It’s kind of perfect that I’m writing this post as I am helping to develop one of my client’s brand. In this blog post I will go over what branding is about, why we brand, and the overarching goals.

I mentioned in the previous preface about this topic that I will write about branding in the scope of a start-up. That’s my area of speciality and it’s often overlooked. There are so many moving parts to a start-up, so certain things are, unfortunate, left at the wayside. So, the first thing we need to go over is ‘what is branding’?

/ Branding 101

I don’t want you to confuse branding with other areas of marketing. I am not writing about marketing and PR strategies, or mission statements, or background research: branding starts after all of that. Branding begins only after you’ve figured out your target market, your niche, your object, your mission and goals.

Branding is more than a logo, iconography or label name. Branding at its core is about creating a unique selling proposition for your product or service with the ultimate goal of imprinting on your consumers. Imprinting doesn’t happen over night. It’s a long and exhausting process, but when you get there, your brand might become the next house hold name.

Branding at its core is about creating a unique selling proposition for your product or service with the ultimate goal of imprinting on your consumers.

Simply put, it is the promise and the reputation of your service or product (S/P). The promise is the immediate reward your consumers get from using your S/P. The reputation is the perceived value of the S/P. Wine is a great example! If you’re like me, and have a super entry-level of wine knowledge, you want wine that kind of goes well with everything. There is this one bottle of Riesling for only $12 and I love it! The promise of the brand is, when I drink it, I will be happy because (a) it’s only twelve dollars and (b) Rieslings are my jam. The reputation comes from the vineyards and the heritage behind wine making. I know that when I pick up this specific bottle of Riseling from this specific vineyard, it’s going to be good. So your brand is built on the S/P and the consistency which in turn continues to deliver on that promise and develop a strong reputation.

/ Goals of Branding

As I mentioned earlier in this post, the goal is to imprint. Let me explain that a bit. Imprinting occurs in nature with ducks, turkeys, and geese (the common thread seems to be poultry 🙂 ). According to PBS, imprinting is a period of time when an animal forms attachments and develops a concept of its own identity. Imprinting in reference to branding means exactly that, getting your consumers to develop an attachment with specifically your brand and it starts to become a part of their daily lives and interactions. When this happens, oh my friend, you become a part of pop culture history. Just like Kleenex, Frisbees and Band-Aid, their brands are now used as references to facial tissue, spinning discs…and I don’t even know another word for band-aid. Joking. Maybe.

Now of course that’s the ultimate goal, but a simple imprinting goal could be your S/P is first mentioned in relations to that category. Branding is one of those few strategies that focuses on the past (i.e. Coca Cola brings back the Classic Coke), the present (i.e. addressing real consumer issues and trouble shoot in real time), and the future (always evolving and developing).

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