You’ve heard that your brand is not your logo, but you still don’t know what the word brand really means. I’m breaking down the full definition for you right here along with an easy way to remember the definition as you move forward with your business.
A brand is:
“A defined set of emotions conveyed through visuals and messaging that are consistently woven through every touch point of a company”
And while that might seem like a lot, as we pull back the layers of the definition, we’ll get to a true understanding of the word.
If we look at a brand at its root, it is defined as a core set of emotions.
We’re really asking ourselves, how do we want people to feel when they interact with our brand? How do we want people to perceive our brand? Do we want people to feel cozy and comfortable, like they can share anything with us? Or do we want people to feel excited, inspired, and ready to party?
The answers to the questions above then become your brand’s core set of emotions.
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Once we know what emotions we want people to feel, we ask how we’re going to make people feel this emotion. We can help people feel a certain way about our brand through the use of various visuals and messaging.
When we talk about visuals, we’re talking about images (whether on your website, social media, or marketing materials), videos, colors, illustrations, graphics, charts, timelines, any visual component that your company creates for itself and its customers.
When we talk about messaging, we’re talking about website copy, fonts, tones, social media posts, newsletters, headings, buttons, freebies, product cards, and anything that you say or write for your company.
In layer one of the definition we said that a brand begins with a core set of emotions. In layer two we went over the medium with which these emotions are conveyed, visuals and messaging. However, the brand definition is not truly completed until we take in the third layer, which is that it is consistently woven through every touch point of your company.
A brand becomes a brand when it is consistent, when it is recognizable, when we’re able to weave those beautiful emotions through the visuals and messaging at every touch point of your company. This means your website, your social media accounts, every single one of your newsletters, any marketing material that you publish or that you create, videos that you create, even if you’re on Insta Stories, if you’re on Facebook live, all of those things should convey the exact same set of emotions. So that anywhere that a customer interacts with your company, they’re feeling the exact same thing. They know it is you without having to see your logo.
The best way to visualize a brand is to think of your brand as the thread in a needle. If sewn together correctly, it ties together every single touch point of your company. Your company is the needle, while your brand is the thread.
When we’re working on branding and we’re defining everything, we’re defining your thread. We’re looking at it and we’re asking, what color is the thread? What thickness is it? What’s the thread count on it? What material is it made out of? Is it course? Is it silky smooth? We’re intentionally defining all of the thread’s properties so that we know exactly how to create a single cohesive brand for your company.
And then it’s your job as the company, as the needle, to take that thread that was intentionally defined to reflect those core emotions, and to weave it through every touch point of your company. Take that needle and weave it through your social media, weave it through your website, weave it through your newsletter list, your videos, through any marketing material that you touch. This creates consistency so that no matter what part of your company your customer is interacting with, they’re going to feel that exact same feeling.
Your brand’s emotions should consistently shine through all parts of your company so that no matter the customer interaction point, they know exactly who you are because of what you made them feel.