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What is branding?

What is branding and why is it so important for a business to establish it?

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5 Answers

Lauren Clemett

Lauren Clemett , Director at Ultimate Business Propellor

Branding is your unique single minded purpose.

It enables your prospects to instantly identify your business and attach emotion to their perception of you.

The human brain sees almost 5000 branded messages a day, so branding helps you stand out from the competition and gain attention.

Donald Trump once said a business without a brand is a commodity.

Branding enables you to communicate why someone should choose you.

It embodies your culture, purpose, definition and your appeal to all of the prospects senses including visual (Nike swoosh v Adidas stripes), auditory (Apple start-up v Windows), taste (i.e. Coke v Pepsi).

For a personal brand it's all about the 3 R's: Recognition, reputation & respect.

Jeff Bezos of Amazon suggests your personal brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.

What do you want people to say about you when they refer you?

I believe your personal brand is your expertise. The thing you do with ease that others find difficult - that's why it's called expert-ease.

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Brian Mallyon

Brian Mallyon , Owner at Luckypole Limited

For me, branding, as it relates to business is entirely a matter of how I/my company is perceived by my customer.

My name, my logo etc. can be branded onto a product or a letterhead to show my name, but it is what my company does, and how it does it, that is the brand.

I know it is relevant to larger companies, but, despite people who design logos telling me they are important, I am still not convinced they are as important for small companies. Can't recall anyone ever telling me they saw my company logo and decided to make contact.

Likewise, there is a comment above about branding for Nike vs Adidas. I wouldn't have a clue what the culture or purpose is of either, or how one differs from the other, I tend to buy Adidas because they fit my feet better. There is no message that makes me prefer one over the other for anything other than practical reasons, and I have bought both brandnames.

It then becomes an issue of whether I am the target market for either Nike or Adidas and hiow they respond to me.

And you know when your branding is working because instead of someone saying they are off to buy a pair of shoes, they say, I am off to get some new Nike's/Addidas, or instead of buying a phone, they are off to get the latest iPhone.

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Jef Lippiatt

Jef Lippiatt , Owner at Startup Chucktown

My answer is a bit of a different take on branding. Branding is a complex topic because it literally involves all aspects of your business (whether you believe that or not).

So, why is branding so tricky? You don't and can't control everything (seriously, you just can't). But let that be empowering not intimidating.

Branding is:

  • Your Business Name
  • Your company logo
  • Your company's color palette
  • Your company's tone / voice (serious, playful, sarcastic, etc.)
  • How your business is different than competitors (on purpose)
  • The audience or customers you are targeting
  • Your pricing structure
  • Your internal company training
  • What your customers are saying about your company
  • How you act on customer feedback
  • How involved you want customers to be (customer engagement)
  • How you handle a crisis or bad publicity

Nothing from the above list on its own is "the brand" they are only pieces. The sum is always greater than the individual parts. The strongest brands are the ones that spend time and energy on all of the above topics. They are also the most adaptable to change as technology, economy, political and customer needs ebb and flow.

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John Eustace

John Eustace , Principal / Communications and Media Strategist at Bells and Whistles Marketing Pty Ltd

Branding is the application and/of use of logos, symbols, words, sounds, fragrances or product design to promote consumer awareness to either goods and services identity.

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Maree Ross

Maree Ross , Marketing Specialist / Principal at MissM Marketing

Branding in simple terms is a combination of words and images that represent your company or or specific products and services. From a marketing perspective, it is a crucial element for your business and you need to ensure you have a consistent brand and brand message across everything you do, and all touch points for your clients. Hope this helps you Huy.

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