Branding is what sets you apart from your competitors, and it takes a bit of creative thinking and strategy to ensure you’re pursuing the right type of branding for your business. With so many different kinds of businesses out there, there are many types of branding to match, from personal branding to corporate identity. By learning more about the various categories, you can get a better idea of how to build your brand.
There’s a popular misconception that a brand identity is just a name and a logo, but the concept is much more than that. It is every bit of content that your brand produces, what your brand stands for, a mission statement, strategy, personality, visuals, and colors. Let’s examine why branding is essential and the types of branding so you can market your new restaurant or artistic offerings successfully.
The benefits of branding are bound to amaze and astound even the most skeptical of professionals. Here’s what branding can do for your business:
Branding is all about finding and marketing to the right people. If you sell children’s clothing that’s handmade from ethically sourced fabric, then you need to make sure you’re reaching parents or caregivers — especially those who care for the environment. When you’ve taken the time to understand your target audience, including their wants, needs, and desires, you have a better chance of fostering connection, community, and customer loyalty.
Branding doesn’t have to be static, though. If you’re able to eventually expand your operation into knitwear for men and women, then your target audience can evolve — and your brand along with it.2.
It can be difficult to motivate someone to conduct business with a nameless and faceless corporation. Branding allows you to express yourself through messaging and images and help foster connections with potential customers.
For instance, there are a lot of skincare lines on the market, but you might have a unique story behind your skincare company. You’re inspired to help people overcome struggles with dry skin that you experience yourself, so you’ve spent years perfecting your formula. You’ve made yourself the face of your company to offer transparency and connection. Your customers relate to your brand because they relate to you and your courageous vulnerability.
Popular companies know that they have to be recognizable to be successful. A cohesive brand with a clear style guide that streamlines logo use, color palette, tone of voice, and other elements will result in greater staying power. This could lead to someone thinking of your colorful artisanal quilt store the next time they’re searching for a one-of-a-kind gift. Or maybe they’ll remember your catchy slogan or that you can turn old T-shirts into quilts and mention it randomly at a dinner party, where someone else takes an interest.
Established practices and brand identity come before you can market to potential consumers. Therefore, when you’ve done the work with branding strategy to make your who, what, when, where, and why statements clear, then you can market and advertise more effectively. And a brand’s beauty is that it’s ever-changing — that style guide is a living document that should grow as you grow. So if you’ve tried a marketing campaign that didn’t have your desired results, feel free to do more market research and pivot.
You can have a great product or service, but if you don’t invest the time and energy into branding, then it diminishes your credibility. People trust brands that appear professional — this is an area where appearances really do matter. But that doesn’t mean that you need to spend a ton of money or dilute your personality to match the status quo. It just means that you have to be deliberate with your branding choices, taking the time to do it right and maintain your brand’s image. In the long run, this trust is invaluable — and coupled with an awesome product or service, there’s no stopping your potential.
Branding can do a lot for attracting and retaining customers, but it has a tremendous impact on your team members as well. When a company works toward a goal or mission, people are motivated to contribute with enthusiasm. There’s inspiration in the air when a new hire gets their welcome swag bag filled with branded apparel. It makes people feel like they’re on a team, which leads to loyal employees as well as customers.
It’s clear that branding is vital to a company or individual's professional success, but what exactly are the types of branding? Below are several common categories:
When you think of branding, chances are you think of big companies — a fast-food chain or a popular clothing brand. However, branding is just as important for the individual professional, too. The rise of influencers and social media has emphasized this concept, but people have been carefully crafting their images for a long time through a process called personal branding. Building a personal brand is about marketing your unique brand as an individual, which is ideal for artists, freelancers, actors, musicians, or anyone who is in some way the name and face of their trade.
But you don’t have to be a celebrity to cultivate a personal brand. Thanks to social media and personal websites where you can set up an online portfolio, it’s possible for anyone to reach a wider audience and get their skills out there. With easy website builders like Namecheap’s Site Maker, you can design a website that looks professional and “go live” in minutes. No coding skills are required — only your original creations or eccentric musings.
If you have a specific service to offer, then this type of branding is your best bet. Service branding is devoted to marketing the service that a person or organization provides consumers. With this type of branding in particular, the customer needs to be prioritized above all else since their satisfaction with the experience is the basis for success. Important examples of service branding are real estate branding and restaurant branding.
For service branding, you want to communicate how your service is different from the other hamburger restaurants or realtors in the area. That messaging, combined with well-thought-out visuals, is a recipe for repeat business.
The customer is also king when it comes to a brick-and-mortar or ecommerce shopping experience. Retail branding is the approach to branding that stores implement to discern themselves from their competitors. Yes, retail branding is about that iconic logo or the overall consistency of various store locations around the world. But with online shopping becoming more and more popular, stores are not only selling online but marketing their brand online, too. Wendy’s is known for its burgers and the signature Frosty, but the brand’s sassy Twitter page has reinstated its relevance. That’s the power of branding!
Corporate branding is a big-picture approach to branding that doesn’t just emphasize their customers but the business itself, which includes the culture and the employees. There’s typically a powerful brand promise behind corporate branding. The well-known and applauded Apple slogan, “Think Different,” is instantly recognizable, especially when paired with its logo. The attention surrounding Apple, whether working for the company or consuming its products, has attracted devotees who swear by the vision of Steve Jobs.
ESG stands for Environmental, Social, and Governance, and it’s the pursuit of promoting those areas of a business’s strategy to buyers, investors, and other stakeholders. It has a greater focus on the principles, values, and purpose of a brand. It’s about authenticity, sustainability, diversity, inclusion, equity, and using a brand’s power to invest in making a difference in the world. It’s one thing for a brand to say that they support a particular movement, but ethical consumers want to see proof through tangible evidence.
Product branding is all about the unique items that you’re offering consumers. This type of branding includes everything from the strategically designed packaging for the product to its promotional content online. What’s the story behind the product, and why should people purchase your custom illustrations over another independent seller?
Ultimately, only you know what your business is selling or promoting and which type of branding best applies to your needs. Regardless of which type you choose, it’s all about taking the time to do your research and present a united image. So whether you’re an independent restaurant owner on the rise or a real estate agent looking to differentiate yourself from the other agents in your area, it’s important to invest in your strategy.
And remember that investing doesn’t mean spending a lot of money. With Namecheap’s Visual suite of tools, you can take the complexity and cost out of creating a logo with Logo Maker. Quickly select your preferred styles, and the software will generate logos based on what you like for free. Export that logo to other Namecheap tools — Site Maker, Card Maker, and Stencil for Visual — to usher your business goals to center stage in all their show-stopping glory.