So how does branding work and how do you define your brand?

If you’re reaching for your marketing plan or thinking about your logo right now, we should probably take a minute to talk about how branding works.

How branding works

A strong brand is not something you can measure by social media engagement stats. It’s not a colour, a logo or how you put words together. Your brand is your identity that sits outside your business. It’s how others perceive you; how they feel about you. Your brand strategy is how you influence that.

Why should you care about how branding works?

1. Branding is not marketing

Most people confuse branding and marketing, but they are not the same thing. Marketing is designed to influence your customers on how to feel about your product, service or business. Through marketing, we can create windows for people to see how a brand looks, feels and operates in the world. Branding is how people take all that information and form an opinion for themselves.

2. Brands must have a purpose

Brands work best when they express a clear purpose through simple actions. Adopting more than one purpose creates too many focal points for customers and can leave them confused or unsure about what you represent.

The best brands are sticky. In other words, memorable. They identify the best way to connect with people and stick to that, building trust and connections. By working on an emotional level, your brand can exert subtle influence over time. And when a customer needs what you’re offering, they’ll remember your brand and come looking for your product or service to solve their problem.

3. Brands have values

All brands have values that set the tone for who you are and what you believe in. Deciding on a set of values from the beginning makes it easier for customers to identify shared values.

While you may only have one purpose, your values can cover several attributes. Things like innovation, excellence, safety, problem-solving, fun, quality, curiosity. Once you’ve chosen your values you can create links between you and your customers to connect them to your brand.

4. Brands start from within

Branding works from the inside out. That is, brand values start with your team and how you do business. It’s very difficult to adopt a set of brand values that you don’t believe in. As humans, we’ve got a pretty good radar for spotting when things are off. When the actions of people inside a business match the brand purpose and values, brands always have greater impact.

Branding works by creating opportunities for growth and revenue through a clear purpose, strong values and consistent effort. The important part is knowing how to do that.

Check out this post for more about what makes a brand stand out.