Brands are becoming the body and soul of 21st century business. Today more than ever, products, services and people are living their lives through brands. Brands give us identity and enrich our life experiences. As the companies' offerings become more intangible, more experience than physical goods, it becomes harder to discern the quality of the offer and that makes the brand more prominent.

What is a brand
A brand is the essence of any organization and its most powerful business enabler. It is a set of tangible and intangible assets of a business (or person) linked to a name, image or symbol that significantly adds to the value provided by a product or service. A brand is the proprietary visual, emotional, rational, and cultural image associated with a company and its products and services. A brand is a signal of quality and its fundamental purpose is to authenticate the source of the goods by promising its value to the consumer. It is for this reason that owners of well-regarded brands enjoy sustainable competitive advantages and therefore superior financial performance.

What is branding
Branding is the process by which both a brand and a brand strategy are developed. It is much more then just creating an identity, telling a compelling story, designing a bold logo, a fancy ad or implementing a great design idea. It's about growing a business (or a person) by understanding and translating the consumer's needs and wants into tangible and intangible value, and then bringing that value to them. Branding is not only about getting your targets to choose you over your competition, it's about getting your prospects to see you as the only solution to their problem.

Where branding fits
Branding is for small and large companies alike. Every start-up or well established company should have a well defined branding strategy as a foundation of all business activities and it should be at the core of all sales, customer service, web site design and marketing communications.

Three important points to remember
1. Your brand (yes you do have one whether you know it or not) is your reputation; it's what the outside world thinks about you.
2. The smaller your budget is, the stronger your brand must be.
3. The more you niche, the better you'll do.


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