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2 min read

Branding 101: What is a Brand?

Key Takeaways

  • A brand is built on a core message. It’s not just a logo, but a philosophy that a company presents to the world.
  • The way that brands are perceived depends on several elements that are all focused around one thing: the circumstances, desires, and preferences of a target audience.
  • Successful brands are recognisable and evoke emotive experiences for those who encounter them.

A strong brand can real­ly make or break your busi­ness. It can help your com­pa­ny stand out from com­peti­tors and allow your cus­tomers to iden­ti­fy you imme­di­ate­ly. This cre­ates loy­al­ty and client reten­tion and pro­vides a cost-effec­tive base upon which to mar­ket your busi­ness. This series of blog posts will attempt to address what a brand is and how you, with the help of pur­ple­plan­et, can achieve greater suc­cess through bet­ter brand marketing.

Part I: What is a brand?

A brand is a way of life. It’s a way of instant­ly recog­nis­ing a com­pa­ny or insti­tu­tion, often with­out the need for text or images. It’s not just the logo, with which many peo­ple asso­ciate the word ‘brand’, but rather a phi­los­o­phy upon which the com­pa­ny choos­es to present itself to the world. Exam­ples of clev­er­ly brand­ed com­pa­nies include Coca-Cola, Nike, Apple or BMW. You see an Apple adver­tise­ment and, for the most part, you’re able to recog­nise it as such before even see­ing a logo or com­pa­ny name. I’ve men­tioned these glob­al con­glom­er­ates, sim­ply because I know you will be able to asso­ciate with them. This does­n’t mean small busi­ness­es can’t also cre­ate and devel­op their own suc­cess­ful brand. Your com­pa­ny might not be recog­nised the world over, but those who expe­ri­ence your brand will know it’s you.

A strong brand for your busi­ness is based around per­cep­tion, which is cre­at­ed inside the minds of staff and cus­tomers and based on what they see, hear, feel and expe­ri­ence about your company.

These emo­tions are based on mes­sages you send out at all lev­els, includ­ing, but not lim­it­ed to, a logo, a par­tic­u­lar font, a jin­gle, a slo­gan or per­haps even an actor or actress, who pro­vides voiceovers on com­mer­cials. It’s all part of the brand and every ele­ment is impor­tant in defin­ing who and what you are.

In order to begin with your brand­ing, you first need to deter­mine who your ide­al tar­get audi­ence is. There’s no point hav­ing bright colours, chil­dren singing and clowns for a com­pa­ny that sells replace­ment parts for speed­boat engines. Hmmm, maybe some­one’s missed a mar­ket oppor­tu­ni­ty there…?

Find your core message

Ini­tial­ly, you need to know exact­ly who you are try­ing to con­nect with, and what your core mes­sage is, before you even start think­ing about branding:

  • Is your com­pa­ny phi­los­o­phy based on cost or quality?
  • Which mem­bers of the pub­lic or the busi­ness world are your tar­get audience?
  • Where does your busi­ness fit in your cho­sen market?
  • Who are your busi­ness com­peti­tors and how do they present themselves?

In part II – The Pow­er of Brand­ing, we’ll focus on what your com­pa­ny is about and the poten­tial cus­tomers you are targeting.




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