What is Branding, Really?

Our branding firm tries to shed some light on the meaning of branding as often as we can. Amy, our CEO and Creative Director is breaking down the controversial meaning of branding that our branding firm operates around.

Often, we hear the terms identity, branding, marketing, and advertising confused for each other. They all have related meanings in the branding firm industry. But, what do they mean? First, let’s tackle branding.

What is Branding, Really?

One of the first uses of the term branding was used by cattlemen. They used branding to identify which cattle were theirs through a hot iron and their symbol. That symbol represented their brand, but, just to be clear, the symbol wasn’t their brand. Branding is a correlation of things, a classification.

Our Branding Firm Definition of Branding

A use of the term branding we hear often is in sentences like “they branded her as politically incorrect.” Meaning: they associated her with something. They branded her. As a result, she is marked with that notation in their mind.

That is what branding is.

However, this team is often misused. People will use the word brand as a noun: “this brand” or “that brand,” meaning “this business” or “that company.” However, many businesses and companies don’t even have a brand, or their brand is off-base due to the misalignment of their brand in the marketplace.

This misalignment occurs when the pieces of your brand aren’t being perceived by consumers how they are intended. Branding is the classification performed by others examining your company.

Public Understanding of Branding

All this means that the strategy of branding for a business is to be clear on how they want to be perceived. Once a business knows how they want to be perceived, they can work on distributing aligned traits to represent them out in the wild.

At this point, the public will begin to consume your aligned brand support. Ideally, it will be clear to them how to associate your business with what you want your business to stand for.

Because your company’s logo will be aligned with who the business is, it is very important. All of your brand support will reiterate the associations of your business.

Your logo should be a clear representation of your business. Often, it is one of the first steps to developing a brand. However, logo development is tricky. We know it should be a clear representation of what your business stands for. However, due to the simplicity that is necessary for a great logo, a logo cannot always completely represent everything that your business wants to be associated with.

More About Brand Support and Branding

Don’t worry, though, your logo needs to be strong, but it doesn’t have to do it all. That’s what your brand support is for! Brand support assists your business by helping the consumer classify your company.

The best definition of brand support is to picture all of the points of public contact that your business has. Our branding firm often calls these “customer touchpoints.” These can be printed materials, your office or store design, your social media, websites, business cards, and your employees’ attire.

No matter what the customer touchpoint is, your brand will come up in the consumer’s head when they encounter something that represents your business.

To sum it all up, your brand isn’t the list of brand support items. It’s the perception that your brand support items brings to consumers.

You can’t always control each of the perceptions that consumers have about your business. At our branding firm, we believe it is non-negotiable to perfect every touchpoint that you can.

A brand is externally decided, not internally created. If you’re interested in putting some strategy behind the alignment of your brand, contact our branding firm today.

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