What is branding?

Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business; large or small, retail or B2B. But what exactly does ‘branding’ mean and how does it affect a small business like yours?

Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from your competitors’. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.

The foundation of your brand is your logo, but a clear and effective brand is far more than this. Your website, packaging, and promotional materials – all of which should integrate your logo – communicate your brand. Your photography, the way you talk, the colours and fonts you use. All these features communicate your brand voice and brand message. Successfully acquiring new customers in these challenging times we face, will be impacted by the clarity and effectiveness of your brand.

The importance of a clear brand

Branding is the process of curating all the elements that tell your story that represents the quality and character of your business.

What should a brand do?

  • Clearly deliver a message
  • Confirm the brand’s credibility in the marketplace
  • Emotionally connect your ideal customer with a product or service
  • Motivate your consumer to make a purchase
  • Create loyalty

At Buy-From we feel strongly that you are empowered as the business owner to know where you want to take your business and your brand.

The importance of your online presence cannot be underestimated, particularly after the past 2 years and how crucial the digital consumer now is to many businesses. Changes in consumer demands and behaviour has seen brands required to adjust and reinvent their content and even reinvent themselves to keep up. And that’s why knowing your brand inside and out is important and will help so much with your marketing outputs and being cohesive and consistent.

So why is branding so important? Well, it differentiates your business from the competition, and it can help build trust and loyalty. Branding can also evoke emotions and feelings that prompt action.

The added value intrinsic to brand equity frequently comes in the form of perceived quality or emotional attachment. For example, Nike associates its products with star athletes, hoping customers will transfer their emotional attachment from the athlete to the product. For Nike, it’s not just the shoe’s features that sell the shoe, it is the brand promise.

Defining your brand

Defining your brand is like a journey of business self-discovery. It can be difficult, time-consuming, and uncomfortable. We took ourselves through this journey 18 months ago, and made some big changes about refining how our brand worked for us – it’s so important that we ‘walk the talk’ as we do this for our clients all the time.

Defining you brand requires, at the very least, that you answer the questions below:

  • What is your company’s mission?
  • What are the benefits and features of your products or services?
  • What do your customers and prospects already think of your company?
  • What qualities do you want them to associate with your company?

What is your purpose?

The purpose of your brand ties together the value you provide with a stronger meaning behind it. It will help drive your brand behind the scenes, but it will also let people know what you stand for. If your brand is a shiny new car, then your purpose is the engine inside. It constantly drives your brand forward.

Having a purpose means two things. You need to have a mission and a vision for your brand. This is often represented by two public statements that better describe any business.

The mission part of your brand outlines your story, and who you are. Think of it as a description of what you do, and what your brand stands for.

The vision part defines your aim for the future. It is everything that you’re working towards and all the goals you’re trying to achieve. Having a strong vision lets people know what you’re going to do, but it also sets goals for you as a reminder of your big dream. It will remind you of what you’re working for, and it will keep motivating you to accomplish what you set out to do when you started your business.

Think of them as a map of where your brand stands, and where it’s headed for in the future.

Your mission statement has got to be a clear and concise statement for what you stand for as a business – think up to 15 seconds max to capture someone’s attention. So, the three second version comes from people landing on a website page – you need to grab them before they bounce off. The 15 second version is someone having a little bit more time to browse. Think about standing up in front of the dragons in the Dragon’s Den – what could you say in that first sentence, that would get them hooked? That is your mission statement. And the vision is where you’re going to take your brand/business.

The value proposition is the number one most critical part of building an effective and successful brand. You then need to be consistent in the ways in which you communicate these values to your audience because that’s what gets them hooked.

Your brand voice, messaging, and personality

It’s so important that your tone of voice and messaging makes you relatable to your target customer and reflects your values and ethos as a business. You need to make yourself recognisable through this and personality plays a big part. Brands that have personality have a greater chance of succeeding. A business’s personality is important for setting you apart from other businesses, but also in helping you to gain repeat business.

If you can ask yourself:

  • What three words describe my business?
  • How do I want to be perceived by my customers?

The answers to these questions will give you some clarity as to defining your brand personality and voice – do you reflect the answers to these questions in your website content, on your social media channels, when you answer the phone, when you greet a customer?

Can your brand grow with your business?

To answer this question, you need to do your research. Learn the needs, habits, and desires of your current and prospective customers. Don’t rely on what you think they think – know what they think.

Once you’ve defined your brand, here is our top tips checklist for your brand to ensure it can grow with your business:

  • Make sure you have a great logo and then place it everywhere, at every touchpoint with your consumer.
  • Be crystal clear about your brand messaging and voice and ensure that every employee knows and understands what these messages are and what the brand stands for.
  • Integrate your brand so that it permeates everything you do – website copy, social media, how you answer calls, the uniform you wear, printed material etc.
  • Develop a tagline. Write a memorable, meaningful, and concise statement that captures the essence of your brand. At Buy-From it is ‘we do good stuff for good people.’ What will yours be?
  • Create brand standards for all your marketing materials and make sure you are consistent.
  • Be true to your brand promise and values – deliver what you say you will do and what you stand for. 
  • Be consistent. 

It’s all about your ideal customer

You’ve put in the work to understand not only your audiences’ demographics, but specifically their needs and wants too. Knowing what motivates your customers to act is especially important online. When considering how to grow your brand online, more is not always better. Think about which channels your audiences are using and how.

Once you know where to reach your audiences online, it’s important to have a plan for how you get those channels up and running.


Content marketing is about creating relevant and useful content for your audience that is consistent with your brand and its place in the market. Content marketing isn’t just your website blurb, your blog or your social media posts. It includes all forms of marketing content such as video, images, infographics … and so much more. Content marketing is a key part of growing your brand online.

There are a million reasons (and more) why you should have plenty of content to support your marketing. It is designed to improve engagement with your business and create more sales, nurturing loyal customers who stick with your brand and benefit from its products or services for a long period of time. 

Content marketing can also help cement your reputation in the marketplace. For example, if you are providing how-to videos for your customers relating to a particular product, this kind of content creates a connection and dependence that promotes loyalty. 

Great content is widely shared! 

How to be great at digital

  1. Identify your audience 
  2. Be relatable – do your customers know you? 
  3. Stay active 
  4. Seek relationships – not just followers 
  5. Be responsive – even if automated 
  6. Focus on helping not selling 
  7. Keep an eye on trends 
  8. Be consistent 
  9. Put yourself in your customers shoes 
  10. Enjoy it – it will come across well! 

We have a helpful brand toolkit, which you can download for free to help you work through your brand to better understand whether it is working for you. You can download it here.

If you would like to talk to us about any graphic design work for your business, do not hesitate to get in touch. You can email us at: info@buy-from.com