What the heck is branding?

by Heath Sanchez 21 replies
Hey guys!

A lot of my Online Marketing friends have mixed understandings of branding - here is my definition. Correct me if I'm wrong, and feel free to add some points.

Your ‘brand’ goes far beyond your business name and logo. It is your entire image and the way that you are perceived by your customers. It’s your reputation and it’s the emotions and attitudes that are associated with everything you do, and all that your business stands for.

With an internet business, strong branding is extremely important, because it helps customers to clearly identify what you are about. It will differentiate you from your competitors and, by practicing what you preach, will create a desire within your customers to be associated with your business. They'll want to 'belong' to your brand.

Branding is not just about portraying an image through clever internet marketing though. If you try to portray an image that isn’t true, then your customers will see through that. You really need to find out what you, as a business, are all about. Then consistently and clearly portray that brand, making sure that your staff, website and product or service do the same.

NOTE: Since writing this thread I have also posted a video I made about branding. Check it out at: http://www.warriorforum.com/showthre...1644#post41644
#main internet marketing discussion forum #branding #heck
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  • Profile picture of the author Takuya Hikichi
    Heath,

    Really nice and thorough.

    If I had to add something.... a differentiating factor? It takes the guts to be different and strike out in new directions.

    It's not easy to zag while everyone else zigs. Perhaps good questions to always ask in our businesses is, are we differentiating? Validating? Innovating and evolving?

    I think a good brand works more like an "organism" instead of an organization, always evolving, growing, validating, differentiating and repeating etc...
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    • Profile picture of the author Brian Tayler
      Branding...

      You mean like this?
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      • Profile picture of the author Heath Sanchez
        Ouch!
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        • Profile picture of the author DrC
          Cool post I think branding is often misunderstood by Marketers. I like the idea of creating an image that your customers associate you with. I like to think that I have a particular 'brand' or at least the products I create.

          You know one of the best places to start the process of 'branding' yourself??? The Warrior Forum
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        • Profile picture of the author Brian Tayler
          Originally Posted by Heath Sanchez View Post

          Ouch!
          Heath,
          Please exuse my post... It was the first thing that popped into my head (sad... but that's what you get from a childhood spent in the country).

          I think you really hit branding's nail on the head with your OP. I think too many people look at branding as simply "being known" which is really such a simplistic way to look at things (like saying economics is just suppy vs. demand).

          Branding is about an emotional connection between your buyers and your company (or self). You want your buyers to see a new product from you and have a positive reaction. We really brand ourselves all the time. Think of going to an interview and dressing in your best suit and tie... you are "branding" your first impression with that interviewer.

          I think the most powerful branding I have ever researched in marketing is the food industry. Food marketing is able to make their prospects actually salivate on command with their ads... this is really really powerful marketing.

          ... now if I could only get my prospects to salivate
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          • Profile picture of the author Johnny12345
            In corporate America, "branding" is everybody's favorite marketing buzzword. But the goal of branding is simple -- to be the first person, company, or product your niche thinks of when they are in the market for the type of product or service you offer.

            Johnny
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            • Profile picture of the author Andy Money
              A brand is what you see when you step way, way, way back from your highly embedded position in your company and see how you are interpreted and understood by the average consumer. Build your brand and increase sales.
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              • Profile picture of the author Easy Cash
                When I think of branding - Richard Branson comes to mind.
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                • Profile picture of the author Andy Money
                  Originally Posted by Easy Cash View Post

                  When I think of branding - Richard Branson comes to mind.

                  Good example for the most part, but you don't really need to cross industries to have a "brand". It just needs to have "weight", it needs authority, it needs to stand for something.
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                  • Profile picture of the author elitemarketer
                    I think a great example here would be Donald Trump with the "Trump Orginaztion"

                    "The Don" has not only become a "Best In Class" brand for Real Estate but he also is even in the water business. Now thats when you know you have a Great Brand. When you can put your company name on water (c'mon water) and sell it for more money then the next brand also considering that Trump started its branding in Real Estate it goes to show you that once you make people feel like your brand is the "Best In Class" you can sell them in other industries as well.

                    Not All But Many
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                    • Profile picture of the author Jason Moffatt
                      I actually wrote half of this script...


                      ...and the "branding iron" actually came from my girlfriends old cattle ranch.

                      Now that's branding!

                      J-Mo

                      PS: I know, I know, I'm going to hell.
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                      • Profile picture of the author Andy Money
                        Originally Posted by Jason Moffatt View Post

                        I actually wrote half of this script...

                        YouTube - Rich Jerk - The Branding

                        ...and the "branding iron" actually came from my girlfriends old cattle ranch.

                        Now that's branding!

                        J-Mo

                        PS: I know, I know, I'm going to hell.
                        lmmmaooo. Nice.
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                        • Profile picture of the author Chipt
                          Branding is a complex issue that is not really very complicated...

                          Every character you type, avatar you choose, alias you hide behind, word you speak, color you display, email you send, web page you create, article you write, product you release... and a hundred other pieces all make up your 'brand,' and IMO anyone who tells you that this stuff does not matter is clueless to reality...

