I’m teaching myself more about branding. It’s one of those buzzwords that everyone uses. What does it really mean?
I read some articles on the subject. I found the comments to be more enlightening than the articles. I especially liked this one:
Branding really starts with self discovery. In it’s most basic form it’s simply an extension of you. Think of yourself as the nucleus of your brand. It’s not to say that it’s all about you, it’s not – it’s about your customer in many ways. BUT, it is about you in the way that it’s the specific combination of your approach, method, voice, story, style and personality that builds a unique brand. It’s about defining what you want your brand to look like and sound like for your audience and staying true to that in everything you do. When done right your brand will resonate with the right audience and attract the right people. ~DreBeltrami
So, if I apply that to myself and my brand, I would say the qualities at the core of me that resonate in my work are authenticity, integrity, whimsy, humor and rockstar glam. Giving back is hugely important to me. Offering high value for the price is hugely important. I’m a storyteller, who works in many mediums, with a bold voice. I want my brand to look, sound and feel like all that.
Here is another comment that I liked:
I would say that the foundation of your brand is your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) and the ability for your customers to experience it in a tangible way. Your logo, website, packaging, collateral, etc. are a reflection of your brand and your visual identity, they do not form your foundation. Branding is strategic. Think of it as who you are going to be. Marketing is tactical and it is what you do with who you are. ~Bronson Ma
That makes sense. Your USP should be a strategic decision. I want it to be rockstar glam for dogs. I want to be style for a price. I want to bring Seventh Avenue quality to the world of pet fashion. And I want the rescue message to spread with the line.
This comment is good. I think a lot of people forget this:
Branding is consumer driven. The “branding” occurs when the consumer, identifies and puts all the pieces together to form that company “brand”. The company marketing strategies, artwork, media buys, the company’s actual product — all of these factors play an important role in the “consumer” identifying the “brand”. Marketing, advertising and branding are all 3 very different animals. The first 2 drive the consumer to hopefully use the product repeatedly over a long period of time….thus the magic of “branding” occurs. Company=Marketing & Advertising. Branding=Consumer Satisfaction. ~KMNetterville
So we build, in a clear and concise manner, what we want to be seen as. But the thing that actually makes us a brand is the consumer identifying us as such. That means the marketing strategy is really important. I need to work on that. I need to organize my clever bits and pieces into something that will create a big effect. I need a well-formed, interlinked, dynamic, boldly inventive plan that you can put on a to-do list and complete. I’ll have to get back to you on this.
But to end, I really liked this summation:
Small business branding is the art of becoming knowable, likable and trustable. Every small business has a brand – either by accident or (as we like) on purpose, because it’s a lot like a personality – everyone has one, like it or not. ~Indispensable Marketing