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WHAT BRANDING ISN'T


I have seen a number of sponsored/paid posts on social media within this last week all centered around buying a product to brand your business. People are promoting if you buy this $37 item, then all of your branding problems will be solved. They promote, "Pick out your colors, your typefaces and pick different pieces of these shapes to build your logo" and then you will be ready to show your business to the world. I mean really??????


This makes me think that behind these sponsored posts are people who want to make a quick and easy buck for the unknowing branding "needers". It makes me think, that this is just an extra income generator for people who just don't know what branding is and are asking to be taken advantage of. Branding a business isn't about picking your fave color and feeling good about yourself. Branding is sooooooooo much more than that.


Branding isn't easy, It takes work. It isn't the tangibles either. These posts on social media are really talking about visualizing and building a brand identity, yes, an important aspect in branding, but it's not branding. Branding isn't your website, it's not the cookie cutter logo you just paid $5 for and that someone else has in a different color and different font. It isn't trendy new technique that's popular now on social media either. Branding is so much more.


Think about your favorite brands. Do you honestly think it took something as simple as a check mark for Nike to be recognized as a global leader in its industry? Do you think McDonald's with its golden arches, also a global leader just became a recognized restaurant because of its red and yellow color scheme? These brands were built and are continued to be built by their respective branding. And that my friends, takes work. Branding isn't as simple as folks want you to think it is.


Branding when it's done correctly is powerful. For an example, I'm an adult who can afford high priced meals, but one of my favorite all time brands is McDonalds. Why? Because I remember their messages in commercials I saw as a child watching tv. I remember how seeing my mom walk through the door with McDonalds made me feel. So, I still go to McDonalds. Even knowing that there are much, much better burgers out there.


With the logic of, "Oh, pick this color, this typeface and this shape without the line in the middle", will only get you to the table -and only there if it looks good. However, if you want your customers to stay there and then come back for seconds, you must brand your business. Branding is intangible. Branding is what your customers say about you. As Seth Godin, a famous business man and author 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.” You may be able to get that for $37, but only after you've invested some serious thought behind your brand.

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