When you woke up one morning and decided to start a business you probably didn’t think too much about creating a brand or what it was.
If you’re like most of us, defining and discovering your brand was a rocky experience at first; a lot of trial and error, and some embarrassing graphics.
I hear you.
Even if you’ve been at this for a bit, or if you’re new and in the research phase, I hope these quick and easy branding definitions help you along your journey of brand discovery.
Branding Definitions to Know:
The word brand may be a noun, but it isn’t just one single thing. Nor is it really a physical thing.
A brand is the culmination of feelings and thoughts that people feel/have when they interact with your business.
Your brand is not just your logo. There are visual/tangible and intangible elements of your brand that cause people to feel a certain way; and the name of the game is strategically designing a brand that conveys the right feelings to the right people.
Your brand is like the walls of a house, keeping the rest of the terms on this list inside it. You can’t really have one without the other.
If brand is the noun, then branding is the verb.
When you’re in the process of branding your business or you’re looking to hire someone to do that, you go through the process of synthesizing what makes you and your business special and forming that into a brand.
Just like you have a personality, moral code, values etc. your brand should have those things of its own. Your brand’s personality can be different than yours, but it usually isn’t much different if you’re running your business on your own.
Your brand identity really comes out through communications with your audience, the way you present your business and the types of decisions that you make down the line.
When you’re hiring a brand designer, a good one won’t just make you a logo (and honestly you should be looking for more than that). You should be looking for someone that helps you develop the whole picture: how to use visuals to communicate your brand’s voice, personality and values.
Your visual identity is exactly what it sounds like: all the visual elements that you use in your business. Your logos, photos, graphics, colors, fonts, illustrations etc. are all elements that should convey your style, voice, values, etc.
Collateral is the tangible pieces that are created to expand your brand past the basics of your visual identity.
For example, your brand designer may also offer to design a PDF or a business card for you. Those are collateral items. Other examples are stationary, thank you cards, studio welcome packets, wrapping paper designs, ebooks, etc. Your logo can also be considered collateral.
Now we’re getting into some of the intangible things that make up your brand.
Your brand voice is how you communicate and the words you use in all of your content. From videos, tweets, emails, to IG captions, your voice is a selection of words that convey your vision, values and aligns with your brand identity.
Just like we all value honesty and transparency in our personal lives, your brand has values you want to convey to your audience. These values could be efficiency, intelligence, empathy, encouragement, etc. Communicating these values authentically helps you connect with your audience on a deeper level.
Your mission statement is a statement that outlines the reason your business exists and it’s purpose. This statement should incorporate things like what you do, who you do it for, how you do it, and how it helps the people you work with. It should also mention things that your brand and business strive to do everyday to change your client’s mindsets, the industry, and or the world.
I hope this list of branding definitions cleared up some confusion that you may have when you’re diving into the whole branding and starting a business thing. Or if you’re rebranding and want to do it right this time so it’ll stick (I definitely understand that), hopefully, this gives you a deeper understanding of what goes into creating a brand that you love.
At the end of it all remember this: Your brand is not just a logo, it’s about how people feel when they interact with it. If you put your focus on creating a feeling and appealing to the feelings of your core audience, then you’ll find your sweet spot.
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Eight Branding Definitions Everyone Should Know
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