What is branding?

Let's start with what branding isn't because it's not a lot of things people say it is. It’s not a logo, though a logo is a very useful tool for business, it's not the brand, it's a symbol for the brand. The brand is not a product so when people talk about this brand, buying this brand or that brand they're really talking about buying one product or another product. The brand is a promise the company makes to customers and there's some truth in that. It does end up, acting as a promise but that's not what it is either. Advertising people like to say it's the sum of all the impressions that a company makes on an audience. Well, if you're trying to sell a lot of impressions I can see where that might be useful to you, but from a business point of view, Why do they want that and how does that help people understand what they're doing? So none of those things are really what branding is. The brand is a result, it's a customers gut feeling about a product or service or company, it ends up in their heads in their hearts, they take whatever raw materials you throw at them, and they make something out of it, they're making it, they're creating it. And so in a sense when you create a brand, you're not creating one brand you're creating millions of brands like however many customers are people in your audience. Each one has a different brand of you. So a brand is like a reputation. It's your business reputation and everyone's going to be a little bit different about what that reputation is. And that's okay as long as you have it corralled mostly where you want it and that it's beneficial to the company. So, we tend to look at companies and designers tend to look at branding as from our point of view like this is something we're doing, we're telling a story where we're making a claim or we're making a pitch. And that's what we do but that's not what a brand. The brand is the result of that, and if you don't start there, you don't know what you're doing. 

Credit to: Marty Neumeier and The Futur YouTube Channel

Marty Neumeier started as a graphic designer and copywriter in the 1970s. In 1984, when the Macintosh launched, he moved to Silicon Valley to help companies like Apple, Netscape, HP, Adobe, and Google build their brands.