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Deciphering the Branding Jargon - What does it really mean?

May 23, 2022

From branding identities to brand experiences and brand activation. There are so many words to describe all of what's involved in the process of branding, but what do they really mean? What are you actually getting for your money and how will this bring any growth into your business?

Whether you have your own design company and your clients have no idea what you are talking about, or you are on the hunt for a design studio and don't know what you actually need. This is for you.

Lets have a look at some of the most common words used among agencies and get to the bottom of what they really mean.

Firstly what is the meaning of a brand?

1. Brand

  • The combination of tangible (Visible) and intangible elements that influence a specific audience while giving them value.

2. Branding

  • For extra confusion, branding actually has a slightly different meaning to the word “Brand”. Branding is the process of showcasing and communicating your brand to your customers visually, verbally and more. Branding not only effects your customers but your employees and the internal company culture.

3. Brand Identity

  • Your brand identity is not only how your brand looks visually but also how it's communicated verbally and in writing. It is in the way you write and speak to you customers; this should align with your visual identity and brand strategy.

Brand Strategy Framework

Your Internal brand - The core of who you are

4. Brand Strategy

  • Brand Strategy is all about defining what your brand stands for, what it promises, who it’s talking to, how your different to competitors and how you communicate with your customers. It’s the foundation of your brand and is the guiding light for future decisions, making sure they align with who you are and why you exist. It’s giving your customers clarity about who you are and what you stand for.

5. Brand Audit

  • Brand audits help to uncover whether your brand is communicating a unified message to your customers which aligns with your strategy. We take an in-depth review of all areas of where your brand is being communicated, from your website to social media, printed media, advertising and internal communications. This will help define areas that may need improvement or whether a complete rebrand will be needed.

6. Brand Personality

  • They way your business sounds, looks and acts setting you apart from your competition. This effects how your customers will experience and connect with your brand.

7. Brand Mission

  • A short statement expressing the reason why you do what you do and why you exist. It helps to provide direction for your business through decision making and planning. The mission is what is accomplished every day.

8. Brand Purpose

  • This is the impact you have on your audience and how you provide them with genuine value.

9. Brand Vision:

  • A future vision of where you want your brand to be, it is what you aspire to be and are constantly working towards.

10. Brand Promise

  • This communicates the benefits and experiences that you are offering to your customers, it's what they should come to expect. This builds the emotional connection with your customer. It's important to not over promise in which this would have negative impacts on your business.

11. Brand Proposition

  • This is the value your customers get from your offering in a way that no other competitor can provide.

12. Brand Positioning

  • This is where you position yourself in the market, carving out your niche and defining what makes you unique compared to your competitors. The end goal is to be the standout and the go to brand for your customers.

13. Brand Values

  • A set of beliefs and attributes that your brand stands for, how it behaves, what it values above all else, and what it strives to be every day. This therefore becomes the benchmark for your performance and behaviors. Having clear values that your customers align with helps strengthen that connection.  

14. Target Audience

  • Your target audience is the group of people that your business is wanting to reach. They are the people who are likely to get the most value and spend money on your products and services. Once you know who they are, you can then figure out where to reach them and how best to communicate with them.

15. Pain Points

  • Gaining an understanding of what challenges your customers are facing and how your business can solve them.

16. Customer Journey

  • Understanding how customers interact with your brand at every point by mapping out the process. This often falls into four or more phases:
  • How they come to find out about your product or service, and what life was like before.
  • Where do they learn about your product or service? This is the awareness phase
  • The consideration phase is understanding what convinces them to buy your product/service
  • Finally, what happens after? What keeps them coming back?

Elements of a Branding Identity

External Branding - The Visual and Verbal

17. Brand Message / Messaging
  • The way you communicate your products and services to your customers, helping them to understand what makes you different and what your brand stands for.

18. Tone of Voice
  • How the character and personality of your brand comes through both verbally and in writing. It's how you come across to your customers and the impression at makes on them. Your tone of voice should be aligned with your personality.

19. Brand Experience
  • This is the way you communicate with your customers and how they experience your brand. Think of the 5 senses, how do they experience your brand through smell, taste, touch, hearing, and vision. There are so many opportunities to create a memorable brand experience.

20. Brand Assets
  • The intentionally developed visual pieces of your brand that all work together to evoke a positive connection with your customers. This includes all of your visual assets such as logos, icons, graphics, photos and more.

21. Branding Guidelines
  • No matter who is using your branding, whether it be creating new social media posts or promotional materials, the look, feel and sound of your brand should always remain consistent. Branding guidelines also known as the brand bible as an internal resource which is used to help keep your brand aligned across all applications.  
22. Collateral Design
  • All the materials and media used to communicate and promote your brand. This could include business cards, letter heads and email signatures to promotional brochures, menus and packaging. The physical and tangible elements of your brand.
23. Touchpoints
  • A touchpoint is anything that has interaction or communication between your brand and your customer. Every interaction your customer has with your business is essentially a brand touch point – this all becomes a part of the customer experience. Think social media posts, signage, your physical store.
24. Visual Identity Design
  • This is the outward expression of your brand. This is built up with your logo, colours, imagery, graphics and more giving off the perception you want your customers to have. Consistency is an important part of your visual identity, providing your customers with more opportunity to remember you.

Customer Journey

What's next?

25. Brand Awareness

  • Do many people know about your business and what you offer? Brand awareness is all about how many people in the potential market are familiar with who you are. Building brand awareness can take time and is one of the issues many small businesses struggle with. Increased brand awareness gives you the opportunity to gain more leads and sales in your business.

26. Brand Activation

  • The process of engaging directly with your customers, increasing brand awareness, and building trust with potential clients.

27. Brand Equity

  • This is the value that you brand holds based on what is associated with it. The more positive associations the higher the equity.

28. Brand Image

  • This is the perception of your brand held by your customers. A brand can certainly influence these perceptions but at the end of the day your brand is what they say it is.

29. Value Perception

  • What customers believe about your products and services based on using your service, their experience, functionality. Does your product or service truly bring them value?.

Phew that's a lot take in, it may be worth bookmarking this page for future reference. In essence a good brand should have a strong brand strategy, a memorable visual identity and create a simple and clear customer journey.

A good starting point is to ask yourself - does your visual brand align with your values? Are there any improvements you could make to improve the experience for you customer? Sometimes the little tweaks can make a big difference.

Want to know where you could improve? Our brand audits are a great way to uncover what's working and what's not, with an action plan to get you to where you want to be.

Get in touch, we'd love to hear from you!

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