Cunningly Good Guide to…… branding

“Brand” is one of those words that means many different things to different people.

The word came about when cattle ranchers used a branding iron to identify cattle as belonging to them. The branding resulted in others being able to locate an animal’s origin from a unique mark. This, is the same principle in how we use brands today. A company applies a unique mark to products, marketing material etc. (usually in the form of a logo), showing that they created it. This, then helps the consumer identify one company from another.

Many refer to their logo as their ‘brand’, but is this right? Although it is important to have a great logo to act as a cornerstone of the brand, it is a much wider issue than that.

As Jeff Bezos said, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room”.

The “brand name” represents the name of the company. However, the “brand” extends much beyond that. Think of it as a set of emotions, graphic representations and attributes which define a company, product or service. It also encapsulates the qualities and characteristics of a company to control the perception consumers have. It is what people think about your company when they see or hear its name.

This, encompasses the factual (they produce electronic equipment) and emotional responses (I like them). It is applied to the entire corporate identity as well as the products/services within it. Having a strong brand enables the company to get a step ahead when releasing new products or services as they instantly inherit the characteristics attributed to the broader brand.

The brand name is a fixed item, whereas the brand as a whole is objective and identified differently by different groups of people. The brand can change and be managed through marketing and advertising and is significantly affected by actions and behaviour.

You must clearly define brand objectives as this gives you reliable guidance for your marketing strategy and brand management. This guidance enables the creation of structured policies around your brand guardianship to keep the brand stable and healthy (read more about brand guardianship in Our Cunningly Good Guide to …. Brand Guardianship).

If you would like a chat about how to define or manage your brand, please get in touch with our Cunningly Good Design team on 01738 658187.