Before I became an entrepreneur I was as a full-time graphic designer and subsequently brand guardian. I did this for many years working both in the private and public sector, and as an employee and freelancer, and I can safely say that a ‘Brand’ is one of those elusive terms that confuses many (even designers)- we sort of know what it is, but are not always sure how to explain it when asked to do so. Mention the word ‘brand’ and thoughts often turn to a logo, a common misconception, but one that is not entirely incorrect as a logo does make up part of the overall brand.
So What Exactly is a Brand?
Run a search for ‘what is a brand?’ and unsurprisingly you will get back numerous definitions, many of which amount to the same thing, just using different words. Simply put a brand is what helps to distinguish something from its competitors, so in essence is a vehicle for connecting you, your business, products or services to your customers and other stakeholders.
A brand can be made up of many things including your logo, company name, the messages you send out, the design of your products, the experience of your service and so much more. And because of all that is involved a brand is also an indicator to an audience of what to expect whenever they come into contact with your brand, and therefore a brand is also defined as a promise: the promise you make to uphold that expectation.
A brand is often made up of several key elements, some mentioned previously (also referred to as assets), that work together alongside each other to define the whole brand experience. The process of creating and communicating a brand is known as branding, and for more on this PART 2 will discuss ‘What is Branding?’