Branding in simpler terms means assigning a blanket head naming of the products/services offered and to be offered by a company. Branding is a very complex and exhaustive task that requires thorough research, not just of the outside market, but also of the inside core values of the company. Branding in the early days was quite a fast job as the competition was less and businesses owners did not look too ahead in the future. However, with globalization, and increased competition the whole concept of marketing and branding changed drastically.
Companies nowadays conduct extensive research in both online and offline fields, before zeroing in upon the brand name. These companies also take the help of professional business consulting agencies, which conduct the primary research on their part. Branding is a subjective and dynamic concept, which varies across industries and sectors. However, over the years, looking back at the history of the companies, certain pointers can be followed for maximum positive results.
In this article, we have listed certain Dos and Don’ts which a company can follow in the course of taking a branding decision.
Branding: The Do’s
1. Focus on Consistency:
Branding should always focus on consistency across the company’s offerings. Branding should be done in a way that it ascertains not only the current but also considers the future offerings /avenues of the company. The company should always take into consideration the possible scope for future expansions. Elements of the brand should be designed in a way that only with a slight modification of other products/services can be offered in the same brand name. OnePlus for instance has followed the branding of associating the color red with its products. It has also introduced a community under the name of Red Cable Club. The company also promotes its offerings under the “Never Settle” tagline. This helps the company in better customer engagements, customer remembrance, and consequent consistent growth in the sales volumes.
2.Cohesiveness Between Online and Offline Platforms:
These days many companies have adopted the hybrid structure of both online and offline stores and marketplaces. Branding should be done keeping in mind this point. If a customer visits, the offline store of a company by looking at the online website it should not be that there are very large differences between the two. Cohesiveness is required across structures to gain customers’ trust and confidence. Big Bazaar for instance has both an online and offline presence, but it offers the same experience to the customers. The color-coding of Blue and Orange is kept intact across all its platforms.
3.Sticking to the Values:
Companies must stick to their inherent corporate values while coining brand names. These ensure that there aren’t any mixed signals being conveyed to the customers. It will inculcate trust in the company that the firm offers what it says and what it means, no deviations present. Patanjali, for instance, focuses on indigenous build offerings and as such, all its offerings and brand naming are in close reference to the Indian culture. DANT KANTI, (Toothpaste), KESH KANTI (Hair oil), and Giloy Ghanvati (Immunity Booster) are some of the examples of the brands that Patanjali has launched. All these brandings are done on the single-core value of promoting domestic industries.
4.Combination of Data and Emotion:
A qualitative and quantitative analysis, both are required simultaneously for ascertaining the branding of the company and its offerings. While most business houses focus on the numbers only, human emotions also drive a company’s brand image going forward for years. The right branding will take into account the usage of both to its optimum advantage. Tata Motors for instance, even after acquiring Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) didn’t change the brand name. It is because it understood the emotional connection with the brand that people have.
5.Simplicity is the key:
Having a clear core logo associated with the brand name is amongst the best branding practices that a company can follow. Continuous association of a single logo with a brand name helps in customer memory retention. This will automatically recall in the customer’s mind the company that is associated with that particular logo. Companies like Apple, Nike have all followed this branding strategy. Their logos have become so popular that the customers easily recognize the brand just by the logo itself.
In today’s digitally matured world, the focus should be on even the smallest of the details. Fonts, used for the branding should be such that they are attractive, engaging, and understandable of the business in which the company is operating. Amazon and Flipkart both have followed this branding style. While Amazon has a smiley face at the bottom of its logo, Flipkart has the face of a happy cart. Both these e-commerce companies want to inculcate a feeling of joy and happiness each time a customer shops on their platform.
After the Branding Do’s we will now cover the Branding Don’ts.
Branding: The Don’ts
Brands should always refrain from the usage of bigger, larger-than-life logos. Big logos send out a negative message amongst the audiences that the company considers the brand bigger and above its’s customers. Moreover, aesthetically speaking also bigger logos are a bit more daunting, tacky, and bad stylers. Big logos also hamper the overall website design of the company. Logos should be short, concise, and yet effective in communication. Companies like YouTube and Facebook all have small effective logos.
Although consistency is the key, businesses should not ignore rebranding if there are certain changes in the core values of the company. Rebranding can also be considered if the company has decided on focusing upon verticals that have newly come up. It can also be the option in case the company wants to focus all the future offerings of the company in a particular direction, which were not taken into account previously in the initial branding process. Facebook for instance has changed the name of its parent company to Meta, to show that all its future offerings will be Metaverse-centric. Grofers too has changed into Blinkit indicating the fast delivery speeds it offers for all its orders.
Brands should be careful with the influencers that they associate their brand names with. Any non-relatable influencer association might do more harm than a possible good. Brands should ensure that the personality traits of the influencers match with their branding and consequently the products that it is being offered. MRF has for instance associated itself with Virat Kohli, who is a consistent performer in the game and resonates perfectly with the Brand.
4.Attempt to Please Everyone:
Branding should never be done keeping in mind to please all sections of the society. Essentially speaking it can never happen that everyone is pleased with all things that a company offers. Brands should always follow a targeted approach towards the branding processes. All the branding should be done keeping in mind the interests of the target customers. Brands like Wrogn, RedGear all follow this strategy. They have branded the products keeping in the center the youth and the gaming community respectively.
5.Employee and Customers Loyalty:
Employees are the first promoters of the company. Any decision that is taken keeping in mind the whole organization should have the acceptance of employees at first. If there is any dissent within the internals of the organization then the entire branding image of the company will fall in no time. Similar is the case, for customers. Customers should always be given a voice in major corporate decisions of the companies. If the company has already decided upon a decision, then it can arrange for short polls, surveys, and feedback forms. These can be configured in a way that represents positivity towards the company’s decision. Mobile Manufacturing companies like Xiaomi and Realme all follow customer positivity for new launches.
These were some of the dos and don’ts that a company may follow for branding purposes. Branding is a very creative and dynamic concept and there aren’t any particular set of guidelines for the branding process as a whole. The entire branding concept is based on how well a company can impress and at the same time align end-user expectations. Thus, appropriate research is required before taking a particular decision, however long it takes to conduct them.
Aditya is the Founder and CEO of Nico Digital and Digital Polo. He has attained the pinnacle of brand design expertise by delivering true value to brands and marketers. After pursuing his higher education in Business Analysis from Manchester Business School, he has helped both Nico Digital and Digital Polo unlock its true branding potential globally. You can reach out to him on LinkedIn and Twitter.