Branding should not be a woolly concept. Branding is one of the most powerful tools a business owner, director or marketing manager can leverage. Good branding helps elevate an organisation’s market position in the mind of the customer.
So what is a brand?
Let’s cut to the chase – branding is not just a logo. An image is only as good as the meaning it carries. Nor is it just the words. It is the sentiment behind the communication that is the brand.
A brand is a combination of factors that build up the perception in the public’s mind as to who the brand is, what it stands for and why people should choose to spend their money and time with them. It’s how we differentiate our organisation, products or services from the competition so that consumers can easily identify and choose you.
For example, imagine the multitude of bottled water in the marketplace, all transparent liquid, that is if not identical then very similar. Think of popular brand such as Evian, Fiji Pure, PUMP, H2Go – what is it that separates and appeals to consumers between them? It’s the brand they have created.
The story around the water, the perceived values the water stands for (purity, charity, youthful), the personality which the consumer aligns with and buys in to.
For most – unfortunately propagated by the plethoraof design agencies who ‘do branding’ – branding is just a surface image. But branding is well and truly more than that. Today’s view of the brand ecosystem is much more holistic, see above.
What you’ll see is branding done well starts at organisational strategy, market positioning and moves through the organisation aligning and empowering staff, enhancing the consumer experience and visual identity part of the brand. It transcends an organisation and underpins everything it does.