Defining Branding and other design jargon.

So what is a brand identity? That's just a logo right?

"Branding" is a big buzzword going around right now in both the entrepreneurial and design worlds. And I want to take some time to explain the jargon.


Brand a.k.a. Branding
The term originally comes from cattle driving where they would 'brand' the cattle with the mark of the ranch that owned them.That's still the correct definition in that context.

But in the business/design world brand/branding means something different.

Brand, Branding refers to a feeling or the relationship between a business and its customers. Example: Walmart. You immediately think *cough*cheapcrap*cough* low prices. REI. Outdoor and camping gear, adventure.

A brand is something that is developed over time. It can't necessarily be controlled and largely relies on the customers. But as a business, you do have some options to help guide that relationship.

A logo, short for logotype - which is business speak for a trademark, is custom lettered words. There's different types such as symbols/icons, wordmarks, letter marks, combination marks and emblems/badges. Your logo is a representative of your brand. It's one of the ways customers can identify and recognize your business. Think of it as the face or first impression of your business. The look and feel of it should give customers a hint to what you do or spark a feeling.

Connection | The elements that connect a brand to a logo
Some call them artifacts, I call them elements. If the logo is the face of the brand it’s the first sign that points customers in the direction of your business and reflects the relationship. The elements are the bread crumbs in between that help guide the customers in and reminds them of the relationship afterward. These aren’t just visual items. Utilize the five senses; sight, sound, taste, and feel.

Example: Lyft uses the tactile element of the pink furry mustaches to be memorable. Starbucks has that coffee smell helping them out. Think out of the box for how your business can incorporate other elements to be memorable. Because a logo can’t make you stand out on it’s own.

Identity | Consistent engaging elements
Now we’re getting down to what I do. Your brand identity is the whole of multiple elements combined that tell your story and add to the relationship between your customers and your business in a consistent and memorable way.

Example: Apple. You know them for their products and sleek keynotes and epic reveals of new things. Or even think of the ipod. You know the ipod but bright colors and dancing always pop into my head when I think of them too.

Here’s a non-business example for those needing personal branding tips. Sia- she’s known for her music, secrecy and those bob cut wigs. And Maddie Ziegler’s dancing.

And that’s where I’m here to help. I’m a Brand Identity designer. Here to explain the jargon and help you dive deep into your brand story and find those elements that are completely YOU. Feel free to email me or find me on social media with any questions you have about your brand, brand identity and business.

This was the first part of series of emails where I’ll be breaking down and sharing actionable steps you can take ON YOUR OWN to develop your brand story.