The basics of branding

3 minutes

As a promotional product professional, you know more than most people about the power of putting your brand in front of others. But have you taken the time to consider what YOUR brand says about you? How your company, product, or services are perceived by your audience is so important to your success. People will inevitably form an opinion, and branding is your tool in guiding what that opinion is. In this course, we will look at what goes into creating and using your brand.

To begin, it's important that we really understand what a brand is, and why you should even care. Let's start by debunking some common misconceptions about branding.

A brand is not...

  • Just your logo and colors. These are part of your visual identity, one part of your brand.

  • Your company. These are not interchangeable. The company is the organization and the brand is the personality of the company, products, or services it provides.

  • Only important for big companies. Branding is critical for companies of all shapes and sizes.

  • "One and done". Branding is not a one time project. It's an ongoing operation that lasts throughout the lifetime of your company.

The different parts that make up your brand

Collectively, these items make up your brand. They are the pillars that come together to define your personality, not unlike yours or my own. Much like how the clothes you chose and how you communicate represent you as a person, the colors and tone a company chooses represents the company — and its brand.

Why should you care?

You want people to know who you are — but not just anyone. You want the people who will buy your products or services to know who you are and see you as the solution to their needs.

To continue our analogy between brands and people, think about the scenario of a job interview. You present yourself to the company who you want to be hired by — through how you dress (visual branding), how you communicate (voice and tone), and through your promises (messaging). You want that company to see you as the solution to their needs. If those things do not resonate with the company, you will not get the job.

The same is true for a company's brand, and that is what makes branding so important and why you should care - it plays one of the biggest roles in how your audience makes the decision to purchase or not purchase your products or services.

In the following lessons, we will look at the different parts that make up a brand. By the end, you will have a strong understanding of what goes into creating a brand and recognize how it can benefit your business.

As you work through the exercises in this class, we recommend that you use your current brand as a starting point. This should be applicable whether you are a distributor, supplier, or multi-line representative. Once you fully understand how to build a brand, you can pass on this immensely valuable information to your customers through a similar workshop, helping them to strengthen their brands and get the best value and impact from the promotional products they buy from you.

Next lesson in your course

Understanding your company