Branding, as a term, came about approximately 4,000 years ago and refers to the branding of livestock. The goal was for a rancher to claim the product as their own and prevent theft. Since then, the term"branding" has evolved to artisans claiming credit for their work(like a signature), to industrial factories claiming their products, and now to businesses differentiating their products and offerings from those of their competitors.
Branding, at its core, is the act of marking something so as to differentiate it from other objects of its kind. You're pretty much doing what you can to let people know that this thing you're offering is different than what other businesses are offering. This can be done in a number of ways including naming, logo, packaging, positioning, voice/attitude, and attributes. Basically anything that gives additional meaning to the things being branded in the minds of consumers. By clarifying what a brand is and is not, we can attract new customers and retain loyal customers, as long as the product is consistently aligned with what the brand promises. The idea or image consumers have in mind when they think about your products or services both in a practical and an emotional way is what a brand truly is. The feelings consumers develop towards a company are just as important as the physical features of a brand. The goal is to trigger that emotional connection in the consumer when they're exposed to the name, logo, visual identity, and message being communicated.
How can branding be achieved? When most people think of branding, they think of the logo design, but that is only the first touchpoint at the surface of a brand. Logo design helps customers to identify a company, but a brand is really created through accumulation and exposure. Some common ways to achieve this are through advertising and communications, product and packaging, in-store experience and digital experience, pricing, partnerships and sponsorships, and the visual identity of the brand like the logo, website, colors and typography. The visual aspects of branding are the most visible and tangible and they let your customers know what they can expect from your business. However, that is only part of it. It's up to you as the business owner, to be sure that your company follows through on the brand promise.
All in all, the product is what’s being sold. The brand is the perception of the product being sold and the company selling it, and branding is the means of creating the perceived image.
If you think you may need some help with your business’s visual branding, feel free to contact us for a consultation or free quote.