The term branding is often thought of as developing a name or a logo for a company or product (service). However, branding is much broader and includes brand strategy, brand identity, brand management and the brand experience.
1. Brand strategy relates to customer and market insight, positioning, product definition, brand hierarchy, and platform; brand strategy serves as the foundation to brand identity, management and experience.
2. Brand identity or visual branding are all visual (and verbal) elements including name (trademarks), logo, messaging, graphic themes (including color), taglines and messages, standards or guidelines.
3. Brand management is the planning and administration of all aspects of brand marketing including launch, training, assets and tools, monitoring brand usage, assessing brand (awareness, equity, preference).
4. Brand experience is all communications, interactions with your company or product, from advertising to telephone messages, signage to websites.
Like brand naming, other aspects of branding are some of the most critical business decisions you can make, and a decision that effects all other marketing. Why is branding important? A customer’s brand perception is the sum of all brand experiences; positive perceptions lead to brand preference, commanding premiums, and driving financial success.
Brand strategy, implementation and management differ for established versus new brands or new products. For established brands, the brand name and visual identity of your company or product is your most valuable marketing asset. Consider a corporate brand like Caterpillar (CAT).
Along with the corporate or product brand name or trademark are visual identities. For example, color palettes like Caterpillar yellow, logos and various graphic elements. Other branding elements include taglines and messaging.
Established brand identities are carefully managed by identity standards or usage guidelines. Brand names or trademarks are protected legally by trademark registrations and proper trademark usage.
New brands or new products should go through a strategic brand development process. Like established brands, the elements of a brand identity are the name or trademark, along with the visual identity including colors, logos and graphic elements. Brand architecture is another consideration, or how corporate and product brands relate to each other.
Whether an established or new brand, using market research and various tools like perceptual maps can identify positioning strategy options.
This is an excerpt from Breakthrough Branding: Brand Naming Tips & Trade Secrets, a new book from IDeas BIG.