Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

What Is Brand? What Is Branding? Your Be-Stumped-No-More Answers

Great Brands and Great Brand Strategy Is Not B.S.

In American Western lore, cattle ranchers used hot irons to "brand" their livestock, thus ensuring they could identify any animal that wandered away from the herd. The process was risky, involving the use of red-hot tools and calves that could put a hoof through your spleen if they managed to wriggle loose.

Today, branding hasn't changed much.

According to a column appearing in Canada's National Post, your brand is the identity of your product or company—an emotive touchstone that prevents your marketing messages from wandering too far from the herd. And successful branding remains as difficult as ever.

Branding is difficult. As those involved can barely begin without understanding what they are about to attempt. Ask 10 people to define what branding is, and you receive 10 different answers.

Astonishingly, this is also true if you ask any 100 people who say they are in the brand consulting business. You receive 100 different answers. Bewildering.

While reputation is the centerpoint of brand and branding—ask Brian Williams today how important that is—the author offers this answer to what is branding:  

However, WHISPER, a US-based consultancy, brings clarity to this essential task. Rather than the often bewildering definitions and schematics offered by design shops, ad agencies and PR firms, WHISPER says branding is all about:

"Defining WHY you are, so that you become the only logical choice for WHAT you offer."

WHISPER says the definition is an 'organizing principle' to demonstrate why you matter in a competitive marketplace.

And yes, we indeed say this very thing. Often.

The author continues:

This definition is hugely useful and insightful.

It says the best branding comes from the clear intent of the people behind the brand. That definition is what makes branding personal and compelling.

Many thanks to our neighbors in Canada, although rather than relying on "clear intent" of those behind the brand, we instead rely on the passion and dreams behind creation of their product. The result is the same however, as our definition is all about creating personal intimacy and relevance between person and product. 

But if Branding is the "defining" part, what is Brand? The answer is simply:

What exactly do you allow people to experience that cannot otherwise be found anywhere in the world? 

Find the answer, easily verbalize it in seconds, and you possess a valuable and exclusive asset others want. Your brand. 

Talk with us, and we'll share more.

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