Branding: a Practical Definition

You’ve been advised to invest in branding. Or you’ve been told that with the development of a powerful brand, your best success can be realised. But what is branding, anyway?

What will an investment in branding net for your business? You could ask the CEO of Apple, Coca-Cola, BMW…or you could read on – to get a practical grasp on that intangible concept we call branding.

Branding: What is it?

Maybe the best way to start is by explaining what branding is not. It is not your product or service. It is not your logo. It is not the graphic design, colours, lines, shapes, or fonts associated with your packaging, website, corporate gifts, or stationery. In fact, it’s not visible at all. You can’t hold it, you can’t touch it…but consumers will feel it.

Your brand is what the general consuming population says it is. It is crucial to grasp this concept, because you can tell your target audience what you want your brand to be, but in reality it will be what they determine it to be. Through the experiences you provide, they will bank memories, associate those memories with the visual anchors you put forth, and create an opinion of your organisation. That is your brand.

How is this accomplished? The process is not a simple one, but it is, however, achievable for all. Here are a few general tips for building a brand:

  • USP: In order for a brand to be developed, a unique selling point must be identified and communicated. This will differentiate you from your competitors and make your resulting brand difficult to ignore.
  • Benefits: Consumers need to know ‘what’s in it for them?’ By communicating your product’s or service’s benefits, you will answer this question.
  • Consistency: Everything about your brand should be consistent, across all channels. This applies to visual elements, language…even smells and sounds.
  • Values: Everything your brand ambassadors do should represent the values that your organisation holds dear.
  • Emotional Awareness: Today’s consumer makes emotional purchasing decisions, and their perceptions of your brand will rely heavily on how effectively it can conjure the emotions that move them to action.
  • Trust: People’s favourite brands are those that they trust. Offer valuable advice and keep your promises, in order to build trust for your brand.
  • Expert Status: In order to be a market leader, you must be viewed as an expert in your field. Demonstrate your expertise in relevant situations, in order to build your brand.

Branding can be difficult to define – but when it’s good, you know it. Always remember the importance of giving consumers the information they need in order to establish the opinions that will define your brand.

I hope you enjoyed this article.

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