Branding is a marketing technique used by businesses to create the desired image for a product or company in the minds of the consumer. Examples can demonstrate to small business owners how to use effectively your enterprise.
Branding often takes the form of a recognizable symbol to which consumers easily identify, such as a logo. Common examples include the Nike “swoosh,” the golden arches of McDonald’s, and the apple used by Apple Computers. Logos typically appear on all products in some form and are used in advertising and promotional campaigns. The most successful symbols allow consumers to identify a product or company even if the name is not visible.
Like symbols, slogans build a brand image. Slogans are successfully used in industries such as insurance to make consumers associate insurers with trust, such as “Nationwide is on your side,” “You’re in good hands with Allstate” and “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.” As with well-known logos, successful slogans become ingrained in the minds of consumers and may remain there for as long as the company stays in business.
Companies can use branding to differentiate themselves from the competition. For instance, a business can position itself as being an innovator, indicating that its competitors offer the same products or services it has been providing for years. In a time where environmental concerns are important to consumers, a business can also attempt to brand itself as operating more cleanly and efficiently than the competition. Another common technique is to use branding to create an image of always offering the lowest prices.
Branding is also demonstrated by the user experience that companies attempt to create. For example, McDonald’s uses its advertising to create an image of being a fun place for parents to take their kids, in addition to being a place to get a quick meal. When people think of GEICO, they may think of how fast and easy it is to purchase car insurance, and the humor used in the company’s advertisements creates an image of an enjoyable shopping experience.