What Branding Has Taught Me About Integrity

“Branding” is a term that is used to refer to things like logos, style guides and business cards. While those are the results of branding, branding is more about psychology. Branding is an impression. A company’s brand is the impression a person has when they think of a company.

Ideally, a company that invests in their branding creates a certain impression that’s consistent in the minds of those who engage with it. How does a company create consistency? This is where details like brand colors, logos, typography, image styles and other details can be defined for aesthetic consistency. But how about what’s underneath of the surface? That can often play a bigger part in creating the impression of a brand.

For 14 years, I built my business working as a freelance designer, building websites with my team for small businesses. I had a singular focus: website design. I would build a site, complete the job, and move on to the next. I wasn’t focused on (or aware of) the wider perspective of the client’s brand and how the website would become an extension of that.

It’s been in the last 3-4 years, as I’ve watched digital trends, that I’ve tuned into the power of branding. As more of our society operates online for everything from medical care to shopping to education, we base many of our choices off of the impression we have of a company online.

Companies that invest in fine-tuning the details of everything–from their online forms to the boxes they ship products in to the social media presence–communicate a sense of reliability to their customers.

If everything is dialed in aesthetically, every webpage functions seamlessly, every social media post is thoughtful, every box is packaged neatly, every customer service interaction is helpful…it builds trust. If your customers can trust in your brand, you’ll build loyalty that you can rely on to grow and thrive.

This kind of loyalty can’t be bought with flashy ads, a series of Instagram posts, or a spot on a news show. This is the loyalty that comes from people trusting in the integrity of a brand. It takes longer to build, but it will last much longer than a trending event or social media blast.