Can we all stop using the word “branding?”

It has wormed its way out of the business community and into pop culture. Now athletes and Instagram influencers talk about “branding” themselves and I find myself wondering what they’re talking about.

What is a brand?

To some, especially non-marketers, it just means your logo or other visual identifiers. But for those of us who work to help clients define or build their brands, we know it’s SO much more.

There have been countless articles written about what a brand is and isn’t, but I’ll sum it up in just a few words:

Your brand is really the gut feeling that your target audience has about your product or company. Of course, your visual representation can contribute to this feeling, but a brand is more about the emotional side of things.

For example, our brand work with Kiwanis International had little to do with the logo. It centered on helping the child-focused service organization develop its messaging platform and raise awareness about what the organization does.

So, let’s stop using the word “branding” to describe something that often gets confused with a logo or visual execution. Why not use something that better describes the multi-faceted approach to helping people, products and companies define and develop their brands?

Next time you hear someone use the term “branding,” make like Pee Wee’s secret word and scream until they stop using it.

So, what word should you use? We’re moving forward with “brand development.” Who is with us?

Want to talk about brand development and how we do it? E-mail or call me at 317.731.0342.