                          If you want the best source on it I've read that's written in easy to understand language, drop by Amazon or eBay [or wherever] and look for the books by Trout & Ries on branding and positioning.

                          Their works are widely accepted as excellent as far as I know, and way too many people never consider the importance of 'image' as well...

                          Just my opinion and observations -

                          Chip Tarver
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                          • Profile picture of the author WinsonYeung
                            branding is the foundation of marketing and is inseperatable with business stargeies
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                            • Profile picture of the author Heath Sanchez
                              All great points guys! But I think this just about sums it up:

                              http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...ing-video.html

                              Or not?
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                              • Profile picture of the author Nick Brighton
                                I recent online "IM" success terms, branding is nailed perfectly by the "Rick Jerk". TM TM TM TM TM (did I mention TM).

                                He took a shitty one size fits all, cheesy and generic approach to internet marketing, and packaged it into a worldwide brand that sold multiple millions.

                                But that's just an incessant example, your initial theory was perfectly spot on.

                                P.S

                                Many people on this forum refer to branding in the same mentality as personal reputation. They are not always the same thing, in fact, in big business, they are hardly ever the same. Just because John Reese and Frank Kern (and name your typical "guru" here") are well known names in the IM community, doesn't mean you have to use your own name to do the same.

                                Branding doesn't mean you always have to be yourself, nor does it mean that you always have to be the face of your company (think pen names)...just a point worth mentioning.
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                                • Profile picture of the author Chipt
                                  Originally Posted by Nick Brighton View Post

                                  I recent online "IM" success terms, branding is nailed perfectly by the "Rick Jerk". TM TM TM TM TM (did I mention TM).

                                  He took a shitty one size fits all, cheesy and generic approach to internet marketing, and packaged it into a worldwide brand that sold multiple millions.

                                  But that's just an incessant example, your initial theory was perfectly spot on.

                                  P.S

                                  Many people on this forum refer to branding in the same mentality as personal reputation. They are not always the same thing, in fact, in big business, they are hardly ever the same. Just because John Reese and Frank Kern (and name your typical "guru" here") are well known names in the IM community, doesn't mean you have to use your own name to do the same.

                                  Branding doesn't mean you always have to be yourself, nor does it mean that you always have to be the face of your company (think pen names)...just a point worth mentioning.



                                  Great points, Nick. As an important aside here... one of my friends [who shall remain nameless here] who's in my course once told me a very telling comment. He said...

                                  "Chip, probably my biggest mistake EVER since coming online was that I never paid attention to branding myself..."

                                  One easy way to understand if you're doing it right is when someone says, "Oh yeah, I know Nick. He's the guy that __________."

                                  If people can fill in that blank quickly with certainty, and without hesitation, your branding is working.

                                  If they can't -- it isn't...



                                  Chip Tarver
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                                  • Profile picture of the author Heath Sanchez
                                    Originally Posted by Chipt View Post

                                    Great points, Nick. As an important aside here... one of my friends [who shall remain nameless here] who's in my course once told me a very telling comment. He said...

                                    "Chip, probably my biggest mistake EVER since coming online was that I never paid attention to branding myself..."

                                    One easy way to understand if you're doing it right is when someone says, "Oh yeah, I know Nick. He's the guy that __________."

                                    If people can fill in that blank quickly with certainty, and without hesitation, your branding is working.

                                    If they can't -- it isn't...



                                    Chip Tarver
                                    Excellent explanation, Chip!
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                                    • Profile picture of the author Chipt
                                      Thanks, Heath...

                                      As I said, branding is complex - but not that complicated.

                                      And while branding absolutely does involve all the pieces I mentioned up above and a lot more, my "Nick is..." sentence above was to sum it all up and put the whole thing in perspective and in terms everyone can understand.

                                      Glad it worked...

                                      Chip
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                                      Improve your online success permanently right now. Joint Venture Masters tell you the real insider info. Save $450 right now by checking out my *limited time* FCS WSO and change your JV success in a radical way permanently at http://www.warriorforum.com/forum/to...OPIC_ID=264511... and for less than $20 you can really save up to half your gasoline costs at www.CutYourGasCostsNow.com.

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                • Profile picture of the author jjpmarketing
                  Good one Brian. I thought of that myself.

                  If you have a mission statement for your company... that will be a big part of your branding. It more or less is everything you do related to a business. You could have John Smith Company as the main brand, and then have all kinds of products under that brand such as John Smith Company Advertising, JSC Manufacturing, etc, etc. depending on what all you did with a company. A brand is just something that represents a whole group of products or product lines.

                  You could also have branding within brands.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chaiwriter
    Branding is EVERYTHING you do. It goes way beyond your name and logo.

    Writing this very post I'm branding myself in the minds of all those who read it. And everything else I do online is branding too.

    I think too few people forget (or don't even know) that they are representing their business and branding their business (at least a little) with everything they do online.

    Chai
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