What is Branding?
Branding is not just a logo design. You can’t just design a logo and say “that’s our branding.” It’s factually incorrect.
Your logo design is part of your brand identity – which is different to your brand. You also can’t create a logo design and a set of stationery and call that branding either.
That’s only one tiny part of the branding puzzle. We’ll talk more about branding design and brand identity later in the post.
Branding is how people view and perceive your company. It’s also how you as the owner, and your workforce view and perceive the company. It’s your what, your how, and your why.
It’s not the design of your logo, business, cards, or website. Again, that’s your brand identity.It’s about more than the brand design that your company has to offer.
It’s about how an audience connects with your company on multiple levels, and through different brand touch points.
A brand can be described as a company, service, product, or person, that has a voice and personality of their own.
A designer can’t “make” a brand. Or design a brand. Designers design a brand identity that reflects a brand.
The branding itself has to come from the company. From their brand strategy.
- What are some of their core values?
- What do they stand for?
- What makes their product unique?
- What is their unique selling point?
- Who are their target customers?
Questions like this form the basis of a brand strategy and should be established within the company in the first instance. A designer or design agency builds the foundation of a brand, or is brought in to enhance the brand’s visual and corporate identity.
A lot of people, including some designers, think that branding a company simply involves designing a handful of visual elements; logo design, stationery design, colours, fonts etc. In reality, it is a lot more involved than that. A design or brand agency knits together the values of the brand with the visual identity. We don’t just produce a variety of pretty designs and call it a branding project. Professional design agencies take concepts and ideas from the companies brand strategy and bring them to realisation in the most appropriate format, sometimes suggesting improvements or refining the original strategy along the way.
A professional design or branding agency creates visuals that make up the corporate identity of a company, showing what it stands for and highlighting their beliefs. It’s not just purely a logo design and some colours put together and made to look pretty.
There are some great articles and books available about branding. I’d highly recommend reading Jacob Cass’s article Branding, Identity and Logo Design Explained; in which Jacob candidly explains the difference between the three practices.
The following video is also a great overview of the definition of branding and what branding is all about