Brand Building Blog

What is Branding?

September 21, 20222 min read

“Your brand is not how your business looks; your brand is how your business acts.” - Jennifer Seely, Brand Manager

Brand photographer

Branding is the process of crafting what you present about you (or your business) to attract what you want. Branding is what you do to define who you are, what you do, how you'll do it, and why.

A "brand" is the message that you want to present. We tend to think of the brand as the logo, but the logo is just an identifier of a larger idea. Take the Target logo, for example. Does the logo itself promise you interesting clothes, groceries, and DVDs all in one place? Nope. The target logo is just the reminder that that's what you get. The brand is built on a good shopping experience with up-to-date, inexpensive fashion along with shelves, cribs, cleaning products, etc. Your brand is the philosophy--and more importantly the systems that create the philosophy--behind the services you offer or the products you sell.

That philosophy has to extend to all parts of your business: employees, customers, suppliers, competitors, business systems, and marketing. Marketing, often thought of synonymously with branding, is actually a sub-set of branding.

Your brand can be made more visible and unique as you

  • Shift how employees are treated and what they're required to do so as customer service specialists. Help them understand that their actions grow the business and that means a better job in the long run.

  • Change your interactions with customers, so that every customer has the kind of experience that turns them into a raving fan. THEY are your best marketing tool.

  • Work with suppliers to give them a great experience in working with you AND hold them accountable to support your business effectively.

  • Understand who your competitors are, how you're different than them, and what you can say to others to show your differences.

That last part ("what you can say to others") is the only part that is actually "marketing". All of the rest is branding.

Your "brand identity" is the visuals that present the message that you want to present: your logo, your colors, your website, your Instagram feed. Aligning the visual with the message is another important part of branding.

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