What is Branding?

“Branding” has been quite the hot marketing buzz-word in recent years. But what the heck IS it? Sure it includes a logo. Maybe some certain colors. But is that enough to make your brand recognizable? Can it cut through the noise your competitors are making? Does it connect with your ideal customer?


What the heck does branding mean?

Ok, so we’re about to get REALLY literal here and bust out the dictionary on you. Bear with us, we’re going somewhere with this. Here goes:

noun brand·ing \ˈbran-diŋ\
:  the promoting of a product or service by identifying it with a particular brand

noun \ˈbrand\
: a category of products that are all made by a particular company and all have a particular name
:  a class of goods identified by name as the product of a single firm or manufacturer

brand name
noun \ˈbrand-name\
:  a name that is given by a manufacturer or merchant to an article or service to distinguish it as produced or sold by that manufacturer or merchant and that may be used and protected as a trademark

So, to tie it all together….

Branding is telling the world WHO you are, WHAT you do, WHY you do it, and who you do it FOR. It is the creation of a customer experience represented by a name, a logo, a slogan, a design, and a color scheme that distinctly identifies a company or product and separate them from competitors.

As a small business owner, it’s easy to get so focused on the day-to-day happenings of who your business is, what you do, why you do it that you forget to consider who you are doing it for. You know so well why you’re the best at what you do, you don’t realize that maybe everyone else doesn’t. Are you doing a good job at establishing that message for them?

Are you Recognizable?

Has your company ever been confused with the guy down the street or had prospective clients call unclear of exactly what it is you do? If so, you may have a serious branding problem. And no, this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to scrap everything you’ve ever done and order all new stationary. But then again, it might.

Take a cold, hard look at your logo, your slogan, your website, your marketing materials. Look at it through the eyes of your ideal customer. Can you easily tell what your company does? What makes you different or better than competitors? Who you provide your product or service for?  Does your brand seem knowledgeable and trustworthy?

If the big picture still isn’t “clicking” for you, this video may help tie it all together…



Branding is a big topic. So big, this is the first in a series of articles we’re putting out to help educate on the importance of it. What aspect of branding has you stumped?