What is branding anyway?
Let’s start by defining the word “brand” in marketing terms. According to the American Marketing Association, “a brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.”
Branding, then, is the practice of assigning and - most importantly - controlling that name, term, design, symbol and those differentiating features.
Think about Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Each company delivers what is essentially the same product: a cola-flavored carbonated soft drink. In order to stand out in the marketplace, each of those two brands must decide what its product’s differentiating features are and must communicate those differentiating features clearly, consistently and – just as importantly – frequently.
The same theory applies to the small business person. There are a gazillion real estate agents, chefs, hairstylists and fitness providers out there. Each of those small business people – if they are to stand out in the marketplace – must brand themselves based on a differentiating feature.
Take the Brandingle branding, for instance. Chances are pretty good that this website is your first impression of who we are and what we’re about. We are quite purposeful about creating a look and feel that’s accessible to the everyperson, no matter what the profession may be. We are quite purposeful about using everyday language in everyday ways so that our target clientele never has to feel like they’re going to be dealing with a know-it-all brainiac representative. We consistently receive kudos for ensuring that our site’s look and feel matches up to what we’re really like in the real world – accessible, regular people who happen to be really good at this thing called branding.
Determining that differentiating feature is no small task in a saturated marketplace. Click on the SWOT link under our “branding” tab to get a little assistance in determining how to start effectively branding yourself.