Branding - What does it mean?

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This word gets thrown around a lot in the advertising and marketing world but what does it actually mean? Branding is a combination of a few different elements. I like to break it down this way- Branding is the external representation of your internal business values and philosophy (Thanks to Kerri at for your words of wisdom). Basically what your business looks and sounds like to your customers.

But what is good branding? And more importantly how do you find out what your brand is? This is the first and most important step. You need to know who you are as a business because if you don’t know then your customers definitely won’t. This is where you need to ask yourself those annoying but important questions; what do I stand for? What do I believe in? What is important to me? How do I want to communicate? What do I want my customers to feel and think when they see my products / services? All these elements are so important because if you don’t communicate to your customers what to think and feel about you then they will make up their own mind and it could be damaging to your business.

When you think about famous brands around the world i.e. – Apple, Coke, Nike, Channel you have an instant feeling or thought about them straight away. You know exactly the type of brand they are and what they stand for. Apple = design and innovation, Coke = fun and youth, Nike = strength, street style and determination (just do it) Channel = luxury, extravagance and high design. With just the name of the brand it conjures up all the feelings and ideas the companies want you to feel about them. It’s not a fluke, it’s on purpose. They have worked for years to create those ideas and feelings around their brand. And the good news is you can do that too.

When you show your customers through your branding – your logos, graphics, website design, copy, advertising, promotional material, customer experiences, you tell them who you are and what you stand for and how they should think and feel about you. When all of these elements fit together you are telling your customers who you are and what they should think and feel about you.

What do you stand for and what do you want people to feel when they think about your business?