Why is it important to brand your business? Why not just hire a logo designer online and a web programmer to throw a website together based on that cool template you saw, then call it a day and wait for the money to roll in? Well - you can, but it's definitely not a brand and it most likely won't make much of an impression.
The process of “branding” is one in which you establish a unique, recognizable position in the minds of your customers. It's about determining and communicating your essence, your values, and your unique personality in a consistent and memorable way.
That means, whether branding your company, your service, or your products, the name (and visual) should evoke an unmistakable understanding that clearly defines it, what it stands for, and why it is unique and relevant to your customers’ needs.
Many times, businesses or individuals mistake a logo or a website for a brand, when in fact these are just mediums with which the brand is communicated, and do not in themselves constitute a strong identity.
A brand consists of a concise position in the market based on specific and focused research and an understanding of a company's mission, product, and values - as well as its competition. It also consists of visual representations of that position: a color palette, a specific selection of typography or fonts, a certain style of illustration or photography, and a particular overall style of design.
All of these elements come together to create a set of guidelines which dictate all of the marketing materials the company produces - whether a logo, a website, a direct mail piece, or a TV commercial. Every piece of marketing material that a company puts out should be dictated by the brand principals, or guidelines. In this way, the materials can speak for the company when it is not there to speak for itself. Without these guidelines, the message can easily become diluted. When you aren't clear about who you are, your target audience isn't clear about who you are - and you will easily be forgotten.