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Level set: What is branding?

Branding is a fundamental aspect of marketing that is often misunderstood. In its simplest form, branding refers to the process of creating a unique name, design, and image that identifies and differentiates a product or service from others in the market. But it’s more than just a logo or a catchy tagline. It’s about creating a perception, an emotion, and a story that resonates with your target audience. As branding expert David Aaker puts it, “a brand is a mental structure held in the minds of consumers, consisting of perceptions, images, and feelings.”

A brand more than a logo.

The power of branding lies in its ability to create loyalty and trust. When done well, it can elevate a product or service from a mere commodity to a desirable and valuable experience that people are willing to pay more for. In the words of branding guru Marty Neumeier, “A brand is not a logo. A brand is not an identity. It’s not a product. A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or company.”

Branding is not just for big companies with big budgets. Even small businesses and startups can benefit from a strong brand. In fact, having a clear and compelling brand is often essential for survival in today’s crowded market. As marketing expert Seth Godin puts it, “A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories, and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”

To create a strong brand, it’s important to have a clear understanding of your target audience and what they value. A brand must have a clear purpose and be consistent in its messaging, design, and behavior. It must be authentic, trustworthy, and relevant to its audience. As branding expert Denise Lee Yohn puts it, “A brand is the sum total of how someone perceives a particular organization. Branding is about shaping that perception.”

Branding is not a one-time event.

It’s an ongoing process that requires constant attention and refinement. Brands must evolve and adapt to changing consumer preferences, trends, and market conditions, not to mention technological advancements. It must remain relevant and engaging to its audience.

This means that brand managers and marketing managers of outdoor brands must be vigilant and proactive in managing their brand image, reputation, and identity. They must constantly monitor their brand’s performance, track customer feedback, and make adjustments to their branding strategy as necessary. By continuously improving their brand image, they can stay relevant and competitive in a crowded marketplace. A strong, well-managed brand can help outdoor brands differentiate themselves from their competitors, build customer loyalty, and increase their market share over time.

As branding expert David Brier puts it, “A brand is a living, breathing thing. It requires care, nurturing, and attention to thrive.”

Branding is the art and science of creating a unique and meaningful identity for a product or service. It’s about creating a perception, an emotion, and a story that resonates with your target audience. A strong brand can create loyalty, trust, and value for both the company and its customers. To create a successful brand, it’s important to have a clear purpose, a deep understanding of your audience, and a commitment to ongoing refinement and improvement.

PULL is a full-service branding and consulting agency specializing in outdoor brands. We have experience in both building brands from scratch and shepherding established brands to their next peak. 

If your brand could use an outside perspective or you just want to shoot the breeze, don’t hesitate to drop us a line

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