A Brief Overview of Branding

This blog post is based on Marty Neuemeier’s “The Brand Gap” book.

Branding isn’t about graphic design. It’s not about a logo or visual identity. A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product or service. It’s what you feel deep inside yourself when looking at the product.

In a society which is information-rich and time-poor, branding is what differentiates your product or service from the competition. Branding is about focus, you nearly can’t be too focused; you will almost always lack focus.

In order to establish a powerful brand, here are the three questions which need an answer:

  1. Who are you?
  2. What do you do?
  3. Why does it matter?

The first question is usually pretty easy. The second question can already be somewhat difficult if the brand lacks focus and/or if the company is doing too many things at once. The third question is the hardest, nearly no one is able to answer it from the start.

If you need to guess the answers for a company, their brand lacks clarity and charisma. Tesla’s branding is clear as day for example. Everyone knows who they are, what they do, and why it matters. Ask yourself the same question for Facebook now, or Amazon, and you will understand why these companies aren’t necessarily liked by the public.

Branding is about stories, about narratives and ideas which a company tries to communicate as well as possible to its customers. Finally, only one company can be the cheapest on the market. All the other ones need to differentiate themselves through branding.