Promotional Products Home Promo University® Independent Study What is Branding and Why is It Important?

What is Branding and Why is It Important?

Branding is defined as the promotion of a particular product or company by means of advertising and distinctive design. It is an important way to establish your business identity and set yourself apart from the competition.

We live in a world of advertising. The Super Bowl unleashes a wave of commercials, billboards decorate the side of every highway, and you can’t search on Google without seeing a bunch of ads. Advertising is woven into the fabric of our daily lives. As a business, you need to break through the barrier somehow and make sure you stand out above everyone else in your industry. The secret to that is quality branding.

While it may be a great way to mark your cattle, branding is also extremely valuable when running your company. It’s time to share the secrets on how you can build your brand and find success!

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Get people to do something with your product at a trade show. It’s very hard to fool anybody so being anything but authentic is a recipe for disaster.

– David Gilliam, Professor of Marketing, University of Arkansas at Little Rock

What Are Some Iconic Brands?

There are many influential companies that got it right when it comes to quality branding. Take a look at the top 10 most successful brands of all time!

Disney

Disney

All it takes is that iconic cursive “D” and the towering castle to feel all warm and fuzzy. Disney found success in their brand by building magic around everything from their movies to their theme parks.

Coca Cola

Coca Cola

People love collecting Coca-Cola memorabilia as much as they love the drink. The strong red in their logo and the cursive font have been part of their brand for over 100 years!

Apple

Apple

Steve Jobs took a bite out of technology by introducing the world to the sleek Apple logo in 1976. The iPod may be on its way out, but the entire conglomerate is still worth an estimated $170 billion.

Nike

Nike

Find inspiration from Nike and “Just Do It” when you’re building your brand. The athletic leader has found success through a memorable slogan, simple logo, and a large selection of products.

Google

Google

You know you’ve made it when your brand name becomes a verb. For over 20 years, this search engine has used bright colors and a user-friendly interface to make the internet a lot easier to navigate.

Ford

Ford

Henry Ford changed transportation with the introduction of the Model T in 1908. Since then, the big blue logo has become as American as homemade apple pie.

Fed Ex

FedEx

FedEx has kept our packages signed, sealed, and delivered since 1973. The brand has always been associated with fast, reliable service, represented by a hidden arrow between the “E” and “X” in their logo.

McDonald's

McDonald’s

Mickey D’s is a favorite fast food chain all over the world. Their signature golden arches are easy to spot and Ronald McDonald evokes feelings of childhood nostalgia.

Target

Target

Target hit the branding bullseye when they designed their bright red logo in 1962. Today, the design is able to stand on its own without the store name and still be recognized by consumers.

Starbucks

Starbucks

Caffeine enthusiasts are drawn to Starbucks like a sailor to a mermaid’s siren song. Founded in 1971, the company has continued to grow, adding their green logo to retail products and custom coffee mugs.

What You Need to Brand Your Company

The most successful companies know how important it is to establish a brand identity. This should be part of every advertising effort as you go forward and continue to grow. You need to make sure you have all of the following when building your brand:

Company Name

Logo

Advertising slogan/tagline

Company Letterhead

Distinct Colors

Marketing Materials

Website

Signage

Promotional Items

The more of the above you can incorporate into your brand identity, the better you’ll be at establishing your niche. It’s about incorporating a consistent message into both your offline and online advertising strategies. There are a million businesses out there, so you need to create a brand that’s true to your company’s mission and the services you provide.

How Can You Build Your Brand?

After you have your brand established, it’s time to let the world know who you are. After all, you’re not going to be able to win over the crowd with just a flashy logo and catchy slogan. If you want your brand to be a true contender, it’s about being persistent and consistent in your messaging.

1. Keep Your Eyes on the Prize: Persistence comes from ruthlessly doing whatever it takes to get the word out there. Whether you organize community events or shout your company name from the rooftops, you won’t reach a larger audience without making your presence known. Think of it like the kid in your 4th grade class who kept poking you over and over again until you relentlessly gave in.

You have to dedicate part of your budget toward advertising your company. Getting your name out there can be expensive, but it’s essential if you want people to remember you. As sad as it is, you can’t become a Coca-Cola or an Apple overnight.

2. Stay True to Yourself: Consistency, on the other hand, is about remaining authentic in the brand identity you’ve established for yourself. For example, if you’re an eco-friendly company, you probably shouldn’t send out paper mailers. Another great way to establish this consistency is through a memorable logo. You want customers to recognize your logo from a mile away and have a positive response. It’s kind of like when you see a Taco Bell billboard at 3 in the morning!

This boils down to everything you do in advertising your company. You need to think of your business as a full package. The colors you choose to use, the way you present information on your website, and the employees you hire are all part of your brand. These pieces all stack together to create an identity to the world of consumers.

3. Promote at Trade Shows: Trade shows are the circuses of the promotional world. Thousands of people are walking from booth to booth. Conversations are going on all around you. All that’s missing is a ringleader and a few trapeze artists to really complete the performance. However, these events are still valuable advertising and networking opportunities for any industry.

