What Is a Brand


What is a Brand?

A brand is an emotional image that combines with a logo and identity to convey a product line or business. Branding is a process shaped by the combination of your company’s communication and your market’s perception of your company. Successful branding involves getting your logo, messages and marketing materials in front of eyeballs using memorable campaigns that will stay in people’s heads. While mass marketing can be a costly gamble, developing your brand through building trust with an online community and sharing valuable insights has become essential.


A logo is a brand element. Colorful logos help attract attention, but for small businesses, expenses on print can be lowered using less than four colors. Adding a fourth color is fine if your budget allows, but complex gradients can be a distraction. Sometimes the most memorable logos are ones that use simple font as seen in the Google logo. The most important thing about a logo is that it can be easily read and understood whether it is big or small. Many popular websites feature small logos in the upper left corner. A logo over a white background is universal and easily read, whereas fancy logos over dark backgrounds are not always easy to read.


Catchy slogans and positioning statements are meant to sum up your business in a memorable way, kind of like the chorus or main hook of a hit song that stays in your mind. At one time melodic jingles were an important part of branding until they became overdone. Even if you decide not to have a slogan attached to your logo, you should still figure out a mission statement that can be summed up in five words or less. In the 1990s Apple was reborn with billboards everywhere displaying the Apple logo alongside the words “think different.” The campaign worked since it appealed to the company’s core market, which is computer users with artistic sensibilities such as graphic artists and musicians.


Developing your brand requires standing out, so it must be different from the competition. If your brand just blends in with the noise of multiple media messages it

customer service

Not the best way to differentiate your brand!

may get lost in the shuffle. Your brand needs to be associated with a unique and rewarding consumer experience. You need to establish a niche in which only your brand can be considered the top authority. Use your imagination and brainstorming techniques with colleagues to creatively describe your unique market position. From this process you can develop a list of keywords that will tell search engines and online users about your identity.


Not only does your brand need to stand out in the world of crowded messages, you need to convey why your brand is better than competitors and the value that it brings to your customers. Figure out what your product can do for certain that competing products do not deliver and then create keywords and marketing statements from those concepts. Expand on those keywords and concepts in your communication with customers on your website, blogs, social media pages, newsletters and email.

Market Leadership

Keeping promises that you make in your marketing will help establish your brand as a market leader. Use customer feedback as a tool to refine your brand. A key to market leadership is delivering consistent messages throughout various marketing channels. Nike is the best of its breed because it consistently delivers quality shoes and clothes for athletes. Developing your brand is more than just running short phrases through marketing channels. More than ever before, successful branding now involves sharing resourceful information and inviting people to join your online community.

ian_conklin2Ian Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America. OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.

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