What is branding?
At first glance, branding is difficult to define. Is it the number of people who know about your business? Well, not exactly, because “branding” includes not just how many people know about your business, but also what those people think of your business. Do they like it? Do they dislike it? What feelings and emotions does it automatically create for them? Trust? Distrust? Likeability? Frustration?
The Nielsen Norman defines User Experience (UX), vaguely but helpfully, as “encompassing all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products”.
Put a bit more simply, branding is the automatic emotional response that a group of people have to your business-specific imagery, services, products, and content. And the more well-known your brand, the more people who have this specific experience with your business and the more solidified your branding experience becomes in the eyes of consumers, whether positive or negative — which is why it’s so hard to topple a well-trusted giant like Starbucks, Coca-Cola, or Nike and so difficult to save a brand that’s lost trust with consumers.
Why is branding important?
Businesses live and die on their branding. How consumers think about your brand, whether they trust it or distrust it, has the power to topple your business in a short amount of time (smaller businesses fall faster) or grow your business exponentially through word of mouth (which is still the most powerful marketing tool at your disposal).
So branding is important for a very simple reason: it will have a massive impact on the success (or failure) of your business.
But now that you know what branding is and why it’s important, you still need to know how to brand your business positively.
And it all comes down to user experience.