Branding is, until this day, something very difficult to define. It can be many things, and people have different views of what branding is vs. what digital marketing is.
I was researching to be able to write this and like the idea of turning this around and starting by explaining what branding IS NOT, as Marty Neumeier did here in his interview with The Futur; Marty says that some people say that a logo is branding. A company’s logo is a mark, a symbol that is very important for branding, but it’s not branding.
I enjoyed the definition by flyinghippo, they define a brand as a living entity with:
Values: A company’s beliefs and principles that guide its behavior and decision-making.
Personality: The way a company presents itself and the emotions it evokes in its customers.
Actions: The tangible ways in which it expresses its personality and values, such as through product design, marketing campaigns, and corporate social responsibility initiatives.
I also like to think of branding as “creating the word before spreading the gospel.”. It’s the WHY before anything is done. It’s guiding people to build a concept of your business in their heads. It’s not controlling how people see you because each person will react to your strategy differently and will end up creating different images of your business in their heads, but if done correctly, they will all have a similar big picture of what you want your brand to be seen.
So, going back to what Marty Neumeier said about the logo not being branding: If someone designs the most beautiful logo you’ve ever seen, but it has no concept behind it, it’s not solving any problems, it doesn’t carry the company’s values or personality, your clients don’t connect to it, then it is entirely worthless.
If I were to compare branding and digital marketing, I would say that branding can be seen as how your brand is perceived, your reputation, and what people think of you when you’re not in the room. It’s why people choose you over the competition. It’s how you stand out. Digital marketing, on the other hand, I would say it’s HOW people find you, it’s getting those brand guidelines and spreading it to the world, it’s getting in front of the right people at the right time.
Branding for volleyball clubs:
So, curious to get some ideas of how branding can help your volleyball club?
Stand out from the crowd:
Especially in an industry dominated by confusing and outdated template websites, wrong information, and old and mismatched visual identities, when you invest in branding to design a consistent visual identity, clear messaging that is based on your values and how you want your club to be seen, you will create a unique and recognizable image that resonates and emotionally connects with players, coaches, and fans.
Create a culture to Retain Players and Coaches:
We all know that one of the challenges of volleyball clubs is to retain great coaches and players. But when you develop a brand to build culture and make sure that it trickles down from the club directors all the way to the coaches and players, you create a sense of belonging, making them want to stay where they are valued and are not easily replaceable. For example, if your brand demonstrates commitment to develop coaches and players to their full potential with trainings, mentorship, and resources, there’s a higher chance that they will want to stay.
Exposure Opportunities (Sponsors):
Branding can help you build trust and credibility with sponsors by clearly communicating the club’s values, mission, and what it hopes to achieve in every interaction with people. It can foster a sense of loyalty, engagement, and connection, attracting businesses that have similar values and goals to sponsor your club.
There are many other ways that branding can create a huge impact in volleyball clubs; these are just 3 of them that would already be game changers to most of the clubs out there.
With a team of experienced branding and digital marketing professionals, we can provide the guidance and support that your club needs to stand out in a crowded market. From developing a unique brand identity to creating engaging social media content and building strategic partnerships, Vox Digital Marketing can help your club reach new heights. So if you’re ready to take your volleyball club to the next level, contact us today and let us help you build a powerful and compelling brand that resonates with fans, players, and sponsors.