Branding is the process of giving a meaning to a specific organisation, company, product or service by creating and shaping perceptions in the consumers’ minds.
Brand builders communicate about their brands and what they stand for using what is known as a brand identity.
Customers then take in this identity and they build what is known as a brand image or what they think the brand actually stands for.
Brands and companies always endeavour to control the brand identity so that it can align with the brand image which exists in the customer’s mind. There are different categories in branding depending in the sector or industry one is involved in. Let’s look at the different types of branding in depth.
1. Product branding
This is the most common and easiest type of branding.
This is for product centric brands like Coca Cola, Mazoe, Pepsi, Lays, Johnnie Walker etc.
It can also be defined as a symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from another product.
With product branding, the goal is to connect the right audience to the right product. It is all about making sure the correct customer: hears about your brand visits your website likes, follows and subscribes to their various social media channels and then ultimately buy the product.
Ever notice how Surf has become a word synonymous with washing powder? That is the result of effective product branding. This is the point every product company wants to reach.
Surf has reached the pinnacle of product branding.
The immediate recall in the consumers’ mind is that of the particular product it represents.
This is the type of branding that gets consumers to choose one product over another based on the brand alone.
As a brand builder you must strive to make your product is very easily noticeable when a consumer walks in a super market filled with different products.
2. Personal branding
This type of branding is very common among politicians, athletes and celebrities. It makes it possible for famous people to reflect a good image of themselves to the public.
This is all about building a public persona that accurately communicates your unique personality.
It happens on social media and in face to face environments where others perception of you can have massive impact on your professional and social reputation in a good or a bad way.
How you style yourself for photographs, the kind of images and quotes you share on social media, the platforms where you choose to spend your time and the way you interact with others are the pieces of personal branding you can use.
3. Corporate branding
Used by businesses interested in creating and maintaining a good reputation. The public will associate the organisation’s name with a promise, they stand behind the services they offer that they have a verifiable, positive performance record.
Global multinational giants like Econet, IBM, Nestle, Samsung, Apple etc have successfully built strong corporate brands.
Brand builders have to make a series of design choices and actions that communicate key points about the brand like its: values, mission, price point, exclusivity, ideal customer etc.
Corporate branding includes how the company conducts themselves socially and professionally like partnering with specific charities or responding to current events. Corporate branding also often extends to the company’s recruiting efforts and company culture which ultimately shapes how the public perceives the brand.
Google is another example of a company with strong corporate branding.
4. Cultural and geographical branding
These type of branding are common in the tourism industry. Geographical branding is branding for cities, states, regions and even countries.
For example, the Eiffel Tower is known as a symbol of Paris.
Geographical branding focuses on the unique traits of a specific area or region as the selling point of a particular place and why you should visit.
Also areas of the world that are trying to change their reputation can try their hand at geographical branding like Rwanda and their visit Rwanda campaign.
Cultural branding is similar but focuses on the cultural aspects of a region over the geographical ones.
Businesses like Hotels and airport taxis can benefit from cultural and geographical branding.
For example, a company that ships tea from India can tap into cultural branding by using Indian’s flag colors in their logo.
5. Service branding
Services are a bit challenging to brand. Service branding comes in the form of extras like an insurance company which sends it’s customers rebate checks at the end of the year or a hotel offering free cookies at the concierge desk.
Service branding can also come in the form of meeting specific expectations that set a company apart from their competitors.
People want quick, efficient, and friendly service and in some industries simply providing this kind of service is enough.
6. Retail branding
Mostly used by industry giants to increase the interest of consumers and make product sales outpace the competition.
A lot of money is spent to develop unique brand images that convince customers to select their brand instead of others.
When you walk into a brick and mortar store, it’s physical appearance has a look and feel specific to that brand.
Deliberate design choices like layout, light fixtures, decor, music played, displayed fixtures and even the type of flooring are all carefully selected to build a living brand experience for every shopper who enters the store.
Retail branding is a must for any business operating in a physical location.
A type of branding that associates the brands of 2 or more companies with a specific product or service.
A marketing partnership between 2 or more brands such that the success of one brand rubs off on the other.
For example Nike and Apple in their partnership to produce fitness apps and gadgets.
8. Umbrella branding
A method of building different product lines under a single brand image that emphasises a standard core value proposition across the products under its brand. For example Sony has different product lines developed under their strong brand image.
9. Line branding
An exclusive set of product lines under a brand name. For example in laptops and desktops they are bundled under a particular series or a particular line brand.
For example, Dell’s Studio series meant for digital and multimedia as well as animation and graphic users.