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What is branding?

What is branding indeed?

People talk about branding and brands all the time. The world is now swamped with brands. Every day we are being sold a brand’s values, what it represents, its products and its advertising. Branding is everywhere.

Every single product out there has a brand attached to it. They are designed to appeal to a target audience. They are designed to sell to the appropriate people by representing what those people want to be. It’s all about aspiration. We all want to own certain types of product. We see other people with particular products and we buy into what they have and the brand of those products.

We aspire to be like the rich and famous and to own the same brands as they have. We have all wanted an iPhone, iPad and iPod. That’s down to fantastic brand marketing by Apple. Many will argue the iPhone is not that great. It is a fantastic phone, but there are other phones that are equally good, if not better. But Apple have built such a great and sought after brand that it is their products that people aspire to own.

The objective is to create a sought after brand with great advertising and, of course, great products. Years ago Microsoft was the biggest corporate in the world. Apple was a very small company in comparison. But Microsoft never had an image like Apple did – it was looked upon as quite ‘geeky’ and not a cool brand at all. Apple consistently strived to build a great brand. Its products were the coolest on the planet and they built their brand to be the same. This didn’t happen by accident.

Clearly we are not all going to be the next Apple, but we can control how our brand is perceived. We do this by getting our branding right across our full range of marketing material. By using consistent messages and brand styling we can communicate a strong message to our audience. This creates brand awareness and builds brand strength. It may take a few years, as it did with Apple, but it will be worth it in the end.

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