There are plenty of conflicting definitions for what exactly “branding” is. But we’d submit that branding is simply communication to your audience.
What is branding? It’s a buzz word, and one of those words that can easily mean everything and nothing, all at the same time. Go ahead and try it if you haven’t already. Call a meeting so you can present on the company’s new branding strategy. Then watch as your audience nods in approval while looking extremely confused at the same time.
This is not a critique on your audience in any way. It’s simply to say that the word branding is a dangerous one. It must be used with care. Here at Rocket Republic we work with mission-based organizations to teach them first how to use the ‘B’ word properly, and then how to communicate it in a way that makes real, practical sense (no more confused looks).
In this post we wanted to give a quick overview of how we view branding and then share with you our list of the 20 branding questions we walk all our clients through. As a bonus, you’ll find a link to a free download of our entire branding worksheet at the bottom of this page.
Let’s get started!
First off, in its simplest form, what is branding?
Branding is communication.
Whether you are participating in it or not, communication about your organization is happening all the time. The level and manner of your participation is up to you. You must realize that every action you take is communicating your brand. The tone of your emails, the font choice on your letters, the website design, the dress code, the working hours, and on and on. Most organizations make these decisions in silos, with no comprehensive strategy to give them a purpose or direction. However, when executed correctly, branding has the ability to craft purpose into every decision. It becomes a framework of non-negotiables, while at the same time casting vision and communicating a clear and precise message to your target audience.
What is a brand identity?
Your company’s brand identity refers to how your company is viewed by both internal and external parties.
For larger companies, these interactions may happen more in the form of advertising, logos, and from-a-distance communication like press releases. For small companies, the interactions will be more personal, such as one on one interactions with your customers, word of mouth referrals, and your interaction with the surrounding community. Your brand identity becomes a collection of the various communications. The more intentional you are, the more well-established your brand will be.
Ready to get started with a comprehensive brand strategy for your organization? Start with these 20 questions.