#100: What does “brand building” mean?

Jun 27, 2018

The phrase or expression “brand building” is something you might hear a lot. And just like the term “brand,” people are using it to describe many different activities and processes. A company, for example, might feel like the event they are putting on is very “brand building” for them, or you might hear someone say they “build brands” for companies or for a living.



In the context of working with a company – to “build their brand” – that company is really looking to accomplish two main outcomes:


A) Develop their Identity

Your brand identity is so much bigger than your visual identity – otherwise known as your logo or assets. Developing your brand includes all of the tangible and intangible pieces – heard that one before? Well a brand identity can be complex. It is your tone, voice and communications; It is your entire visual identity system; It is your story and narrative, and so much more.


B) Determine or Frame their Positioning

This means understanding the marketplace and developing your position in it – essentially how you are unique and different from their competitors. This is very important to building your identity.


For example, if you are positioning yourself as a luxury product or service, you would develop an identity very differently than if you were positioning yourself as the lowest priced option in the market. This is because the consumers are different – and different consumers need to be communicated with differently BECAUSE their needs are different.


The part that makes brand builds difficult is that you need to see the big picture and understand the business as a whole. The brand build is impacted by so many different pieces, for example the mission and vision. People talk about mission and vision a lot – and while corporate devalued its importance for a few years – it is highly critical that you know yours. You need to understand the end goal to build the checkpoints along the way. Checkpoints can only be met when the brand is on the right path.


Often times, the outcomes of a brand build is a ‘brand bible’ or ‘brand guidelines.’ You might think how would everyone at the company not know the brand? Well you’d be misguided to think that. It is so easy for brands to be influenced by what other brands are doing. Or perhaps new opportunities come in – are they right for us? Well let’s remind ourselves what the heck we are even working towards.

Just like people… it’s sometimes easy to forget who we are especially when life is flashing before our eyes. The same goes for brands no matter how small or large they are.


The other side of this coin is the on-going brand building work. Truthfully, this should never end. Just like marketing, sales, and so on and so forth, you should always be developing it. Otherwise, it’s easy for brands to become stale and stagnant.

Just like people…. if we don’t continue to educate ourselves and become better versions of ourselves, what do they say? They’ve outgrown us.

The same goes for our customers. They want to be inspired and impressed by everything we are getting up to – how we are becoming more “x”. And that X was defined by us originally.

Perhaps we positioned ourselves as innovative. Well how are we always becoming MORE innovative? We told our customers who we are and strive to be. They now expect that from us.

Brand building is complex. It is like Jenga. Many components make up the entirety of the structure. We need to ensure all of the pieces work together to keep its integrity intact.