Stand out from the crowd with the aid of a branding company. This guide discuses the world-class strategies employed by top conglomerates across all fields and the boxes to check before hiring a branding agency.
Where do you see your company in the next ten years? At the zenith of the Forbes list of 100 most valuable companies or in front of billions of consumers launching the next generation of ground-breaking products?
Others may not see it yet but you must never lose sight of your company’s vision and mission if you want to attain your company goals. It does not matter what corner of the world you dream from – your vision is attainable with the help of the right branding agency.
Every big company from Apple to Nike started as a dream. Steve Jobs’s dream was to help people dream bigger. Mark Zuckerberg’s dream was to connect people across the globe. Phil Knight’s dream was to create the perfect shoe for athletes.
Needless to say, these above-mentioned dreamers have one thing in common – raw passion. However, the biggest takeaway from the success stories of great dreamers like Steve Jobs, Mark, and Phil Knight is that no one builds a fortune 100 company alone.
You need the help of award-winning branding companies to build a successful business. Branding or trademarking is pretty much the difference between the most valuable companies and the ones at the bottom of the list. Take Apple, for example, the company has stayed “loyal” to TBWA\Chiat\Day agency after they had immense success with the ‘think different’ campaign (originally envisioned by the TBWA\Chiat\Day agency).
Imagine Apple without the “think different” campaign; of course, they may survive to this day, but the chances of amassing over 1 billion loyal consumers are really slim. iPhone users are often intrigued by the idea of being exclusive and different. Another great example is RE/MAX. When they wanted to “refresh” their logo to make it elegant on computer and offline, they hired an external branding company named Camp + King to do it for them.
Are you aware that the brand reputation of the Coca-Cola company is its most valuable asset? An excerpt from a Design Council interview with a Coca-Cola executive reads, “If Coca-Cola happened to suffer the loss of its production assets due to a catastrophe, the company would survive but if the company magically loses its worth because of a massive memory cleansing, Coca-Cola as we know it would go out of business”. The same is true for all the most valuable conglomerates including Apple, Google, Microsoft, IBM, Twitter, and Facebook. They got help from professionals who saw the possibility of connecting billions of like-minded individuals to their separate visions. The years of taking charge of their narrative and public perception have resulted in a formidable business presence that is worth billions of dollars.
What is Branding?
Would you believe me if I said you are part of a cult brand? We are all part of a cult brand and we often show traits similar to loyal college frat members unconsciously. Whether it is your inability to start your day without a cup of Starbucks coffee or hesitance to patronise another phone company apart from the iPhone, we all show a preference for certain brands.
Your love for these brands propels you to defend them when your friends trash talk about the brand. You almost feel like these companies are more than corporate entities; you treat them as though they were a part of you. What you fail to realize is that these enterprises have spent millions, if not billions of dollars to create that relationship with you, their consumer.
In layman’s terms, branding is the process of distinguishing your company from your competitors using logos, personalized websites, icons, slogans, etc.
Do you know that trademarking, as we know it, was invented by the farmers of the 1500s? They labelled their cattle using a hot iron, solely to claim ownership.
Image source: https://www.grapheine.com/en/graphic-design-en/hot-iron-cattle-branding-brand-on-the-skin
Over time, branding has evolved into a much more complex concept that is adopted by almost every company in the 21st century.
The ultimate goal of branding is to bring your company closer to your consumers in a way that opens more sources of revenue such as licensing, cross-selling etc.
As your company becomes established, trademarking allows you to take charge of your company’s narrative in the media and influence people’s perception of your organisation using storytelling, charity campaigns, influencer marketing, and endorsement deals.
Can you take some time to reflect on the messages you wish to pass across to your audience? Branding can help you connect with more leads using these original stories. No other company has mastered the use of original stories to foster customer loyalty like Nike. However, the American multinational corporation has also received its fair share of criticism during the Nike-sweatshops scandal and after the “just do it” campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick.
Despite the intensity of the mentioned scandals, they have remained a leading force in the footwear industry, thanks to the billions of dollars spent on branding on a regular basis. Without branding, the narrative of critics and backhand hate campaigns from competitors would become their sole narrative.
What is branding for business?
