Having discussed the definition of a brand in PART 1: ‘What Exactly is a Brand? we now look to Branding. Branding is the process of creating and communicating a brand.
A brand as we touched on in PART 1 is made up of a number of interdependent elements that work together to create the overall experience you want your brand to convey. These elements are both tangible for example the logo, product design or packaging; and the intangible for example a signature scent or the feeling you get when interacting with a particular brand.
Through branding, you are trying to create a specific idea in your customers mind of what your product or service is about and the part it will play in their life.
By branding something like an idea, business, product or service you are giving it a personality. And this personality will engage some or all of the following areas:
Physical: Engaging the senses, and particularly for a product, the way something looks, feels to touch, taste, smell or hear it.
Visual: This where the logo and any distinguishing symbols come in, as do colours and product design.
Tone-of-Voice: The words, language, and style both written and spoken that you use to communicate the messages of your product or service.
Emotional: How does your brand make your customer feel at any given moment, from the feelings invoked when they see your brand identity, the experience they have when using your product or service for the first time, to their dealing with customer service.
These four key areas are very powerful and go a long way towards connecting existing and potential customers to your brand. Building a successful brand requires constant maintenance to ensure the promise that you are making to your customers is being kept, as well as ensuring that the intended perception you want your brand to have is foremost in your customer’s mind.
Think of a brand and the branding process as a vehicle in which to connect your idea, product or service to your customers: get it right by regularly fine-tuning along the way and they will join you; get it wrong then checking in for a major overhaul will be required or worse heading for the scrap heap! And you certainly don’t want that.
I hope this mini-series has helped in some way to clarify the definition of a brand and branding for you. And if you are ready to develop your brand do have a look at Define Your Brand, a video course I designed to help you through the process.