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Branding / Mar 9, 2021

What’s a Brand?


Kyle Duford


We believe a brand is a series of promises. It declares a value proposition, and every touch is another chance to set experience expectations for your current and your future target consumers.

The intangible sum of a product’s attributes:
its name, packaging and price, its history, its
reputation, and the way it’s advertised.

- David Ogilvy

Successfully done, the promises deliver a consistent message and experience: one sight, one sound, one sell. In other words, you build brand loyalty, impact retention and growth, and improve customer acquisition when everything seen and heard reinforces the value proposition that you promised.

The Misconception

The common misconception is that once you have a logo and a color palette, then you have a brand. While these are components of your brand communications, they are the tip of the iceberg. Brandbuilding is a continuous investment, and it affects every part of your business. If managed correctly it will help you stand out, drive preference, and build a loyal base of loving fans that will sell your brand for you.

What is Positioning?

Positioning is the process of differentiating a product, service, or company in the mind of a customer, relative to its competitors. It’s the most effective way of gaining a competitive advantage. When their market or circumstances change, businesses may have to “reposition” themselves,
prompting a rebrand.

What is Differentiation?

Your differentiation is the unique difference that sets you apart from your competitors. A strong brand uses differentials to make it clear to customers why a particular business is the best choice for them.

Why You Need Strategy (Not Just a Brand)

A brand is made up of much more than just your logo, tagline, and collateral. Customers want to know what you stand for, what you aim to accomplish with your product, etc., and all of that comes from your brand strategy. But even that isn't enough to ensure your company's success. So what all is needed?

Brand Strategy

A brand strategy is your operational and marketing choices for long-term success. It’s the guiding business direction that aligns the business with the message being conveyed to the outside world. This includes your purpose (Why does your brand exist?), your vision (What future do you want to help create?), your mission: (How do you create that future?), and your values (Who are you and how do you work?).

These elements keep the train on the track, so to speak, both internally guiding staff, vendors, and partners; and simultaneously aiding marketers to know how to convey the message to the outside world.

Product Strategy

Your products need a strategy, too. Are you adding product categories or going deeper with the ones you have already brought to market? Deciding which products make the cut to manufacture or how to take them to market both need the guidance from the Brand Strategy and help support it. Seasonal fashion brands, for example, will have a different strategy than tech companies, but all should be guided by the brand.

Communication Strategy

Communication is important to growth. Both internal communication and external messaging (from PR or marketing) should align with the overall voice and tone of the brand, sent strategically from the part of the brand, and not deviate from color, style, or tone from the guidelines.

Keep reading: Why You Should Rebrand

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