The smaller fish in the advertising pond need to come to the show prepared with a set goal in mind. Are you trying to display your product? Do you want more people to know about a specific service? Make sure you do your homework before going to the show, especially considering that your competitors are only an aisle away! Do whatever you can to stand out and make a memorable impression, while remaining true to your brand.

4. Don’t Forget Promotional Products: Of course, no advertising effort is complete without promotional products. Call them what you want – swag, tchotchkes, promos, giveaways – these items are your way of putting something tangible in the universe. This advertising method outshines any commercial, radio spot, or social media ad. In fact, promotional products are voted the most effective form of advertising across all generations.

The key with promotional products is that quality matters. No one is going to the booth with the 10 cent pens, but everyone will go check out the one with trendy iridescent water bottles or metallic tote bags. You want people to gravitate toward your company for all the right reasons and this starts with your promotional giveaways. After all, your customers are going to talk to a lot of people at a trade show or conference, but the branded items are the ones that go home with them. Make yours count!

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Sunglasses, pens and small insulated bags are typical giveaways that can make a much stronger impact with better quality and a clever theme.

– Robert Carey, Wearables Magazine, property of PPAI

Branding and Marketing Approaches

You can tailor your branding strategy to what works best for your company. There are different approaches to branding, allowing you to explore the best way to put your company on the map. At the end of the day, it all depends on what products you offer and how you want to put them on the marketplace.

Apple

Family Branding
Products are placed under the umbrella of an existing brand. Apple creates technology all featuring their iconic logo. This includes MP3 players, phones, and computers.

Dr. Pepper chapstick

Co Branding
A company partner with another to create a powerful synergy that benefits both of their brands. Dr. Pepper and Bonne Belle collaborated on chapstick with flavor inspired by the popular soft drink.

Target Products

Private or Store Branding
A store, often in retail, offers their own line of products exclusive to their company. Target and Jewel stock shelves with their own brand of toilet paper, detergent, food, and other products.

No-Name/Generic Branding
Suppliers create products that are intentionally brandless and offered for a lower price. Brandless is a campany that sells only generic products with no label.

White Labeling
A product is produced by one company and then rebranded by another to make it appear as their own. YouTube is a property of Google and operated by Adobe, yet the brand stands alone.

What is a Brand Personality?

Think of the word “brand” as both a verb and a noun. The action of branding comes from the approach you take in marketing and the preliminary stages of creating a logo and company name. The end result is the brand itself, the noun if you will. This is when a brand takes on a life of its own and acquires humanlike qualities.

As this brand is established, it comes with its very own personality. Whether positive or negative, this shapes how consumers view a company’s product, service, or mission.

Dove

A good example of a brand personality can be found in Dove, a personal care brand that’s been in the cosmetic industry for over 60 years. In 2007, the company challenged our definition of beauty through their “Real Beauty” campaign. Female photographers took pictures of real women with diverse body shapes, skin colors, and hair textures.

Dove’s campaign shows a brand with an established personality. They not only come across sincere and authentic, but also take a stance on a very human concern, namely the struggle women have with finding beauty in a world of unrealistic body expectations. This was a bold move by a company in an industry that perpetuates those harmful messages through their advertising.

The end result of Dove’s campaign was well worth the marketing effort. Customers praised the brand for their sincere representation of women and the campaign’s video became viral. Dove’s success shows just how powerful brand personality can be in the world of advertising.

Find Your True Branding Colors

The colors you choose to use in your packaging is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in branding. In fact, 90% of judgments made about a product are based only on color.

Color psychology is a field that studies how color affects our perceptions and emotional responses. Many experts believe each color is associated with a definitive human emotion. Marketers should consider their brand’s personality and the goal of their business when choosing a color.

It’s a tough nut to crack when it comes to the right colors to use in your logo. Perception of color changes based on a person’s age, gender, personality, and a number of other factors. This is why understanding your target audience is crucial in creating a company logo.

Instagram

For instance, Instagram recently changed their logo to include trendy color gradients to appeal to their primarily millennial users. A well-designed logo drives purchasing decisions, increases recognition by up to 80%, and helps establish the brand’s personality.

Color Emotion Guide

Optimism, Clarity & Warmth

Friendly, Cheerful & Confidence

Excitement, Youthful & Bold

Creative, Imaginative & Wise

Trust, Dependable & Strength

Peaceful, Growth & Health

Balance, Neutral & Calm

Create Your Brand for Free

If all else fails, you don’t have to hire an expensive designer to get started. At Quality Logo Products®, we have free marketing tools available in our Small Business Suite. This exclusive service is an easy way to get your foot in the branding door.

Try any of our free services and start building your brand:

PMS Color Matcher No matter where you print your logo, it’s important to always use the exact same colors every time. All you have to do is upload your design, and we’ll provide an instant Pantone color match.

Embroidery Color Matcher If you choose embroidered promotional products, this tool will provide the exact colors from your logo. This ensures that your design looks accurate on the fabric.

