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6 of the Most Misunderstood Branding Terms & What they Mean

If you have ever sought guidance on “developing a visual identity”, or “creating a look for your business”, branding must ring a bell. But are you aware of its ups, downs, ins and outs? If you are shaking your head in confusion, don’t break a sweat. Even if you have a background in marketing and advertising, sometimes, you’ll get confused with these branding terms. We have put together a comprehensive glossary to help you understand the depths of building a brand identity and applying it to your products, in addition to clearing out the most misunderstood terms in this niche.

1) Brand

Obviously, this is one of the most misunderstood words. The brand is how people perceive you, be it via advertising, word of mouth, first-hand experiences, or brand expressions such as your collateral, color schemes, fonts, stationery, or logo. For instance, if you create a business centered on healthy living, you might want to consider if you are portraying the right image to people. But, if your employees appear unkempt and unhealthy, not embodying your philosophy, this image will contradict with your business message, making it harder for people to trust your claims. Coca-Cola has always been construed as a brand that inspires happiness and optimism across the globe. Everything they do from advertising to community service further goes to augment that perception.

According to Leo Burnett, ‘Brand is anything which leaves a mental picture of the brand on the people.’

There are countless elements that compel people to think about a brand in a particular way. In a ‘brand,’ you combine all the features from design, plan, strategizing, and creating a brand personality with your clients.

Lastly, a brand is not just a logo!

2) Branding

Anything that affects your brand is known as branding. It can be positive or it can be negative. Any action that a business takes to separate their business from competitors is known as branding, be it your store layout, packaging, social media cheekiness, website, logo, applying audio/visual cues to products, or by associating a celebrity with your product.

Your company has a brand, but it is your job to alter the perception with impactful branding. People form opinions about a brand when they see anything regarding the brand. This opinion can be influenced by your branding.

Branding incorporates a lot of branches. From strategizing to content, social media, and even visuals are part of branding. Think about a famous brand? What is your perception of them?

Related Read: The Science of colors in branding

Think ofAmazon. For me, Amazon is a company that delivers convenience to its customers. Although sometimes, they are hard on their employees, their branding focuses on customer satisfaction.

Whether one brand affects you in a good way or a bad way, in the end, i,t left a mark in your heart. And this mark is what will help them to make buying or switching the brand.

3) Collateral

Have you ever felt a need to buy something just because the brochure painted a phenomenal picture of the product?

I confess. I have done it several times. And between you and me, most of the time I have regretted it. Why? Because mostly the business owners don’t realize the power of a collateral. A collateral is a tangible and additional set of items in your business, such as your business cards, content upgrades, PDF documents, brochures, and letterheads which are often ignored.

This mostly happens because owners of a startup don’t understand that the collateral is the extension of their brand. Corporate branding is all about strategizing, analyzing, and implementing the right materials to the target audience.

People might consider sending a customized thankyou card a waste of money, but, it is a solid investment in your brand. The gesture reminds the client that you remember them even after the project is finished. And on the plus point, they will have a story to share with their colleagues and acquaintances. Furthermore, if the branding is good, people love to share it on their Instagram and show off how right they were when they ordered something from a brand.

4) Strategy

The term sounds like a general term, but it is a large umbrella term. There are a lot of strategies that come into play while running a business and create good branding. The strategy is also just a small part of branding. It is a method which can drive your business from point A to B.

Related Read: 10 Simple Steps to Create a Winning Personal Branding Strategy

You cannot craft a potent strategy unless you have an end-goal in mind. Before devising the strategy, what are you willing to achieve with the strategy? Once you know the way, move on to the action steps. What are the steps you need to create a strong strategy for your brand?

The areas that need undisputed focus is the design of your website, developing a mobile app, penning down stellar blog posts, and creating and joining Facebook groups. If all this talk is making you feel overwhelmed, know that even some of the business owners personally manage the Twitter accounts of their brands.

If you want to succeed as a brand you need to put all your eggs in the same basket. Use all the means that you’ve to create a strong brand presence over the internet.

5) Content Marketing

I am surprised that people still confuse content writing with content marketing. Content marketing is a broader field, where the writer takes the liberty to market the content and generate leads out of it. In some cases, it falls to a marketer to promote the content, but mostly, content writers can do a better job with it.

Nearly 70% of marketers lack content marketing skills because they spend less time understanding the goals of the content. With every piece of content, there is an idea, a thought process, that demands action. If the purpose is not served, this creates an alarming situation for the branding on the company.

6) Campaign

You might have heard this term a lot. A campaign simply self-promoting some product from your business. You might have a brilliant branding strategy in place, but if there is no campaign to support it, everything will turn into dust.

Akin to a strategy, every campaign that you design should be backed by a solid reason. Be it a product launch, a special announcement, product awareness, or a seasonal campaign, everything should be planned before the campaigns hit the internet. A good campaign can alleviate the advertising cost and generate a solid name for your brand.

Hopefully, this might have cleared up some of the clutter that you were holding about branding terms. If you’re interested to know more about branding, do check out branding guidelines from famous brands.

Yousuf Rafi
Yousuf Rafi
Yousuf Rafi has been working with writing challenged clients for over four years. His educational background is in Computer Science coupled with Masters Degree in Business Communication. Being a tech-savvy he loves to write about latest happenings, and tips on web design & development, mobile app development, and SEO. Currently employed at Branex.ae – a digital design agency in UAE, Yousuf loves reading and exploring new ideas.

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