Effective Branding for Small Businesses

May 16, 2016
AplusGS19791
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Hello there! In this article, we will show you what branding is, how to brand your business, and effective branding. So, here goes our first question!

What is branding?

Branding is not just putting your business out there with social media and/or online; branding is actually making your business known by your company name, logo, or website. For example, guess what this symbol means without looking at the answer.

nike

Answer: Nike! If you figured that out on your own without looking at the answer, give yourself credit. But you see, what Nike did was: They branded their logo to make it known without having to show the word “Nike”; they branded it enough to make it known and you won’t need to see the word “Nike” to understand that the company is Nike.

Here’s another one:

apple

 

Answer: Apple! I know, the bitten apple probably gave it away, but it’s Macintosh (better known as Mac). This is the work of branding.

Here’s another example.

windows

Answer: Microsoft! Or, also known as Windows (hence the four squares that are aligned like windows). But branding is how you promote yourself, so your brand doesn’t have to be just a logo; it can be a logo, the word of your company, or a logo and word! Here’s just one more example of a good branding strategy.

mcdonalds

Answer: McDonald’s! McDonald’s has a really good logo. The m for McDonald’s is made out of French fries, if you can tell. So, I’m about to give you some examples of good branding when it comes to words and their logos tied together.

For example…

chickfila1

See, the logo is that chicken on the c of Chick-fil-A®. Here’s Chick-fil-A®’s logo:
chickfila2

This is the logo of Chick-Fil-A, but their usual logo is the one above the latter. Another example of good branding:

kfc

That’s right! The KFC® logo is almost never seen without its name, KFC.

Here’s one more example.

baskinrobbins

That’s right, Baskin Robbins® has very good branding. Baskin Robbins®’ logo also has a secret message! Inside of the BR, it shows the number 31. That is because Baskin Robbins® originally had, and still does have, 31 flavors of ice cream.

Okay, so, what’s the origin of branding? Where did the word “branding” come from? What does the term mean? The term “branding” came from branding cattle to know which one was which. In case any of the cattle would wander off, they would have that brand (mark) on them so the person that finds the cattle could be able to return it/them to their owners. Branding in businesses is technically the same idea.

Great brands don’t chase customers, customers chase great brands.” – Gary Friedman, Chairman & CEO of Restoration Hardware

Restoration Hardware is an American home-furnishings company headquartered in Corte Madera, California. The company sells its merchandise through its retail stores, catalog, and online.

A brand is no longer what we tell the customer it is – it is what customers tell each other it is.” – Scott Cook

Branding is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” – Jeff Bezos, CEO & founder of Amazon

What does it mean to “rebrand”?

Rebranding is when you update your brand, logo, or website, to make it more up-to-date. Here is a logo history of when Pepsi rebranded their logo.

pepsilogohistory

That circle at the very end, above the 2009, is the current Pepsi logo. They changed their logo several times!

chickfilalogohistory

Another example of how a popular company rebranded, was Chick-fil-A.

Here is a major example of how Google, the very popular search engine, rebranded their logo.

googlelogohistory

Google’s icons are now the two at the very bottom, under September 2015. The change is amazingly large. If you’re thinking about rebranding your business, it doesn’t have to be a huge change, like the examples of Pepsi, Chick-fil-A®, and Google. But, if that is what you’re wanting, it can be either small or large! Really, it’s whatever kind of change you’re wanting.

Here is the example of PlayStation.

pslogohistory

Here is Microsoft’s example.

windowslogohistory

And their nemesis, Mac, has also rebranded their logo, as well.

maclogohistory

These are all examples of companies and businesses rebranding their logos.

Maybe, after all of this, you think that branding is about logos. It’s not just logos! Branding exists in logos and websites. Here are some examples of how people rebranded their websites:

Before

simplesolutionsbefore

After

simplesolutionsafter

Before

wrightbefore

After

wrightafter

These are examples of rebranded websites. You, in this article, have seen logos rebranded too. Branding is making yourself known; rebranding is making you (and your company) known in the same way, but updating it; making it more up-to-date. It’s not just small businesses – from big companies to small ones, branding is the way to go.

– By Arianna Fox, Jr. Marketing Director of Splash! Designworks