What is a brand? And how do I get one?

| November 16, 2009

What does ‘brand’ mean? It’s no mystery

‘Brand’ describes the way the outside world experiences your organisation. The concept is easier to understand if you ditch the word ‘brand’ and think ‘personality’ instead. An organisation’s personality, like yours, is made up of:

  • The way it looks – design, colours, logos, text sizes, fonts and images
  • The way it sounds – the tone of voice and style of communications
  • The way it behaves – the quality of customers’ emotional and physical experience when interacting with your business
  • The things it believes in and expresses – interests, focus, mission, ideals, aims and ambitions

If you’re starting a new business, the first step is to decide how you want the outside world to experience it. Next, you create a suitably evocative personality via your literature and website design, communications, systems, marketing, advertising and PR.

To turn this fledgling personality into an effective brand, be consistent. If you’re true to brand, your brand equity (ie. the financial benefits you reap from having a brand) will grow organically.

A word of warning: it’s dangerous to act in defiance of your brand. If you sincerely promise next day delivery but don’t hit target, you’re damaged. If your website insists your telesales agents are friendly but they actually terrify people, sales will take a hit. If your sales literature’s in plain language but your quotes look like ancient Greek, people will lose faith.

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Category: copywriting and marketing

By Kate Goldstone - ()

Originally from Middlesbrough, I lived in Brighton for many years before moving to North Devon. I’ve had a passion for words all my life and this is my twelfth year as a freelance writer. In my spare time I draw, paint, sculpt, carve wood and rock, garden, read, write poetry and enjoy long distance hiking. I sing and play the recorder. I collect modernist paintings, vintage rugs and mid-century German art pottery. I’m a member of The Poetry Society. And I am an experienced volunteer shepherd, a ‘Lookerer’.

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