should instil in people a sense of shared values, a familiarity of purpose and vision, and a confidence in the brand that drives them through to making a purchase.

Speak to the branding experts at Assemblo

Branding isn’t a sprint, neither is it something you can set and forget. Your company’s branding continues to be developed and deepened with every interaction between your customer and the business.

That’s why it’s important to get your branding on the right track from the start.

Assemblo is a full-service marketing agency based in Melbourne, with professionals who understand all the nuances of brand building.

To find out how we can help your business with strategic branding advice and implementation, give us a call on (03) 9079 2555 or send us a note via the contact form below.

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