What is branding?

It’s not your logo. 

Branding is how the world perceives you. 

Imagine this, you have a business that sells socks. 

Approaching me and saying, “hey, I sell socks”, is Marketing.

Making a TV commercial that repeats the message of, “we sell socks”, is Advertising.

Hiring somebody to tell me that, you sell socks, is Public Relations.

However, when I approach you, to say, “I believe that you sell amazing socks”, that is Branding.

This perception of how the world sees you, aka “branding”, is not defined by any one thing. It is the sum of everything that your customers, or potential customers, sees, feels, and experiences during their interaction with you. These points of contact are referred to as brand touch points.

How do we build a brand?

For us, this process is the development and most importantly the on-going management of all of these brand touch points, and to ensure that they all consistently communicate the same message.

Building a brand is not all about having an amazing looking logo, or website. The key to strong branding is consistency. Consistency in the message that you are ultimately trying to communicate. 

Just like in traditional advertising, successful branding starts with a clear message. Shiny logos, impressive websites and billboards are only the covers of your book. The book its self has to have a captivating story, that is worth reading, and sharing. 

Truly strong branding needs to start with a strong message, this is a brand strategy, and it is the single most important thing you need to invest in as a business owner.

What about design?

Skipping strategy, and jumping directly into designing a pretty book cover, is not only a waste of money, but it can actually have an extremely negative impact on your entire brand.

Imagine you are in a book shop and you see a beautiful looking book, you buy it, and start reading it, only to find you can’t get past the first chapter because it is a poorly written weak story. Are you ever going to refer that book to a friend, or buy another book by that same author, NO! In fact, you might even go out of your way to warn people not to read it.  

Unfortunately the same can happen to your brand, and that is why every action you take in brand building, advertising, and design, has to have clear intent behind it. All in, this is the real purpose of a brand strategy.

Now for the logo.

Step two is brand identity, this is the process of designing all of the appropriate deliverables that accurately communicate your brand’s core message. So this is where the creation of beautiful logos, websites, and stationary come into play. 

Like art, the measure of good design is the rational and meaning behind it. When dealing with a brand’s identity, that meaning comes from the core brand strategy that defines the nature, value, and positioning of the brand.

Remember it’s never over.

Finally, the last step in the process is brand management. 

We live in the digital age, where we are expected to always produce content for our audience, step three is on-going brand management. We have to ensure that the core message of your brand is always communicated correctly, in all of the content,  that your organisation puts out to the world.


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