You can hear a lot of stories about what branding is and its history.
We often start by translating the etymology. Branding as hot marking from the Norse brandr but used already in ancient Egypt to distinguish cattle in a herd. This story is awkward because, apart from cattle, slaves were also marked in ancient Greece and Rome.
If this analogy seems excessive, let me point out that branding began with slaves sold by the Dutch West India Company in the Caribbean in the 18th century.
However, let’s leave these historical contexts aside and focus on what branding is not. From the point of view of common sense and the perspective of someone who has been involved in the branding industry since 2009, it is worth clarifying several key myths about branding. When expressing my opinion, I would like to emphasize that this is only a subjective perspective, and everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
Here are the five biggest branding bullshits:
bullshit 1: Branding is a logo
We all know that branding is much more than just a logo. Despite this, many people, when ordering branding services, only expect the creation of a new logo. This is a wrong approach. Branding is a comprehensive system that covers many aspects, including brand strategy and identity. The logo is only one element of this system. In fact, at Leniva Studio, our offering is described as a “Brand Experience,” to emphasize that branding is much broader than logos.
bullshit 2: Branding sells
Unfortunately, branding itself does not sell products or services. Even the most beautiful logo is not a guarantee of financial success. Branding can support communication and facilitate processes, but it is not a magic wand that will attract customers. Brand owners must remember that what really attracts customers is the quality of the product or service and the content of the message.
bullshit 3: Branding must be pleasing
Of course, aesthetics matter, but branding is not just about pleasing the brand owner. It is more important that branding responds to the brand’s communication goals and conveys a consistent message. This doesn’t always mean it has to be pretty in the traditional sense.
bullshit 4: Branding is done once and done well
Branding is a process, not a one-time event. There is no magic wand that will make branding last. It is an ongoing process that requires constant monitoring, evaluation, and improvement. Too many companies make the mistake of thinking that branding is a one-time effort that can be ditched afterwards.
bullshit 5: Someone cares about your branding
In truth, our branding is not as important to others as we would like. After a short period of interest, recipients get used to the new solutions and focus on the content of the brand’s message. It is true that there are cases where the rebranding of famous brands causes controversy, but such situations are rare.
To sum up
- Branding is much more than a logo; it is a system of visual identification and strategy.
- Branding is not a sales tool, but a communication tool.
- You don’t have to like it, but it must work and convey a consistent message.
- Branding is a process that requires constant monitoring and improvement.
- It is an internal tool for the organization, helping with consistent communication and saving time.
Ultimately, branding is a tool that helps an organization communicate internally and externally, as well as build brand consistency and identity.