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What’s in a Name? What’s in a Brand?

What comes to mind when a name such as “John F. Kennedy”, or “Apple” is mentioned? Certain qualities, unique characters, their visions, values, beliefs, their sound, look, … the entire package of inner substance and outer appeal imbued to a particular name, and a specific brand.  

The word “brand” has been used to mean many different things. The word “branding” has evolved about 100 years ago, from literally either branding a cow’s hide with a hot iron to indicate ownership, or trademarking a class of goods, to something like this:

“The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumer’s mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.” (http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/branding.html)

The part about advertising is getting a bit out of date. In the last 10 years, as internet and social media marketing is blossoming, traditional advertising is no longer matching the speed AND effectiveness of digital online marketing.  As the end-users are inundated with information from multiple social media platforms, texts, emails, printed information, their attention span is getting shorter and shorter.  Corporations, businesses, organizations and professionals are facing with the challenge of getting their messages out, to the right people, for long term brand loyalty.

How to powerfully differentiate a brand name, emotionally connect to its target audience, and authentically build a long lasting relationship, a/k/a brand loyalty? What media can deliver with both the impact and speed? We need to start from the core.

A brand is the heart, soul, mind and body of a business, whatever its size and nature.

Branding, and brand-marketing in digital age, is an art, science, process (an ever evolving one,) and the end result.  The highest level of branding is a multi-disciplinary process. Branding, at its best, is to inspire (rather than manipulate.)  Is to build and maintain a long term relationship based on trust, value, and belief.

The very first step of branding, is to know thyself.  Next, to know those a brand is serving.  We will explore in the next blog, by 10+ Visual Branding’s CEO, Joanne Tan.