May 21st, 2015


by Eva Havle

Recently (and perhaps not so recently) branding has become a “catch-all” buzzword with definitions ranging widely based on who you happen to be asking.

The term “brand” is often misused by alternating it with design, advertising, or marketing.  All are indeed components of branding, but not the sum. These improper utilizations have caused much confusion in the business world as to what branding is and how it works.

So what exactly is branding? It is your company’s personality or voice that you present to the world. It can be authoritative, cutting-edge, funny, sentimental, hip or traditional. In order to successfully determine what personality you want to project, you must first understand your target market, competitive landscape and above all, your customers and prospects needs and wants. Every communication with the public – web, print or broadcast – needs to convey how your product or service provides a solution to a problem or challenge for your customers, and the value that your product brings.  Successful brands live within the hearts and minds of customers, clients, and prospects. It is the aggregate of their experiences and perceptions.

Once you make a decision on what persona you want your company to convey, the question then becomes “What’s next, and how do I do it?” A brand is composed of many different elements. Together they capture the interest of your customers and prospects. Some of the components are tangible and definitive, such as banner ads, direct mail, logos and broadcast or print advertising, but branding is also in large part intangible – ideas and emotions represented by visual and verbal communications. A successful brand will achieve the following objectives:

  • Delivers messages clearly
  • Differentiates you from others in your target market
  • Offers a value prop/benefit
  • Connects with prospects and customers emotionally and intellectually
  • Motivates action
  • Establishes credibility and promotes loyalty

Studies show companies that market their products or services without first establishing their brand identities are not likely to achieve return on investment. So before you invest another dime on marketing or advertising, think about what your company, product or service stands for. If you can’t define your brand, your customers will not be able to either and any marketing investments are very likely to be a waste of your money.

Posted in: Articles by IMM Team

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