Branding: What does it really mean?

In marketing, you hear the word “branding” a lot. The truth is that branding—also known as brand image—is an essential part of successful marketing. Here’s how we define the concept and what it can help you achieve.


Branding is all the marketing efforts you do to give consumers an accurate impression of a business or label. It can help you build an image that communicates the company’s mission, values and expertise to its target audience. In that sense, branding is a business’ core identity. Your logo, tools and marketing campaigns are all physical manifestations of your branding.


Just how powerful is branding? The automobile industry is rife with examples. For instance, Volvo has long been synonymous with safety in the minds of consumers. Mercedes-Benz bespeaks luxury, while Honda’s hallmark is durability. When consumers buy a certain make, they buy the company’s promise and identity. In other words, they buy the brand.


In fact, consumers often buy brands instead of products—and that’s why it’s so important for companies to cultivate the right brand image. Branding brings added value to your business, especially when your product or its price isn’t enough to win over buyers.


It’s important to note that branding isn’t just for major international corporations. Small and mid-size businesses also stand to gain from a strong brand. No matter how big your company is or what industry you operate in, maintaining your brand can help you stand out from the competition, build your reputation, increase sales and improve customer loyalty. Effective branding can help small and medium businesses reach their long-term goals.