What Is Branding?
Branding is a word that is thrown around a lot, but there is a lot of confusion and a few misconceptions about the word. It seems that "branding" is used almost interchangeably with logo design, slogan design, and identity design, but these are not all the same thing.
Let's set the record straight and establish what it means to brand your business.
Marty Neumeier is a world renowned "brander" that helped companies such as Apple, Google, Adobe, HP, and Netscape build their brands. According to Marty before we move into what branding is, we need to understand what it is not.
Branding is not a logo
A logo is a symbol, and is something that is used to identify your products.
Branding is not a product
When people say they like buying this brand, or that brand, they are not actually talking about buying a brand, they are talking about buying a product. You may buy a product because you like the brand, but you are not exactly buying the brand.
Branding is not a promise
A brand is more than a catchy slogan, or promise. These are things that you can incorporate into you brand, but again there is more to creating a brand than this.
So what is branding?
Branding is the sum of customer impressions
Essentially branding is the sum of all the impressions that clients have in their minds about your business. Every interaction, and impression combined creates a single feeling that a customer has toward your business. What this means is that there is no single brand per company, each consumer can have a very different interpretation of what your business means. This is fine as long as the interpretations are corralled within a certain framework, and as long as the interpretations are all beneficial to your business.
In essence branding is simply the construction of the entire layout and messaging of your company pointing to a positive idea or feeling that can be easily interpreted by your ideal customer. It is also important to recognize that every area and individual in your business has an impact on your brand so it is crucial to make sure your business is in sync to have the best possible brand.