There is a lot of confusion out there about branding. What is branding? It’s one of the most common questions I get asked.
I often get emails that say, “I need a logo, a business card and a letterhead designed. You could say I need branding!” and that’s why I figured I would address this topic. Traditionally branding is referred to as, “The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers’ 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.”IMO, that's a little much. It’s not clear enough so I’m going to tell you the definition I prefer: “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” (Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos)
Perfect isn't it? That perfectly sums branding.
Branding is how people view and perceive your company. But more importantly, it’s how you as the owner, and your workforce view and perceive the company. It’s your who, what, where, when, your how, and your why. It’s not the design of your logo, business, cards, or website (that’s your brand identity). It’s about how an audience connects with your company on multiple levels.
A designer can’t “make” a brand. Or design a brand. A designer can help you identify and define those aspects, and with the research and the collaboration, can design a brand identity that reflects a brand. The branding itself has to come from YOU. You need to be able to answer these questions about your company. This is why I love branding so much, its about personality and collaboration.
Think about how important branding is, if you look at some of the biggest brands in the world, you’ll notice that their branding is. It’s no coincidence that they’re the successful ones, they are well thought out! They have recognition. Branding is an essential feature of any business and should be considered an essential part of marketing strategy.
In essence--branding is the personality, life, and soul of your company. Your what, how, and why. It’s what you do, how you do it, and why you do it. In combination these elements together with your brand identity design, and that my friends is branding.