Before we get started, here is the good news from the offset – this is part one of a two part blog feature which means if you like what you see today you can get your fill next week too!  Okay, let’s get down to business…

Branding.  Your brand.   Brand image. Brand values. Brand loyalty etc. etc.

These were terms that I always had a bit of a hard time getting my head around and even now I still wonder sometimes if I am using the term “brand” in the right context.  But luckily I have devised a reference sheet to keep me on the right track and it goes something like this…

What is a brand?

A brand can be many things but most importantly it is a feature that identifies one seller’s product from another; a brand can and usually does incorporate a name, logo, design, colour and tagline.  Here are some examples you can visualise to help you understand (this might seem simple but it helped me a lot “back in the day” and still helps me now.)

Name – McDonalds – This is the most common word used to identify a company, product or service.

Logo – The Golden Arches – this is the visual trademark that identifies the brand.

Tagline or Catchphrase – “I’m loving it”  No prizes for guessing this one….

Sounds – A unique tune or jingle that is specific to a brand e.g. the “do do do do do” of Mcdonalds

Graphics – The Golden Arches again

Colors –  Yellow and red

Okay, so that’s part one of the branding saga, now we move onto brand perception and brand image or values.

Here is an exercise for you; think of a brand, any brand, and then tell me what you think their values are based on their logo and advertising.

Example:  If Debut Marketing’s logo was a butterfly instead of a shoot and said butterfly was on a dull brown background instead of a vibrant green one would you still think of us as fresh, new, exciting and able to help you grow your business?  Or would you think we were strictly for emerging businesses?  (Either that or we were in pest control!)

Or how about this one, I hand you my business card which has the shoot logo on the green background and that looks very professional.  ‘Great’ you think, ‘this looks promising, i’m going to visit the website’.  So you arrive at the website to find that there is no lovely, vibrant green or expected logo only the name Debut Marketing in a different font and above some unachieveable sounding claim logos.  I bet you are no longer thinking that this looks promising!  Just out of interest, what are you now thinking imagining that was what our site looked like?  When you answer that you will be answering how strongly the above bullet points are intertwined in creating a brand.

And just before I give away all my “trade secrets” I’m going to quickly touch on brand awareness.

Brand awareness refers to customers’ ability to recognise the brand through different mediums and link to the brand name, logo, jingles etc. to your business.  In order to do this your brand must be both recognisable and memorable.  Think Cadbury’s, they have the trademark purple colour across their various sweeties’ packaging.  This will help you to distinguish their buttons from the next persons. Brand awareness is of critical importance since customers will not consider your brand if they are not aware of it
Well I think that this taster shows that branding has come a long way from a hot iron on the derriere, and hopefully it has whetted your appetite enough for you to want to join us next week…

What is a Brand?

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