Rethinking Branding: What it Means to Mean Something.

April 24, 2020   By: Matchbook
Rethinking Branding: What it Means to Mean Something.
In our field of marketing, branding, and design there are no regulations. There isn’t a license or certification required to provide marketing or branding services like there is to practice law. That means anyone can start a marketing firm or jump into the industry overnight. For this reason, the terminology can be misused, interpreted differently and at times just plain confusing. When you search the internet for a definition of the term “brand essence” or “brand strategy” you’ll find a number of different definitions. You may find some common themes, but there is a lot of subjectivity.

It gets even more convoluted as you drill down to the finer aspects of what makes a brand or marketing campaign. In all honesty, sometimes these terms don’t actually have a concrete meaning at all. Brand “storytelling” seems to differ based on the specific deliverable the creative type is selling–video production professionals would say that telling your story is done with video, while brand designers may be referring to a collection of brand touchpoints as a whole, and communications professionals note earned media is the best method.

Branding and Marketing Firms Should Be User Friendly

It’s true. Marketing, PR, communications, brand strategy and other practices like these are often intangible. Maybe even the most practical solution can be hard to understand. Perhaps that is why it’s rare to see a brand mission or vision that a company actually lives by, and often the leadership doesn’t even know what it is. We believe marketing and branding should be simple. At the end of the day, companies should hire people to help them solve important problems, and they should know what they are getting.

To start, let’s define some of the key terms in the branding and marketing landscape. Most of us know where the term “brand” came from. Livestock owners often burned an identifying mark in the hide of their livestock to indicate what was theirs. It was their “brand”. Today in the discipline of marketing and corporate communications we think of a brand as the consistent identifiers of a company.

“A logo is only a small part of how people recognize your organization and derive their expectations.”

Customers have a set of expectations based on consistent characteristics. These characteristics may include the textures, sounds and aromas in a shop, but it also includes the verbiage and visual elements in prepared corporate communications such as websites, press releases and printed collateral. Most people think of the latter more than the former. Often people think of the logo alone as the brand. While this aligns with the history of the term, a logo is only a small part of how people recognize your organization and derive their expectations. Let’s get into the definitions of the key terms.



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