by Brian Oster
Have you ever looked at an ad online or in a magazine and immediately knew who the company was simply by the style? Have you wanted a product without having tried it? That is branding in a nutshell.
A brand started out as a mark which declared ownership (i.e. “I made this”), but it has evolved to mean a product which, through marketing, makes people want to own it (i.e. any Apple product).
How does a company make its targeted audience want their specific product? Through product differentiation: The best marketers will tell you what benefit you can expect after the purchase and why their products’ benefits are superior to their competitors. The way they confer this message will be based on customer’s perception of the brand.
Perception is the key. Branding is the underlying structure of all marketing campaigns. While a brand is made up of the name, logo, and tagline among other things; branding is how those elements are shown to the public. When branding is used consistently, brand recognition is achieved over time. This consistency is achieved by having an Identity Standards Manual which outlines rules for the company logo, usage of the logo, colors, fonts, styles, etc.
Rotary Club: http://www.rotary.org/RIdocuments/en_pdf/547en.pdf
Ball State University: http://cms.bsu.edu/about/administrativeoffices/umc/logosandtools