Principles of Branding: What Great Brands Do. 


branding principles article blog by alex zafer for coaster factory

More times than not people blur the fine lines between marketing, advertising and branding.

Although commonly related they do operate independently but must also work cohesively together towards the bigger common goal. Let’s break this this down in simple terms in this blog post and remove some confusion. Firstly, advertising is only one single component of the overall marketing process. Advertising is a vehicle for marketing intended to generate revenue for the brand through proper interaction thereby bridging the gap between customers and the brand. Whew! Got that? In other words, consider advertising as the announcement part, it's the promotional method used through persuasive messaging. The commercial as it were. Advertising could include the placement and delivery of ads in such mediums as newspapers, direct mail, billboards, television, radio, and Internet. It's the part that involves getting the word out concerning your business, product, or the services you are offering. Marketing thereby is the strategy and process that brings together systematic planning and implementation of advertising as well as market research, sales and sales strategy, pricing, distribution, and communication (including public relations and media planning). Think of marketing as everything that an organization does to facilitate the exchange between company and consumer.

Branding is about being recognized and being different which can a make a BIG difference in business. 

One bit of fabrication out there is that ‘brand’ is simply a logo or name of the company along with its chosen use of colors and maybe a mission statement to go along with it. That is definitely an important part of it, but these are really just small pieces of the larger branding puzzle. Together branding needs marketing and marketing needs branding: Marketing without branding will forever remain uninspiring, spiritless. Cold. Branding without marketing is like singing with a bad case of laryngitis. Bottom line: marketing is delivering the message while branding is really about delivering to the experience within the message.

A great explanation of “brand” comes from Marty Neumeier, author of The Brand Gap who suggests brand is “a person’s gut feeling about a product, service or organization.” So in essence, branding is about the overall user experience. From a company culture perspective a great piece of advice would be to make your customers’ experiences match their expectations. That may be a lofty goal and easier said than done, but adopting such a company philosophy is your front row ticket to building a successful brand.

Branding is about emotion, and emotion turns prospects into buyers.

Create A Personal Experience — Good branding can transcend pricing obstacles. People will pay more for one product or service over another that is similar usually because of their positive personal experiences with the brand. This means not just knowing what your customer wants but connecting with them in more direct and personal ways. In one Forbes article, Taylor King of Inward Strategic Consulting states, “Taking in feedback from the masses and collecting metadata on customers is fine but for a closer relationship with individuals, companies and brands have to go the extra mile and offer tailored experiences.” Knowing and understanding that perspective is critical to building a brand that can meet the expectations of those who will connect and talk about your brand.

BRANDING: It's Not What YOU Say It Is. It's What THEY Say It Is. 

Always consider your brand from the customer perspective; not by what you’re doing, but by what they are experiencing.

Brand design legend, Walter Landor once said: “Products are built in the factory, brands are created in the mind.” What does your intended target audience see, feel and think as it relates to your business?

Here are a few important key principles that impact branding:

  1. Stay on message. It’s about consistency. (Both internally & externally).
  2. Stand up for something! Be unique and differentiate yourself from the rest of the competition.
  3. Collaborate with both customers and employees in all phases of value creation.
  4. Cultivate your community. Public image – manage your social media effectively, engage and respond. 
  5. Reliability and trust is gained through efficient, friendly, knowledgeable and capable customer service (before, during and after the sale). This is important for both short and long term results.
  6. Visual Appeal: The look and feel and usability of your website is very important. It should be dynamic, simple and responsive. Integrate smart design across all your promotional ad pieces, products and package design. The brand should feel familiar through a unified voice, that is clear and simple.
  7. Narrow your focus. Be authentic. Keep your PROMISE.

Branding and design are not necessarily inseparable. 

Creating a brand that can be intellectually digested as a single idea is not an easy feat. As already stated, your brand is not your logo. It's that je ne sais quoi, or that intangible gut feeling people have about your organization. It’s intuitive. It’s emotional. When many people begin to experience the same feeling, you’ve got yourself a brand. That emotion is fully aided through smart design, which elevates the personal experiences people have with the brand. Everything you do creates the brand experience.



Advertisers and marketers are always looking for unique ways to make their print and branded promotional materials stand out among the competition.

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branding article blog by alex zafer for coaster factory


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blog post written by Alex Zafer

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