If you’re a business owner, you’ve most likely heard the term “branding” thrown around more times than you can count.
Company branding can be a tricky thing to nail down. The term itself is often used interchangeably with other terms like “brand” and “brand identity,” adding to the confusion. If you’ve asked yourself, “what exactly is branding and how do I define it for my business?” You’ve come to the right place.
We’ll give you examples of successful companies who’ve nailed it and even talk a little bit about Brandable Box and how we’re navigating it ourselves.
What is Branding?
Branding is the action you take to shape your company, practices, values and products, and how you present it to your customers and audience. It’s a process that involves strategy, deciding on your company name, deciding what you offer and why, and the words you want to say to customers.
Branding is different from the terms “brand” and “brand identity.” A brand is your company itself. It’s the end result of your branding. A brand identity is everything visual about your company, from its logos and colors to its website and product packaging.
Branding should be the efforts you take to push your brand. Once your brand is established, you’ve completed your branding efforts.
Altogether, these three separate terms make up how you and your audience experience and see your company.
How Do I Define My Business’s Branding?
You’ve built your company up from the ground and you’ve poured months or years of work into making your products memorable for your customers. But you might be wondering how your brand will come across to your customers. Before you overthink your company’s branding, remember that branding is the action you take to shape your company’s values and practices.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed, but the simplest first step is to start with your product. What are you offering to your customers, what problems does it solve for them and why does it matter to them? This is the biggest part of your branding.
Let’s take a look at how we defined our branding for Brandable Box. We’ll get specific about our beliefs and dive into large companies that have made their beliefs part of their brand.
Branding Brandable Box
We started Brandable Box because we believe strongly that custom shipping boxes should be high quality, 100% recycled and affordable for businesses of any size. We’re not the first company to believe in affordable goods for all. This low-cost but high-quality for customers practice and belief can date back to Henry Ford’s assembly line, where he figured out how to cut costs using technology and ultimately pass those savings on to customers.
This is how we started defining our branding. We knew what we wanted to offer customers. We knew it had been done before in other markets. So we found large, successful and popular companies that have nailed their branding and modeled ourselves after them.
Why? Because it works well for them, for their employees, and most importantly for their customers.
Let’s take a look at some of these companies and how they’ve achieved their brand today.
Think of IKEA today and you’ll most likely think of affordable home furniture, do-it-yourself picking and assembling, and well-designed showrooms. It’s not accidental. This is how IKEA has chosen to position themselves in the marketplace. This is the result of their branding.
IKEA is successful. From its beginnings in a small Swedish market to its booming business today, IKEA has learned and grown. Today, we learn from them.
IKEA didn’t just want to just solve problems for customers when it came to furnishing their homes. It wanted to set itself apart from every other furniture store in their market. IKEA wanted its products to be designed with the customer in mind. Its simple, straightforward designs work almost anywhere and never seem to go out of style. It also adjusted its operations to ensure low prices for everyone. IKEA chose to source and buy merchandise from around the world and not just large suppliers like China and India. More shipping points means faster delivery.
Today, IKEA has gotten so good at its process that it has almost made it a noun and a verb—The IKEA Concept.
At Brandable Box, we want to IKEA Concept custom shipping boxes.
Let’s take a look at another large, successful business—Southwest.
Southwest is known for its low-cost, no-frills model. And customers soak it up. This is the result of its branding.
In 2017, Southwest hit 45 consecutive years of profitability, and it is considered America’s second largest US airline in terms of market share.
Here’s a brief breakdown of how Southwest operates.
Unlike many other airline companies, Southwest doesn’t allow passengers to choose their seats in advance. Southwest keeps it simple—you can check-in 24 hours before your flight. The earlier you check-in, the better your boarding group. On the plane, there are no first class or preferred seats.
These customer-facing traits allow Southwest to keep its prices low and appealing. They still offer upgrades, but at a small upcharge to customers.
IKEA and Southwest operate in different industries, but their common ground is their branding initiatives. The actions each company took to propel them into the market as cost leaders.
Branding Your Business
Branding is a complex endeavor. It takes time to plan and implement. But if you start with your product itself, you’re already halfway there. We don’t claim to have it all figured out here at Brandable Box. We knew what we wanted to offer customers and businesses. We knew large, successful companies in other markets were offering similar values to their customers.
Once you figure out what you want to offer to your customers, find other successful companies that have already paved the way in their markets. You might learn a thing or two about positioning your own brand to your market.
Already have your product squared away? Consider adding your logo to your shipping boxes. Custom shipping boxes help propel the visual part of your branding efforts. When customers receive a custom shipping box, they are more likely to return to that brand. Try custom shipping boxes today.