Branding & Corporate Identity
What is a "Brand"?
Ranchers used to burn initials or symbols on their cattle to differentiate them from others grazing in open pastures. These marks were called brands. In time, people began to identify quality products from certain ranches with the marks on the steers. The mark became a symbol that represented quality, price, ethics – everything the ranch was about. Today, by definition, a Brand is a name, term, sign, symbol or design, or combination of these, that is INTENDED to identify the goods and services of a business & to differentiate them from their competitors.
In practice though, it's much deeper than that. Branding encompasses both what the company stands for or represents and what the customer thinks about the company. There’s a mind-boggling assortment of shoes for sale. The ones the sell the best, and command the highest price tag, are the ones that sell more than just shoes. They sell a promise, a lifestyle, a belief. Today, when we talk about branding, we’re referring to the business process behind creating and managing that “personality.”
What is "Corporate Identity"?
Branding sets the stage for the development of Corporate Identity. And this becomes the visual expression of the brand – the look, shape, colors and story that give it life. UPS isn't brown and gold by accident, the color choice is an intentional decision to reinforce a brand personality that’s hi-class (gold) and dependable (brown). UPS carries these colors right down to its socks. That’s how important the colors are to the message.
You can certainly create a logo without a brand behind it, and you'll have, well, a logo, that's it. When you build your Corporate Identity out of a brand, you have a consistent message that extends across your logo, advertising, uniforms, client communications and employee behavior. But more than that, it is an organic outgrowth of the brand that you have strategically developed for yourself. It becomes a cohesive, intentional package that reflects who you are in everything you do.
A Word About “Advertising”
Advertising is what you do to tell the world about your brand. It’s a one-way flow of information (yours) designed to influence and form how consumers think about your brand and, by extension, your products and services. Before you can advertise effectively, you need a brand.
This is the most valuable way to begin any project. Make sure your goals and your message are in sync. Its easy to get started with our online form.
Make sure your market is hearing what you're saying before you launch your brand. Some options are available here.