What is branding?
Speaking in terms of SeñorLópez, what is Branding?
To make it easier, we’ll start by sharing what Branding is not. Branding is not just about creating a logo, a typeface or designing a label. Branding has everything, absolutely everything to do with brands.
We usually think that a brand is a logo, but that’s not just it. Although the logo is very important, it is not a brand, its the symbol that helps to identify it and make it memorable. A brand is not just a visual system with guidelines to apply a logo on stationery, advertising, publications or graphics, neither just a product or a service.
So what is a brand?
A brand is something intangible that is built from tangible elements (yes, it sounds inspiring and that’s why branding is so appealing). It’s a relationship between material and symbolic aspects. Marty Neumeier, an expert on branding whom we truly admire, sums it up in his book The Brand Gap: “A brand is the feeling a person has about a product, a service or a company”. That means, it is a vision built in a person’s mind which moves him/her to have a specific position towards it. Branding and brand management are all about managing the differences and perceptions that are built in people’s minds. Therefore, branding is not only based on sales data, but also on qualitative information about the brand’s perception.
That’s why, for SeñorLópez, branding means managing different elements that interact harmoniously to give a sense and a imaginary to the brand. It’s to manage every aspect that is part of the customer experience, aspects that will contribute to leave an imprint in their mind (obviously a positive one). Branding goes far beyond creating a visual identity, although this is an important part of it. The image must respond to strategic decisions and contribute to form and reflect a defined, consistent and meaningful identity. Branding also builds coherent, strong and relevant narratives for the people with whom a brand wants to connect with.
Branding is the result of the complete management of a brand. A well planned and structured management. Based on a complete analysis that makes it possible to sketch, execute and evaluate according to the business strategy. This includes, among others, the visual and nominal identity (name) that together with the narrative and communication, will reflect the heart of the brand and make everyone who relates with it fall in love.
Let’s remember that the meaning that people give to the visual identity system of a brand will be initially related to the interpretations of the designed graphic system. But once the brand is launched, the experience people will have around the it’s products and services will be key in building the brand’s imaginary in people’s minds. That’s why it’s so important to manage each brand touchpoint. Making sure each one is helping to build a positive imaginary with customers, users or consumers. Brands must be constantly cultivated, not just at the begining!
Where does the word Branding comes from?
The word Branding has its origin in the action of branding cattle with an iron, a tradition since 2,000 BC. The idea was to place a stamp on the cows to identify them as their own. This stamp had special characteristics that made it different. In other words, it was unique and helped whoever saw the cows know who they belonged to and where they came from. If we think about it for a moment, this stamp identified the cattle with certain properties, values or advantages associated with their owners or the ranch to which they belonged.
Throughout time, branding’s main objective has remain the same: to have a distinctive imaginary that identifies a product or service and allows it to be associated with its quality, origin, values, beliefs, positions, etc.
SeñorLópez knows about branding and you know about your business. Let’s team up and build a memorable brand!