Ahhh, branding. That elusive and tricky-to-master golden ticket to business success. Yes, the value of branding is hard to define (like the word branding itself), but it’s not impossible. And when you see it done right, it becomes even easier to understand.

We talked about what branding is on the blog a few posts back, and now we’re going to talk about what the real value of branding is—plus show you some examples of companies that got it right. Hopefully you’ll be able to see the difference between these brands and your own (so you can work towards getting yours up to the same level).

4 Great Examples of the Value of Branding

It shares your company’s message

Your brand message is the thing you want people to think and feel about your company and its products or services. Every element of your brand participates in sharing the message you convey, from your fonts and colors to patterns and imagery.

Having a well-developed message and integrating it into your visual design is key to attracting your ideal clients. Without that message, people who come across your brand won’t know for sure whether it’s something they can relate to.

Value of Branding: Victorias SecretVictoria’s Secret is a fabulous example of excellent brand messaging. They want everyone who sees their promotions to feel like they can be just as sexy as their models if they purchase products from them. And a lot of women ages 15–30 believe that message, and shop there as a result.

It helps people recognize you

Studies show that people need 5–7 run-ins with a brand before they start to recognize it ‘in the wild’ (as we designers call it). It’s important that your brand message, visual design, and imagery stays consistent across all platforms so people can make the impressions with your brand. That way, when they see your brand ads anywhere, they know it’s you.

Value of Branding: SephoraSephora does a great job of keeping their branding consistent across all platforms, and it shows in brand recognition. Just about any woman in their target demographic can see the side of a Sephora bag and know it at 100 paces. And even though they sell products from numerous brands, their own brand messaging of quality makeup helps their customers trust everything they sell.

It motivates people to buy from you

Having a well-established brand with a reputation for high-quality or great customer service will get you a lot of customers by referral. But having beautiful branding and incredible packaging for your products or services will get you new customers off the street.

Really well-thought-out brand messaging and attractive branding can turn any customer’s eye on their first encounter with your brand—especially women. If you can get them interested immediately, and then prove yourself with the quality you provide, you’ll have lifelong customers lining up to buy from you.

Value of Branding: Williams Sonoma candleWilliams Sonoma’s Pink Grapefruit Candle has such beautiful packaging you can’t help but pick it up and give it a sniff. And the smell? It’s instant proof of quality when we’re talking candles, and you’ll have a hard time putting it back on the shelf instead of buying it.

It builds loyalty among your clients

When you have all your brand messaging figured out, you build an emotional connection with your customers that keeps them coming back to you. This kind of loyalty is what you should always be aiming for, because repeat customers and the friends they refer to you keep your business going strong.

Value of Branding: Michael KorsMichael Kors has a huge fan-base, and it only grows as more women discover these buttery bags. Between the high quality of their products and the women who show off their new swag to friends, the Michael Kors name has taken over a corner of the fashion world, despite the price tag on their products.

The value of branding is about more than just your look

Before you can design a really great brand, you need to know:

  1. What your purpose is
  2. How you help people
  3. What makes you different

If you can’t explain your brand message and purpose in a few sentences right this second, you need to spend some time working them out. Or if you don’t know what makes you different from all the others in your field, it’s time to work on that, too.

These are the underlying foundation of your entire brand design, and they’re the difference between a brand that takes off and one that stays immobile. Make the effort to define your brand before you design it.