Branding for business is also known as corporate branding. It involves the promotion of the company’s image of a company rather than singling out a few products for marketing. Corporate branding is at the top of the brand pyramid of big corporations and every touchpoint of the brand architecture such as the logo, packaging, advertising, and stationery must align with the business image.
While it can be tempting to put all your eggs inside one basket and invest solely in a product to make things faster, the best route is not always the shortest route. We, at Stan Branding, understand that great companies of today are nothing but products of years of multiple branding campaigns. That is why our award-winning agency focuses on designing trademark elements like logos that can serve companies for a long time. Our packages, created 5 years ago, are still in demand and bring profit to their owners. If you desire a one-on-one session with our CEO, Stan Kurkula, book a free project pre-development consultation with Stan.
Branding for business helps private or public companies accumulate cashable brand equity and expand their business operations without facing existential crises.
What do we mean by “brand equity”?
Brand equity is the money generated as a result of the popularity of an organization with consumers.
It is not the same as the market value. The market value of a company is referred to as the company’s value considering the accumulative worth of the shares currently owned by all its shareholders. For instance, Amazon’s brand equity was valued at 350.2 billion USD while its market cap is about 1.6 trillion USD.
Image source: https://brandirectory.com/brands/amazon/
Is there any other benefit of branding apart from increasing a firm’s value? Yes, another benefit of building a reliable brand is that it opens up a myriad of expansion opportunities beyond the limits of the niche of the company. Companies are able to upsell or cross-sell to their consumer base.
Expansibility is a common feature of the big five global technology companies namely, Amazon, Alphabet (Google), Meta (Facebook), and Microsoft. A good example is Amazon, a tech company that cross-sells both hardware ( like Fire Tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, etc.) and software merchandise (like Amazon flex, Amazon Prime, Appstore, Alexa, etc.) to its company’s loyalists.
Amazon also cross-sells, but most of the time not its original products. When you order a camera, its recommendation algorithm presents you with the top list of memory cards and compact camera cases listed on its platform. Like Apple, Amazon also cross-sells digital services like Amazon Music, Fire TV, Amazon Prime, Fire Tablets, among many others.
These top establishments are able to cross-sell and upsell products that are not within their conventional product range because they have a solid brand. Cross-selling and upselling are just two of the countless benefits of branding for businesses. A corporation can also license its trademark name like Nokia licensed its company’s name to Microsoft in 2016.
Image source: https://tinhte.vn/thread/microsoft-muon-mua-lai-nokia-lan-nay-khong-phai-vi-smartphone.3200518/
What is a branding company?
A branding company is a team of designers and marketers saddled with the responsibility of creating and distinguishing every touchpoint of a particular client company including the logo, packaging, label message, etc.
Oftentimes, companies like Re/MAX hire award-winning branding agencies to help them reposition their business or create an outstanding brand message. The company’s message is rolled out to the public strategically and periodically to a targeted audience in a bid to convert them to loyal customers. Every branding company must possess a high-level of creativity and flexibility to take advantage of ever-changing trends. Even though already-established companies have their in-house marketing team, they always reach out to agencies with a deep commercial understanding of the particular niche for help.
It is not unusual to reach out for help, especially when your in-house marketing team is running out of ideas. Stan Branding has been the saving grace for many small businesses and established ones. Our award-winning designers have created winning designs for more than 850 happy clients in 18 industries and still counting. We believe branding unveils the limitless potentials of every company and those that skip the process never grow beyond their locality (if at all they manage to thrive). Having rolled out over 150 top seller products, we can share with you the secrets behind our winning designs in a free project pre-development consultation with our CEO at Stan Branding, Stan Kurkula.
What are the responsibilities of a branding agency?
Are you wondering why you should hire a branding agency? At its core, the role of a branding agency is to make business ideas come to life using world-class strategies and state-of-the-art digital tools. If your dream is to create a clothing dynasty that can rival established companies, a branding company is your best goto. If on the other hand, like Jeff Bezos, you want to create an eCommerce solution, you also need an army of branding specialists behind your business. The branding company concerns itself with the birthing and nurturing of positive business reputation, and rebranding.
Unlike one-man management, a branding company encompasses an expert team of specialists such as social media managers, creative directors, website designers, graphic designers, managers, etc. Having competent hands work on your company’s image makes branding seem like a piece of cake. Below are the responsibilities of a branding company.
