Branding 101


I watch several blogs and feeds of fellow artists and crafts people and recently there was a lot of chatter about “when should i rebrand”.  I fell silent, pondering why anyone would begin a discussion with a desire to rebrand.  And the only thing i could think would be a reason to do this would be that the current endeavor is an epic fail, or you have created such a negative impression in the market that you need to reinvent yourself, or your product.  That brings me to writing this article.  At the center of my thoughts is a perception that some, if not most people dont fully understand the concept of a brand.  Sure, we think of Kleenex, or maxwell house, etc, and we can name a long list of household names of products in the market place.  And yes, that is a part of branding.  but it goes so much deeper.

Branding (definit-  The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers’ mind, mainly through advertising campaigns.  A brand is a product, service, or concept that is publicly distinguished from other products, services, or concepts so that it can be easily communicated

There are a number of components that go into the brand:

  • The product itself – clearly defined as to what it is, what it does, and how it will change your life.  We can think of everything from breakfast cereals, to high performance automobiles.  Clear description of the product is needed.
  • The product name/company name – The name is the brand.  We will always think of Kleenex as the paper tissue used for blowing your nose.  They defined the product, and their brand name is more often used of the product than the actual description “paper tissue”.  In other cases, the company name is the brand, with multiple variables of products – for example Chanel is the brand, although the house of Chanel produces perfume, as well as fashion items.
  • The image – Each brand carries an image.  And the image is created by how the product is marketed, what is written about it, and how the leadership represents their product.  In our case, we view our soap as an extension of our self.  We are honest in our representation, fair in our dealings, keepers of our word, holding core values of integrity, honesty, wholesome and healthy, sincerety and trust as core values defining Images in Bloom
  • the market perception – Brand is also about how people receive your story, your product, your image.  It can be very favorable, or take on negative connotation.
  • The packaging – How are you packaging your product? What does your packaging say to the world about your brand.  We keep ours simple, elegant, well printed, graphically simple so that the product is showcased, not the fancy wrapping.  But that speaks to our core values of wholesome, healthy, sincere, honest.

So you see, branding is not just slapping a label on what you make and calling it your brand.  It is a whole spectrum of interaction, behavior, history, as well as the product itself.  Branding is not just graphic design.  Branding is how you interact with your clients and potential clients.  Branding challenges you to define your presence in the market and make intentional decisions on the product, packaging, market integration and advertising.  And above all, branding challenges us to live to the core values of our brand.  That said, we strive to live wholesome, healthy, sincere, honest lives in simplicity.  This is images in bloom.

And to those who wish to change their brand…. use caution.  It is more difficult to overcome market perception, product perception, or simple name change…. work on your core value statements, and define your brand around what you want to present to the world.