Part I The What, Why and How of Branding

Part 1: The What

What is branding? I found myself answering this question a lot after I decided to create my online space with the bold title of photography and design branding. To be honest, even after researching this topic and thoroughly studying how to style and create a brand, I haven’t found a lot of places answering the question clearly and more importantly answering the follow up questions ‘why’ and ‘how’.

So that is what I intend to cover in my first three posts. Hopefully this will provide clarity to those who want to know what it’s all about and will give food for thought for those thinking of branding or who currently have a brand.

What is Branding?

I think of branding as a body part. The brand is a face. Branding is the face of your business; the smile, the voice, the tone, the expression. It’s the outfit you wear, the colors you choose, the pictures you display on your website, even the words you use on your blog. It’s your business and beliefs in visual form. Branding also encompasses how you want your audience to feel after they have interacted with your brand.

For example, when you think of McDonalds, what do you think of? That little jingle of the TV commercial? Or maybe the golden arches? Or perhaps their slogan “I’m lovin’ it”? All these things encompass their brand. Their brand being happy and joyful, geared toward adults as well as children. They want to be known as a pleasant and enjoyable place to eat fast food.

Another recognizable brand is Apple. Their color palette has a lot of white which is very clean, their designs are simple and uncluttered and even their little symbol of an apple which represents knowledge hits at the fact that their brand is smart. Very effective. 

These are both examples not only of how businesses present themselves, but also how they make their customer feel. McDonald’s makes their customers feel happy, Apple makes their customers feel empowered. So when you’re developing your brand think of how you want you customers to feel after they’ve interacted with your website of social media. Do you want them to feel energized? Excited? Encouraged?

When I was doing my branding research I found something very interesting. I found a blog post that was about branding your words. An idea I hadn’t even considered but it was very enlightening and great to think about. It’s written by copywriter Razwana Wahid of Relentless Movement so if you wanna check it out here is the link. But in the article she talks about the importance of aligning your words to match your aesthetic. Sometimes we can forget that our words play a part in our brand but they absolutely do and it’s important they match the rest of what you’re representing.

So to sum it up, branding is the thread woven through your online presence to your personal interactions with customers to banners hanging outside your business office. All these things need to be connected, be cohesive and be representative of you and your values to form a brand and once that happens it’s just a matter of continuing to build on it with clarity and confidence. 


Did this help you with understanding branding?

What’s the hardest part of branding for you?