What Does Branding Mean?


So again, what does branding mean? 

By definition, a brand is a type of product manufactured by a particular company under a particular name. Or, an identifying mark, symbol, or phrase that distinguishes their company from their competitors. Or, it’s a non-generic name for a product that tells us the source of that product. 

There are a lot of definitions explaining what is a business brand. None of them are wrong –they just don’t capture the complete picture.

While your brand logo IS significant, your overall brand naturally evolves into something much more than that. It’s the personality of your business or service. It’s the feeling a consumer gets when they see your logo, hear your jingle on the radio, read your printed ad, or see your commercial on television. Take a moment, I’m betting you can list several commercials that made you laugh or cry. I know I can hum several jingles that I wish never got stuck in my head (thanks, Liberty Mutual.)

That gets us to “branding”. It’s not accidental that we can recall all these brand examples. These are all intentional branding efforts. 

So, what is branding? It’s everything about you and your company and how you market and position your business and services to others. It’s your logo, quality, communication style, color palette, website design, visual style, corporate culture, value proposition, mission, vision, values…you name it. It is everything that defines and differentiates your unique business in the marketplace.

Successful brands excel at making all their branding efforts work seamlessly together to move targeted customers to make a purchase. It’s not luck that makes a brand successful. It’s also not the most creative design; it’s research, testing, trying, failing – then doing it all over again until it sticks. 

It’s important to realize that great brands rarely have a single owner developing them either; it takes marketers, strategists, creatives, copywriters, sales staff, administration… everyone. Even people on your frontlines answering your phones and emails impact your brand. To put it in perspective, presenting a brand consistently across all platforms can increase revenue by up to 23%. 

Over time, your branding efforts will produce brand equity, which has a direct impact on sales volume for those brands that have great reputations. I’m talking about brand loyalty here. Remember how I said that even your mission/vision/values were important? 

94% of consumers will be loyal to companies that are transparent with their practices. 

The old adage, ‘Do what you say and say what you mean’ rings true, even to this day. It’s also the golden rule for building lasting brand equity. 

So, what is your business’ brand and how is it doing? Are you consistently marketing your brand across all the appropriate channels? Are you building up brand equity in the marketplace and generating brand loyalty? Is your messaging clear and engaging with the right audiences? If you’re not sure, let’s talk.

Julie Bredesen
Chief Creative Officer, Brand Mark Digital

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