What's Branding?

What is branding and what makes a brand?

These are among some of the most commonly asked questions for any marketing agency. The way these questions are answered can often be the difference between failure and success. So, let’s get into some base definitions for branding before tackling this any further.  

The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumer’s mind, mainly-through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme.

Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.

BussinessDictionary.com

Branding is all the ways you establish an image of your company in your customer’s eyes.

Shopify.com


The marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products.

Entrepreneur.com


Now, after reading through those definitions you might think, “branding is visual”, and it is, but it isn’t just design. Branding and graphic design do work together, almost as perfectly as peanut butter and jelly, but there is distinct difference between the two-- and that separation is very important. Branding is a name, symbol or design that is easily identifiable as belonging to a company. This helps to categorize products and services from other products and services. Branding is significant because it is your first impression with a consumer. Not only is it in the first impression business, but it’s the constant spokesman. This is the most effective way to distinguish yourself from other competitors and clarify what it is that you offer. Your brand is built to be a true representation of your company, and it encompasses how you want to be seen by your audience. If you want to be seen a certain way, you have to show them the way you want to be seen.

There are many areas that are used to develop a brand. Some of these include advertising, customer service, promotional merchandise, reputation and logo. All of these elements work together to create a unique and attentive brand. This is where things like brand promise and brand statements come into play. This is also how you get everyone on the same page.

With that being said, the branding process is the design process that comes before the actual design process. It’s the psychology and the personality of a business, and it begins way before a logo is ever hypothesized. In fact, it is this process that creates the logos, the graphics and the trademarks. The research of the given target audience is what determines the graphics, the typography and the color. Essentially, it’s the what, the how and the why of your company.  

In simple terms, branding is the heart and soul of an entire company. It’s what you see, it’s what you don’t see, it’s why you use this color instead of that color, why you say this instead of that and so on and so forth. This is executed through logo’s, taglines, email signatures and trademarks. Most companies stop there, but the successful ones realize that the branding process goes much deeper. It has to integrate into your company, it’s not just your consumers who need to understand, it’s your employees too. If they don’t know who you are and what message you are trying to get across, then they can’t provide that to the customer.

Branding has to do with unison-- a collective consciousness that sets you apart. It’s the things that make you... you, that are important. This is how you stay unique and fresh. This is this how you stand out. This is how people know who you are, and it creates value by giving the company more leverage. Which in turn, makes it more appealing to investors, because it’s already established in the marketplace.  

All of this is important to define and consider before you build out your site, or make collateral, or sell any products. If you don’t who you are, or you are unable to define yourself, how could you expect your audience or employees to know who you are or what you do? The great Simon Sinek said it himself, “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”.

Overall, a branding is what people say or don’t say about you when you are not around. That is why branding should be a priority. Branding can change the way people perceive you, it can also drive new business, and isn’t that the ultimate goal?