Branding 101 – Putting Your Best Foot Forward

The question that we get asked often is “what is branding and why is it important?”  The simple answer is – Branding is important even if you are a small one-person business. You are your Brand.

As competition creates numerous choices, it is important to emotionally connect with your customers, become irreplaceable, and establish lifelong relationships.

People fall in love with brands, trust brands and believe they are superior over other like brands. 

A strong brand stands out from the crowd.



Brands have three primary functions; navigation, reassurance and engagement. 

In other words, brands help customers choose from a array of choices, communicate the quality of their product or service-reassuring the customer they have made the correct choice and use imagery and language to encourage that customer they can identify with the brand.



When designing your brand ask yourself …

  • Who are you?
  • Who needs to know?
  • Why should they care?


Think of your brand at the center of everything you do and say. 

The rays that spear from the brand are called Brand Touchpoints.  These touchpoints appear as many forms such as:

  • Printed materials such as business cards, advertising,publications, postcards, and flyers
  • Online experiences such as your website, social media posts, blog posts and e-mails.
  • Customer/Potential Customer experience with your company (or representatives of your company) such as networking, presentations, telephone conversations, and if you have office space, your environment.


Each touchpoint is an opportunity to increase awareness and build customer loyalty.

You don’t define your brand; the public and your customers define your brand.  That isn’t to say that you can’t help formulate what they think of your brand by sending the correct marketing message on every “touchpoint” they experience. The design and appearance or identity of your brand is just as important as the experience they have using your product or service.  Your brand’s identity is tangible.  It appeals to your customers senses-they can see it, touch it, hold it, hear it.   Brand identity is an asset.  We suggest when starting to put your marketing pieces together, start with your company’s logo.  Why the logo instead of the marketing piece and then the logo?  Your company’s logo it is the jumping off point for many of your touchpoints.  It is an iconic representation of your company and the experience people will have with your company.



It is never too late to design or update your brand identity.


Gina O'Daniel

Gina is an award-winning designer and brand strategist with over 30 years experience in the design industry and has worked with small start-ups to large corporations both nationally and internationally to ensure their logos, business sets, marketing materials, signage, display advertising, social media design and website work together to ensure brand identity and maximize the company's image potential and profit.

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