When you’re in a meeting with PR, marketing or advertising, the word branding often pops up.
It’s a word I have heard defined in different ways. I found these descriptions on the Internet. “Branding is… the convergence of a product or service’s advertising, public relations, positioning and all manner of qualities, both intangible and tangible.”
The MarcommWise Glossary defines branding as: the process of establishing the elements of a brand, including its name, identifying symbols and related marketing messages. In my opinion branding is what people used to call identity. It is a company’s or product’s image, the personality traits it’s identified with. It’s about what a company is, what it does and what that means to the consumer.
Branding used to be only associated with consumer products, but not anymore. Many businesses, even conservative ones such as hospitals, banking and insurance are establishing their own brand identities. It is about establishing their name in people’s minds.
A good example of branding is the different images of Walmart and Target.
Walmart’s slogan is “always low prices”. Walmart’s advertising is about price cutting and being community oriented. It has a warm, family and cost saving image. People talk about enjoying a cup of coffee and saving money on their commercials.
Target has a cheap chic image, looking trendy for less. It’s advertising is bold, hip & artsy. The red target is recognizable without a name attached. Targets’ commercials are fast, fun and memorable. One of the first steps of branding is deciding what your strategy is. What do you want people to remember about your company or associate with it? Why should they buy your product or service instead of someone else’s?
My company branding strategy is to position ourself as an expert in the field who offers personalized service “We are small enough to provided you personal service, and seasoned enough to provide the skills, knowledge and expertise you need.”
How would you describe your company? What quality makes your company stand apart? What is your strongest selling point and what does it mean to your customers? These are the questions a marketing person asks when working on a brand identity.