Conduct in-depth research
Many people think research is boring and you may be wondering why you need to go through such stress. Without concrete research, there is no way to make impactful decisions regarding the target audience, enterprise positioning, suitable distribution channels, and influencer marketing. The report of the research aids the creation of an inclusive campaign strategy.
To proceed with research, you must first identify the current, former, or potential audience. Then, go to the platforms where they are gathered – like Reddit groups, Facebook groups, Twitter forums, and established blogs. Identify their likes and dislikes. In case you already have a functional website with a considerable amount of traffic, you can measure the readers’ behavioral patterns to know what works and what doesn’t. Ensure you shape your business around the predilections of your potential audience. In case your enterprise is revolutionary, you should find a balance between the old and the new, so you won’t alienate your core potential users. The tools required to conduct in-depth research are analytics, data tracking tools, polls, surveys, and A/B tests.
Create brand touchpoints
What are brand touchpoints? These are the points of contact consumers have with your brand. It can be as static as a logo or as engaging as a person-to-person conversation with your organization’s staff.
Your consumers’ opinions about your organization are shaped by their experiences with these touchpoints. Also, there is a direct link between your touchpoints and the decision-making process of prospects during the purchase stage. A cool logo can make a user feel good about owning more of your products while a bad website design can piss off potential consumers.
Our job, at Stan Branding, is to build and fine-tune your label touchpoint glossary to pass across a memorable company message to consumers and help you make the most sales in highly competitive industries.
Here at Stan Branding, we’ve seen well-designed touchpoints turn businesses around in no time. A good example is Sweet Living; a luxurious furniture company based in Los Angeles, California. We were opportune to partner with the company at a time when they were at their lowest point, profit-wise. Around Jan 14, 2020, the business owner, Lorenzo, was contemplating calling it quits. He stumbled on our Facebook page and decided to give us a trial.
The owner of the company, Lorenzo, booked a free consultation with Stan Kurkula, our CEO at Stan Branding. He revealed that his decision to manage his own branding campaign almost cost him an arm and leg. He made a mistake that nearly ruined his reputation. He hired our award-winning team immediately after the call.
To get the Sweet Living project off the ground, we took a quick peek at the designs they’ve fed their audience so far and approached every phase with a high-level of creativity. Our design team discovered a disconnect between their company’s values and their touchpoints.
Our expert team had to start all over from scratch. What we formerly envisioned as a rebranding task turned into a full-scale branding process. When working on projects, we do not oust the clients from the branding process, as we believe there is no brand without them.
Guided by a deep commercial understanding of what the Sweet Living enterprise needed to thrive, our award-winning designers and marketers brought Lorenzo’s plans to life. Our design team exploited two colors, dark purple, and gold while designing the touchpoints for the Sweet Living company. We studied the branding style of their competitors like West Elm and Novogratz before making our final judgement. Instead of using an abstract logo that impresses no one and does little to promote the institution, we chose to go with a wordmark logo. We sent the drafts to Lorenzo and once we had his approval, our creative designers further fine-tuned the designs. In less than a month, his firm was ready to relaunch, this time – with a new logo and approachable look.
After three months, Lorenzo called to break the good news about the unexpected influx of furniture orders through their landing page and social media profiles. He noted that his customers chose his company over his competitors without little doubt. For the first time in the history of the company, Lorenzo was featured in the Los Angeles times to share his views on the effects of the pandemic on high-end furniture companies and how Sweet Living managed to thrive under harsh market conditions.
Develop a brand strategy
The brand strategy is a personalized plan to grow a company’s popularity, show the audience why your organization is different, and connect with a receptive consumer base. What worked for enterprise A might not work for enterprise B, hence every company needs a unique strategy.
At Stan Branding, we understand that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for all businesses and our expert team of designers create winning solutions that sync with your company’s USP as we have done with over 350 unique projects with proven results.
Generate Quality Leads
Paying for a design is one thing, reaping the benefits of branding is another. Our approach to branding has won us more than 12 major awards from Forbes, Clutch, and several other established agencies.
