Benefits of Branding - Why is Brand Design Important?

Rachel Hurry
Does Branding actually matter? The 5 Benefits of doing it well. Everyone is talking about branding these days. But do we have the best understanding of what it truly is and why it matters? In this article I’ll try and keep it simple - I’ll talk about what branding truly is at its core and touch on why it’s such an important part of building any kind of business, big or small.

But first…What is branding?

To understand why branding is important, we must first understand what it is. “Branding” as a word is often misunderstood to mean the visual part of a business - the logo and colors etc. but in actual fact, “branding” as a whole, refers to a far larger picture; one that encompasses everything from how a business sounds to how it looks to the values that define its actions.

The strongest, most memorable brands show up consistently and manage their customers’ expectations with attention and care. This goes beyond just having a nice logo - To have a BRAND is to have a reputation - a space that you occupy in the minds of consumers, customers and clients (whatever you call the people who need to know you exist).

A strong brand will also set you apart from competitors in your industry - not necessarily just because you might look different, but because you represent something they align with, something that feels familiar and safe to them.

“A brand is what people say about your business when you’re not in the room”. - Jeff Bezos

If you’re looking to grow your expertise as a brand designer, we’ve recently released our brand new Brand Design Mastery course which is now open for enrollment!

So why does branding matter?

Very On Brand GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

There are many things that make up a great brand - from sleek visuals to epic verbiage online, consistently awesome products and enjoyable customer experiences - great brands are everywhere. 

Take IKEA for example; a brand known for its affordable home solutions that are usually rather trendy, the great customer service and of course the unforgettable blue and yellow. They’ve done a wonderful job of not only being super clear on what place they hold in the market, but they’re consistent in their messaging, true to their values of simplicity and user-empowerment and they’ve managed to turn DIY home decor into a trend.

Similarly with Apple - love them or hate them, they hold a very strong position in consumer’s minds. From their symbolic logo to their sleek stores and un-matched packaging experience, they make a promise to deliver innovation and quality and for the most part they deliver. They have a cult-like following that buys into the story, purchasing nearly every product no matter what and who would rather die than own a Samsung. This is brand. 

Our lovely Matt Brunton recently did a video on our YouTube channel discussing the importance of branding and poses the question - is it over hyped? Watch it here:

If this isn’t reason enough to consider branding important - here are 5 key reasons why we believe focusing on brand is absolutely essential in building a business;

  1. Customer Awareness: Who are you anyway?

In today’s world there is A LOT of noise - you’re more than likely not going to be the only one doing what you’re doing and you definitely won’t be the last. Unless you invent time travel… at which point you’ll probably only be special for a hot minute before Elon Musk figures it out too and steals your thunder…

I digress…

There are many ways to differentiate yourself in a market. Strong branding can be the difference between a once-off purchase and mega-die-hard fans who’ll buy anything from you at the drop of a hat. Just look at the sheer outrage that ensues when a major, much-loved brand suddenly changes the way they do something that was previously adored by customers globally? Brand, friends.

Great branding helps a business define and then manifest what they will ultimately mean to customers on a sub-conscious level.

If your brand isn’t clearly defined, consistently showing up and connecting, people will simply forget about you - or they may not even find you in the first place.

  1. Consistency & Building Trust: 

As mentioned above, consistency is one of the most important parts of building a successful brand. Being consistent in everything you do, say and offer means that your customers will come to trust what they can expect from you.

When you’ve defined your brand well, it is much easier to be consistent. Without this definition, it’s too easy for the brand to be influenced by trends, negative reviews or even the personal opinions of employees and other stakeholders in the company. Without brand, there is nothing to guide and unite the internal team, and nothing customers can connect to externally.

This consistency and foundation is great for marketing as well - it establishes a base from which campaigns, stories and new offerings can develop, ultimately allowing the business to grow organically but with intention.

Take Netflix as an example: they are a well-known brand - they show up consistently on social media platforms to connect with users in a fun, informal tone. Their communication is consistently humorous, and one can always expect to see a variety of memes and snippets from the series you can enjoy on the platform. If they were to suddenly start spewing more corporate nonsense, sounding like a robot un-ironically, people would question if their accounts had been hacked. This voice is what creates connection between brands and audiences - without it, there is just a transaction happening with very little loyalty or intentionality.

  1. Shared values and deeper connection

When a brand stands for more than just making money, they are more likely to succeed. But if no one knows about that vision or value system then it may as well not exist. A thorough branding process and development of those values into messaging, marketing and design means customers can truly connect with brands they believe in.

This loyalty can span generations even, and can really make or break a company’s success. 

Loyalty GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

  1. Confidence and clarity

One of the points that I lean on heavily when talking about branding to my potential clients is confidence. When you’re starting out, it can be really tough to stay focused and feel confident in what you’re doing. 

Going through a robust branding journey can establish a roadmap that allows you as the business owner to feel confident and sure of your decisions, knowing that your brand is clearly defined, well presented and has the potential to be showing up consistently where it needs to. 

The deep sense of clarity that branding can give a company as a whole is also powerful. From small to massive companies, if there is no clear voice or strategy from the inside out, it can be difficult for employees and partners to remain focused on the end goal, and it can be even more difficult to work out how to grow, attract audiences and sustain the business. 

Branding is as much a business decision as it is a creative one.

  1. Strong Visuals help you stand out and be remembered

The visual part of branding is of course, the part everyone sees first. So why mention it last? Simply because, brands should be built from the inside out. Meaning, without defining those core values, personality and where you fit, the visuals won’t matter as much - they’ll age quickly and will fall prey to changing trends.

Great brands have visuals that are rooted in that internal foundation, and when done well, they will help create recognition and be remembered clearly in a very busy and noisy world.

Check out my case study on YouTube where I walk through how I created the visual brand for Costa Rica travel company, Pura Vida.

Never underestimate the power of visual recognition. When a customer is shopping and sees the unmistakable typography/colors/imagery of a brand that they know and love, they’re more likely to grab that product than the sheer ocean of others that are surrounding it. Why? Because it’s eye-catching and the customer has probably made a split-second association that goes a little something like:

“This looks great, it must taste/work great too!”

Visual identity for an artisan cafe & restaurant inspired by African flavour (done by me)

Of course, you’ve got to make sure your brand can actually deliver on the promise its making through great visuals! Which leads me into my conclusion…

Great Branding is not only about making sure you look great - it’s about making sure you can walk the walk and talk the talk - consistently. When done well, branding is what will stand the test of time, enable a business to build long-lasting relationships with its customers and ultimately out-shine its competition just by being unrelentingly itself.

Learn the basics of building solid brands in our Brand Design Mastery course where we cover everything from the basics of brand strategy through to bringing a brand to life visually.

Free E-Book

The Ultimate Guide For Color Psychology

Download For Free

Join Our Mailing List!

Get our weekly updates, including high-value tips and free resources that will help you take your design career to the next level.