What is a Brand?

So exactly what is a brand? While a logo is certainly the face of your brand, according to Jerry McLaughlin, CEO of Branders.com, your company’s brand is “the perception someone holds in their head about you, a product, a service, an organisation, a cause, or an idea”. He goes on to say, “Brand building is the deliberate and skilful application of effort to create a desired perception in someone else’s mind.”

Like it or loathe it, McDonalds delivers a consistent brand message. It’s iconic and instantly recognisable the world over – and whether you order your Big Mac in Russia, Hong Kong, Southampton or Guildford, you know exactly what you’re going to get. No more, no less. And if you think about the other ‘big brands’ out there, you’ll notice that their name, logo, customer interaction all comes together to influence how you feel about them – everything about Marks and Spencer says quality and customer service, while Primark says ‘cheap and cheerful’.

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Knowing and understanding your target market or audience will enable you to come up with a look, feel and tone which is appealing to your customers. Identify your point of difference or unique selling point (USP) and work that into your brand strategy. This is what sets your business apart from your competition and should be reflected in your brand.

Ultimately your brand will be most recognisable by your logo but must be supported by actions and output. Everything must reinforce your brand values from top to bottom as consistency is paramount to ensure repeat business. Taking our McDonalds example, it benefits from repeat business because customers know what to expect and those expectations are generally met.

So your brand is actually multi-layered and multi-dimensional but should always deliver a consistent message to set and deliver on customer expectations – whether you’re the fastest, the cheapest or the most expensive at what you do. Every communication with every customer, or potential customer, should deliver the same message about you as a business and reinforce customer perception to build and gain trust, repeat business and recommendation.

If you’d like some help identifying your brand values and visualising those as a versatile logo, colour palette and, perhaps supporting strapline or positioning statement, call us on 01420 568127 or visit the Branding section on our website to find out more.

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