One unforgettable project we worked on in 2019 is the Proper project. The CEO of Proper Herbal medicine, Luiz, approached the Stan Branding team two months before the company was formally launched. He found out about our award-winning agency from a friend who has had tremendous success after hiring us. The owner had no idea what he wanted but he trusted our team of creative experts to figure it out.
Our first zoom meeting with Luiz was dedicated to establishing Proper’s core values, vision, and the original idea behind the medical firm. His devotion towards herbal medicine, an aspect of medicine that relies on organic drugs, is second to none. He was convinced organic medicines could eliminate the side effects caused by artificial drugs, reduce the cost of production, boost the immune system of consumers and increase their lifespan in the long run.
We made sure his company’s touchpoints, from the company’s core message to the logo, reflected his core motivation. Our expert team of designers and marketers were motivated by Luiz’s story and crafted world-class designs for Proper Herbal medicine branding after several brainstorming sessions.
Within one week, we sent our first sketches to Luiz. Our designers adopted a logo with emblem and logotype traits, so the audience would easily comprehend the organic nature of their products. We ensured that the brand story did not deviate from the raw inspiration of the founder.
Six months after Proper launched, the herbal medicine company was ranked as the most revolutionary medical startup in Texas by Forbes. They received their series B funding in mid-2019 after reporting massive growth in consumer base and profits two months earlier.
Branding is not advertising but oftentimes, branding agencies set up ads on behalf of clients. Stan Branding is home to campaign strategists and ads specialists, hence we can help you lead-generating ads after sending you the branding package. We have put out over 150 top-seller products and we are certain that we can do the same for your enterprise.
Help Company’s play the long game
Long-term growth, strategy efficiency, and pace of operation are a few of the benefits of hiring a branding company as opposed to taking up the task yourself or hiring a one-man agency. It is not enough to get positive ROI, a brand agency must ensure that every move made on behalf of the client company evolves them into a symbol-intensive conglomerate, one that stands for something and has true believers.
According to Statista, there is a sharp decline in the average lifespan of companies on the S&P 500 index from 32 years in 1965 to 21 years in 2020. The average lifespan of companies is predicted to fall to 17 in the next 8years. It is noteworthy to mention that the figure was as high as 61 years in 1958 according to a McKinsey report. Companies that have stood the test of time are those with concrete branding. Coca-Cola has been existing for 130 years while Apple has been thriving for over four decades.
Why is it important to use a branding agency?
Using the same approach that got you started will only guarantee the old results you’ve been getting. If you want to give your company a fresh look, your best bet is to hire a third-party consultancy agency. Your company’s in-house creative team may not be able to see the flaws in the current system as they are used to the conventional outlook. An external branding company will usher in new ideas and give room for innovation.
Access to professional tools and talents
Every branding organization has its own core intelligence, one which cannot be found elsewhere. For instance, our designers at Stan Branding make informed decisions using the technical tools and broad data provided by the agency. 7 years of direct exposure to brands in several niches helps us keep our strategies up to date. We use the latest marketing tools and software, making our work efficient.
Elimination of training cost
Hiring professionals gets you closer to your company goals without paying bogus costs for employee training. Established companies like Google and Keller Williams have training programs for their employees, ensuring that they possess the necessary skills needed to help the company compete. However, small business owners may not be able to afford such costs. Hence, it is reasonable to hire a branding agency.
Stand out in your niche
Branding agencies, unlike marketing teams, don’t just get you exposure but also sets you apart from your competitors. Many business owners often confuse marketing with branding. They assume that they can kill two birds while all they get is either of the two services.
To build a billion-dollar conglomerate, you need to spend a lot on branding. Statista reported that Nike spent a whopping 3.28 billion dollars on advertising costs in just 2016 but the same site reported that Nike brand equity is worth 30.44 billion dollars in 2020. Note that this report does not account for the revenue generated by Nike.
While you may not have “billions of dollars” to spend on branding, Stan Branding can help you create the best-tailored ideas and solutions for your corporation. We are an expert creative team with a high-level of creativity. It does not matter how big your competitors are; we can help you craft out a niche and dominate in that sphere. We are an award-winning agency with a deep commercial understanding across diverse industries and a growing swipe file containing more than 300 successful projects that speak for themselves. Get a free project pre-development consultation from our CEO, Stan Kurkula.