What is Branding and Why It Matters?

“What is branding?”

“What is brand?”

“Is branding and brand different?”

“I have a brand, does it mean I do branding?”

“I have a name and logo, does it mean I have a brand?”

Those are some basic questions often asked related to brand and branding. We all can agree that the term of brand and branding are confusing, sometimes. People misunderstood about what brand is and what branding is. Hopefully this article can give you a little help for understanding what brand and branding is. Let’s begin.

“Product is created in the factory, brand is created in the mind.” — Walter Landor.

Let’s begin with the simplest idea. Brand is different with product. When you create product, it doesn’t mean you create a brand. Walter Landor describe it perfectly with a simple line, products is created in the factory, brand is created in the mind. There are lots of explanation and meaning to describe what brand is in Google, now. Some resource say that brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room. Some other say that brand is your relationship with the customers. Or brand is the experience you build for your prospect. Let’s just recap all those definitions.

“BRAND IS A UNIQUE SET OF ASSOCIATIONS IN THE MIND OF A CUSTOMER”

Brand is not a single thing. Brand is not built upon one thing. Brand is a unique set of associations that you built for customer. Here is a simple example:

Takes Apple for an example. Mention the name of Apple, and all the associations appear on mind are likely about innovation, well built machine, cutting edge, exclusive. Those are the set of associations that Apple built upon many things, such as: logo, marketing strategy, product development, user experience, customer service, product design, packaging design, etc. That what makes Apple as a brand.

Starbucks is associated with coffee, third place between home and office, homey nuance, friendly user experience. That is Starbucks as a brand. Brand is not only about name, logo, or other visual design. It is the combination of all those things.

“Okay, I understand about what brand is. Next question, what is branding? It sounds similar with brand.”

Let’s move to next point that also confuse people.

We’ve agreed that brand is a unique set of associations in the mind of a customer. Then, branding is everything you do to create or influence those associations. Let’s break it down.

When you know what brand is, then you might have some goals for your brand. You want your brand to be associated with particular things. Maybe you want your brand to be associated with fun, kindness, joyful, etc. After that, you surely will find a way to achieve that, won’t you? The way you make to build a brand is branding.

You want your brand to be associated as a fun, joyful, kind brand. So, you will make or change some stuffs. You need a name, logo, or packaging that reflect fun, joyful and kind. But don’t just stop there. Most people only think about ‘visual identity’-logo, color, packaging-when they heard about branding. It is more than that. Don’t forget, brand is a set of associations. What else can build associations? Maybe it is your customer services, your after sales experiences, your user experience, your website design, your packaging design, your endorsement system, your marketing strategy, your value for customers, etc.

Let’s just recap the things.

Brand, is a unique set of associations in the mind of a customer.

Branding, is everything you do to create or influence those associations.

Hopefully, this article could help you in understanding brand and branding. By the time you reading this, maybe you wonder, “Okay, I know what brand is and I know what branding is. What’s next?” Just stay with us, we have another thing to help you find your brand’s greatest potential.

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