“A brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers” (American Marketing Association).
According to wikipedia the Etymology of the word brand ”derives from its original and current meaning as a firebrand, a burning piece of wood. That word comes from the Old High German, brinnan andOld Englishbyrnan, biernan, and brinnan via Middle English as birnan and brond.Torches were used to indelibly mark items such as furniture and pottery, and to permanently burn identifying marks into the skin of slaves and livestock. Later the firebrands were replaced with branding irons.The marks themselves took on the term and came to be closely associated with craftsmen’s products. Through that association, the term eventually acquired its current meaning.”
You can consider that branding is the process of giving a meaning to a specific organization, company, products or services by creating and shaping a brand in consumers’ minds. It is a strategy designed by organizations to help people to quickly identify and experience their brand, and give them a reason to choose their products over the competition’s, by clarifying what this particular brand is and is not.
The objective of branding is simple: to attract and retain loyal customers and other stakeholders by delivering a product that is always aligned with what the brand promises. It sounds easy, but there is a lot of work behind it.
Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from your competitors’. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.
For example, Nike associates its products with star athletes, hoping customers will transfer their emotional attachment from the athlete to the product. For Nike, it’s not just the shoe’s features that sell the shoe.
Here are some key points that can help you define your brand:
Defining your brand is like a journey of business self-discovery. It can be difficult, time-consuming and uncomfortable and you must answer the questions below:
- What are your company’s/products/service mission?
- What are the benefits and features of your products or services?
- What do your customers and prospects already think of your company?
- What qualities do you want them to associate with your company?
Once you’ve defined your brand, how do you get the word out?
Here are a few simple, time-tested tips:
- Get a great logo. Place it everywhere. We have over 18 years of experience of branding. He can help with your logo. Check it here.
- Write down your brand messaging. What are the key messages you want to communicate about your brand? Every employee should be aware of your brand attributes.
- Integrate your brand. Branding extends to every aspect of your business–how you answer your phones, what you or your salespeople wear on sales calls, your e-mail signature, everything.
- Develop a “voice” for your company that reflects your brand. This voice should be applied to all written communication and incorporated in the visual imagery of all materials, online and off. Is your brand friendly? Be conversational.
- Create a tagline. Write a memorable, meaningful and concise statement that captures the essence of your brand.
- Design templates and create brand standards for your marketing materials. Use the same color scheme, logo placement, look and feel throughout. You don’t need to be fancy, just consistent.
- Be true to your brand. Customers won’t return to you–or refer you to someone else–if you don’t deliver on your brand promise.
- Be consistent. This point it is the last only because it involves all of the above and is the most important tip I can give you. If you can’t do this, your attempts at establishing a brand will fail.
If need guidance and help to define your branding and to create a logo and branding materials, here you can find more details about our work.
Sources: Kotler & Keller: Marketing Management (2015), American Marketing Association (AMA), thebrandingjournal.com ,entrepreneur.com, wikipedia.com. Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay