SO WHAT’S ALL THIS ABOUT BRANDING?
Every marketing and design firm talks about it to some extent, and many of them do know a thing or two on the subject. But very few truly grasp the fundamentals of branding, or understand why branding has become so important to businesses today.
And if I'm getting a bit confused by all the "brand-speak" out there, you must be, too. So, here's our take on some of the basics.
Put simply, a "brand" is a claim of distinction. The brand idea is based on the premise that every company, by virtue of its existence, is unique in some way. Were that not the case, your customers would simply flip a coin to determine if they should buy from you, or one of your competitors. A brand signifies the presence of a unique entity.
Now, whenever we tell people we're in the branding business, a common response is, "Oh, I see. You make logos." True, but not the whole picture. A logo is an important part of the corporate brand, but only part. It's the visual mark that symbolizes the existence of a brand.
It's easy to understand why people confuse brand and logo, because the two are certainly related, and this relationship has old roots. The early ranchers branded their cattle to symbolize distinct ownership. To the rancher, cattle represented value. Branding cattle was their way of saying, "I'm putting my distinctive mark (or logo) on these cattle because they belong to me, and to me, they represent significant value and importance." If you think about it, the same holds true today.
"Branding" includes all the activities you do to consistently reinforce your unique claim: in marketing, advertising, internally, and throughout the entire customer experience. Branding involves the little things and big things you do to establish your company's distinct presence.
Think of branding as your company's own special way of creating a unique customer experience, from advertising, to point of first contact, through the sales process, to presentation of proposal, to fulfillment of customer needs, to the submission of your invoice, and beyond. To truly engage in corporate branding, all customer touch points must in some way highlight the distinct characteristics of your brand.
Take a look at your own company. What are some things you can do right now to distinguish it as the brand-of-choice?
Think about it.