Free Font Preview Tool The wrong font can make or break your advertising message. Make sure to see how your message looks before choosing it for your promotional items.

Free Clipart Library Looking for one last final touch? Choose from the thousands of hand-curated images we have available in our Free Clipart Library!

Why Does Branding Matter?

You can spend a lot of time thinking and rethinking your branding strategy. Every aspect of branding, from the logo you choose to use to the name of your company, is extremely important to consider. The world perceives a business in a very particular way and a misstep in branding is all it takes to make your company tank. Just think about how funny it was when McDonald's ran out of room on their burger box for the phrase “Grand Mac.”

Big Mac

Stats for Success

Consistent presentation of a brand increases revenue by 23% on average.

It only takes 10 seconds to form a first impression of a brand’s logo.

64% of people say shared values are the reason they become loyal to a brand.

91% of consumers say they are more likely to buy from an authentic brand than a dishonest one.

77% of consumers make a purchase based on a brand’s name.

The Bottom Line

If you’re a new business owner, you’re probably feeling a million different emotions. It’s an exciting, nerve-wracking experience, but you can find success in the long run by thinking about your brand identity. While your logo sends a powerful message, the entire branding package is even more important. Every piece, from the people you hire to the look of your website, comes together to form an image of your company. This will determine whether or not potential customers choose to do business with you.

Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa is the super cool Copywriter at Quality Logo Products. She’s a fan of diving into the history of some of the earliest promos on the planet. If you need her, you’ll find her buried in research, in the middle of a phone interview, or singing way off-tune in her office.

References

1. PPAI (Promotional Products Association International). (2017). 2017 Promotional Products Fact Sheet. Retrieved March 05, 2018, from http://www.promotionalproductswork.org/media/1199/law_2017 propro-factsheet.pdf1. PPAI (Promotional Products Association International). (2017). 2017 Promotional Products Fact Sheet. Retrieved March 05, 2018, from http://www.promotionalproductswork.org/media/1199/law_2017 propro-factsheet.pdf

2. Approaches to Branding (2018). From Managing Products Tutorial. KnowThis.com. Retrieved March 08, 2018 from https://www.knowthis.com/managing-products/approaches-to-branding

3. Lorenz, C. (2017, September 28). 20 Stats That Will Remind You of the Importance of Your Branding. Retrieved March 08, 2018, from http://info.zimmercommunications.com/blog/20-stats-that-will- remind-you-of-the-importance-of-your-branding

3. Lorenz, C. (2017, September 28). 20 Stats That Will Remind You of the Importance of Your Branding. Retrieved March 08, 2018, from http://info.zimmercommunications.com/blog/20-stats-that-will- remind-you-of-the-importance-of-your-branding

4. Kimbarovsky, A. (2017, January 20). 20 Statistics About Branding Every Entrepreneur and Marketer Should Know. Retrieved March 08, 2018, from https://www.crowdspring.com/blog/ successful-branding-for-entrepreneurs-statistics/

5. Kimbarovsky, A. (2017, January 20). 20 Statistics About Branding Every Entrepreneur and Marketer Should Know. Retrieved March 08, 2018, from https://www.crowdspring.com/blog/ successful-branding-for-entrepreneurs-statistics/

6. Kimbarovsky, A. (2017, January 20). 20 Statistics About Branding Every Entrepreneur and Marketer Should Know. Retrieved March 08, 2018, from https://www.crowdspring.com/blog/ successful-branding-for-entrepreneurs-statistics/

7. Kimbarovsky, A. (2017, January 20). 20 Statistics About Branding Every Entrepreneur and Marketer Should Know. Retrieved March 08, 2018, from https://www.crowdspring.com/blog/ successful-branding-for-entrepreneurs-statistics/

8. Leadem, R. (2016, December 10). The Role of Color in Branding. Retrieved March 12, 2018, from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/286324

9. Lorenz, C. (2017, September 28). 20 Stats That Will Remind You of the Importance of Your Branding. Retrieved March 12, 2018, from http://info.zimmercommunications.com/blog/20-stats-that-will- remind-you-of-the-importance-of-your-branding

10. Badenhausen, K. (2017, May 23). Apple Heads The World’s Most Valuable Brands of 2017 At $170 Billion. Retrieved March 12, 2018, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/kurtbadenhausen/2017/05/ 23/apple-heads-the-worlds-most-valuable-brands-of-2017-at-170-billion/#47f55c0f384b

10. Badenhausen, K. (2017, May 23). Apple Heads The World’s Most Valuable Brands of 2017 At $170 Billion. Retrieved March 12, 2018, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/kurtbadenhausen/2017/05/ 23/apple-heads-the-worlds-most-valuable-brands-of-2017-at-170-billion/#47f55c0f384b

11. A Bullseye View. Bullseye Love: The History of Target’s Logo. Retrieved March 12, 2017, from https://corporate.target.com/article/2014/04/bullseye-love-history-of-target-logo