Let’s be practical and talk about some branding terminology.
Practical and branding terminology? If that seems like an oxymoron, you are not alone. The whole topic can quickly become overly philosophical. Some would say that all business is marketing, and all marketing is branding and therefore, all branding is business. I would say that “Dude, that’s so deep” talk is best left to late nights in the freshmen dorm, because it changes useful terms into jargon that turns off a lot of people from working on their brand.
Let’s start with a trick question: You are in business, selling products or services to your customers. Do you need a brand?
Regardless of how you feel about the topic, you already have a BRAND because that is all the intangible things about your company. That is actually a lot of stuff – so, practically focused, your brand is mostly how your business is perceived (or felt of or thought of) by everyone connected to your business. This is your customers, but also includes your staff, your vendors and, not least, you.
The term BRANDING is the combination of the ideas you want people to have (BRAND MESSAGE), how you go about (BRAND STRATEGY) and what actions you do (BRAND TACTICS) to shape feelings of your business. Those are things you do like advertise, and make sure your logo is plastered everywhere.
And speaking of plastering your logo all over something, that’s BRAND IDENTITY – all the tangible representations of your company’s brand. Some more examples of brand identity: the custom shirts your employees wear, your business card and letterhead, your product packaging, the look and design of your website, your jingle, the decor of your store, etc. The last term I’ve already mentioned is your LOGO, which is the unique visual symbolizing your brand.
Branding is a complex topic, but an important one.