The mother of all branding questions

Yesterday, I was asked a question. A question that I am surprised is asked so rarely considering the 10 years I’ve worked in branding.  

The question: What is branding?

Simply put, a brand is a promise

I could end the blog here, however the reason behind the definition is too important to miss.

Branding acts as a psychological marker or anchor in the mind of consumers. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and what makes it different from your competitors. 

The foundation of your brand is its visual (name, logo) or audio (jingle, theme tune) identity. Your website, packaging and promotional materials - these items are not your brand, they merely communicate your brand.

Imagine you’re hosting a dinner party and you offer your guests a “brown, fizzy liquid” to drink. Few would rush to accept. If however, you offered the same guests a "cold glass of Coca-Cola", chances are, you'll gain a more favourable response. 

what-is-branding-coca-cola-drink-opello-media

Those famous 'golden arches' could be coloured purple, yet due to the power of branding, you'll likely think of a McDonald's restaurant and experience the emotions these thoughts carry - good or otherwise.

mcdonalds-sign-opello-media-what-is-branding

Understanding the power of a promise kept will help you to shape your own brand.

Remember, your brand is made up of:

  • who you are
  • who you want to be; and 
  • who people perceive you to be

Once you clearly define your brand and develop a brand strategy, the next step will be to get the word out. 

‘How’, you ask? 

Take a look at popular post, 'How to choose the right social media platform for your brand'.


Have a question you'd like to ask about branding? Send them to the team below and you'll receive an answer within 2 hours. Go on, test us. 

Posted by Richard Etienne.