What Exactly Is A Brand?


Last week I talked about the buzz phrase “ideal client”. This week I’m chatting about what a “brand” is. I’m sure you’ve seen discussions about brands online. You may have a general idea about what a brand is but not really sure how it applies to your business or where to start with identifying your brand.

In general, a brand defines your online presence - who you are, what you do, and your overall look. A brand includes things like your name, logo, any specific fonts or colors you use, your website, your social media channels, your voice, and the overall look and feel of your business. By defining these characteristics and how you want to be seen as a business, it can help you determine what opportunities will work for your business. By having these things written out, when opportunities arise you can run them through your brand checklist to see if it would be a good fit and beneficial for both parties.

This article from Forbes discusses what branding is and how it’s changed in recent years. They define brand as,

what your prospect thinks of when he or she hears your brand name.  It’s everything the public thinks it knows about your name brand offering—both factual (e.g. It comes in a robin’s-egg-blue box), and emotional (e.g. It’s romantic).  Your brand name exists objectively; people can see it.  It’s fixed.  But your brand exists only in someone’s mind.

Some of the first steps for defining your brand is to know your mission statement, target audience/who you want to serve, and the services and products you offer. Other materials such as your overall design can stem from these ideas. All of these pieces should be cohesive and work well together. Defining your mission statement should influence your target audience and the services and products you offer.

I created a Branding Checklist: Brainstorm Your Brand, which walks you through many of these questions. If you’re a newsletter subscriber you should have already gotten it! If you’re not, go sign up now for this free checklist to help guide you through each of the steps.