Branding professionals, like so many other types of work, often use terms that are both confusing and unknown to many of their clients. While it’s true that branding terminology can be its own language, it’s not hard to decipher – just type “branding terms” into any browser for a bit of research. But really, who wants (or needs) to rush to a computer in order to understand anyone who’s job is, in part, clearly communicating basic values?
I’m going to make the assumption that you’d rather have a quick overview of branding terms, rather than spend the hours it might take to review the (literally) millions of results you’ll get from an online search of brand terms:
Brand: There are many ways to express the concept of “brand”, but basically – they’re all the same. A brand is a promise about who you are and what benefits you deliver. This “promise” is one that needs to be reinforced each and every time people come in contact with any facet of you, your product and/or your business.
Brand Identity: In more common terms – a logo. This mark can be made of many parts that represent the values of your brand. It might include a specific logo design, color scheme, symbols and typeface(s).
Brand Image: Brand image is simply the set of beliefs about what your brand is…what it stands for…what your customer associates with you and your brand’s name.
Branding: Is the process of building positive perceptions in your customer’s mind. Note: (not YOUR mind…your customers).
Brand Position: How your compares to (and perhaps collaborates with) other brands that are in your competitive market.
Brand Management: Is the process of controlling your brand’s identity and message throughout your entire organization, and through the all communication channels (including the media)
Brand Equity: Is the value of your brand’s assets – its qualities, reputation and recognition – and the demand it creates. A brand with great equity creates loyal customers that carry their loyalty through to future revenues.
Ther are many, many other terms you’re likely to encounter when you enter a conversation about brands. Brand message, brand strategy, brand revitalization, rebranding or even brand extension – just to name a few. You don’t need to worry about these at first – as the basics will help guide you through.
Is Branding Important? Really?
From our experience, far too many companies jump to developing a logo or website before they really have a full understanding of the foundations of their brand. Too many companies just want to rush to develop award-winning logos and impressive website or launch materials only to have their sales go sideways when the customer has an actual brand experience.
You and I both know this – false promises don’t work in the end. Your brand must honestly, accurately convey who you truly are each and every time the customer encounters you, and every single other “touchpoint” every other of your brand.
It really doesn’t matter if your selling and marketing a product or service. And it doesn’t matter if you’re a small company, or a large corporation – the branding process applies to you along with the same benefits you’ll receive from getting it right at the start.