02 Sep What is branding?
Branding is very much debated today. Some people call themselves branding strategists (like me), some just focus on making the logo identity marks. So is the brand the logo? Not really.
Branding gives you a gut feeling
In reality, branding should make you feel something. It could make you feel like this:
But it could also make you feel like this:
“Branding makes you love it or hate it. It makes you feel.”
Branding is what your customers think about you.
Branding starts with WHY
Famous Simon Sinek’s video “How great leaders inspire action” is an inspiration for all creatives, sales, and marketers.
His golden circle diagram explains why some companies are able to inspire more than the others. Those who start with WHY are the most trusted brands. WHY is your cause, your vision, your motivation behind starting the business.
When you share your values, you naturally attract people who share the same beliefs. These people will be there for you when you are launching your product when you are selling or failing to sell.
I believe that “WHY” is the first step to building a brand.
How to build WHY?
- Think of where you want to be in the next 5, 10,15 and 20 years. Where will your company be?
- Create your own Simon Sinek, Golden Circle, What, How, Why.
- Write your values and live by them. What is that moves you the most? What makes you cry or laugh?
- Define the audience that you are speaking with. You cannot share your beliefs if you don’t know who are you talking to.
If you are not sure how to set it up, we have a full Makako Branding package that includes these exercises in a 4-hour workshop in the first stage of the project.
What are other branding components?
- Company positioning: what personality will your brand have? Who are your competitors?
- Visual components: logo design, stationery, website
- Sales communication and procedures
- Marketing messaging
- Internal company values and procedures
There could be even more things on the list. It depends on the type of business that you are in. I believe that a good branding strategy can set up the backbone for the business. A practical guide can help to start and build a prototype that can be carried out throughout all the channels.
What was first marketing or branding?
It can be easily confused because both departments work on the same goal. The goal is to build a trusted client. There should be actually no question, which one to choose.
- branding strategist should set up the visual language and personality
- a marketer should work on market research and marketing action plan
Ideally, the two should work together. My favorite process is to have the market research first, then working on branding strategy, branding visual components and finally on the marketing action plan. Then we apply the branding into the action plan.
Marketing -> Branding -> Marketing -> Branding
Here is a great discussion on understanding the difference or starting a conversation to unite the two.
As Chris Do said:
“Marketing is what you say it is. Branding is what they say it is”.
What is branding for you? What moves you the most?