Brand > Branding > Visual Branding

Brand > Branding > Visual Branding

Are you aware of the distinctions between brand, branding and visual branding?

Here’s a basic overview.

I have used the reference to “you” here, which can be a person, company, product or just about anything your brand efforts are focused on.

What is a Brand?

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Brand Relationship Building

How You Can Master Brand Relationship Building

Branding is very simple. The typical thought process behind branding awareness is a logical progression. It goes something like this:
> A logo is your brand
> Branding is more than just a logo
> A brand is every touchpoint and beyond just design
> A brand is a relationship

Yes, a brand is a relationship. It’s an emotional connection between you and your customer.

How do we build this brand relationship?

1   Consistency
A company establishes who they are, what they believe in, how they speak, and what they look like. They then bring that to every interaction, every time. This builds familiarity and trust… which drives loyalty.

2   Authenticity
A company needs to be authentic in who they are and what they offer. Brand authenticity builds trust which, again, results in a strong long-lasting relationship with customers .

3   Transactions
Transactions are without emotion. Beyond the transaction, lies nothing. Features lists mean little when your company can only offer as much as its competitor. Why then, would customers remain loyal to the brand?
What happens when you continue to build the emotional connection beyond the transaction? That’s right! You can reap the long-term relationship benefits you want.

4   Stay the course
Emotional relationships take time and nurturing to build. Have patience.

5   Every interaction is meaningful
Build the relationship through powerful and memorable ongoing interactions, before, during AND after the sale.

Like any relationship, branding develops over time. Be patient. The results may surprise you!



Branding … Good And Bad

5 Ways To Build An Unforgettable Brand!

Where Customers Take Control of Branding

Cotter Visual Synergist

JCPenney Rebranding Fails

JCPenney’s logo, updated in January 2012, will be replaced by its prior logo, along with a new CEO. The 2012 logo was the third in three years. A telltale sign of brand confusion!

The 2012 rebrand involved a new pricing strategy, called “Fair and Square Pricing,” in which there would be everyday prices; month-long values; and “best prices” on the first and third Fridays of every month. The logo was meant to play off the “fair and square” theme (notice the square).

The logos in the image at left show the evolution of its visual brand.

Ron Johnson, the newly ousted CEO, had shortened the company’s name to ‘jcp’ in an attempt to rebrand. Consumer research showed overwhelming support for the prior logo before ‘jcp’.

The rebranding coincided with last year’s loss of nearly $1 billion for the company. Executives are hoping that the return of the former familiar logo will also encourage the return of shoppers.

Stephen Sadove, currently CEO of Saks Fifth Avenue, will join JCPenney after Saks Fifth Avenue’s pending merger with Hudson’s Bay.

How often do companies go through a rebranding when a new CEO steps in? Each CEO sets themselves up to make their mark and rebrand the company as their own. But if you notice, it is often the struggling companies that look to rebranding as part of the answer to their overall strategy.

Building Brand, Delivering Happiness

I just finished reading Delivering Happiness by Tony Hseith, CEO,, Inc.

This IS a business book.

The first half of the book is a great story on who Tony is and how Zappos came to be. His genius is awe-inspiring and to be greatly admired. At such a young age, he offers many life-living nuggets which makes it not only a business book, but a life skills book as well.

But, most importantly, this book is about branding. Yes. It is about delivering happiness – through your company brand AND through living your life.

The book has a number of levels and many revelations. The author speaks of building a Tribe. He realized that he felt the happiest when he was in his “Tribe” where he gets a sense of love and belonging. Once he realized that Tribes are key, his intent became to build a Tribe with Zappos. Building a tribe (or a culture) is building a brand. Brand advocates are those who work there and those who buy there. They all become one “Zappos people” with the unified goal of delivering happiness to everyone. They all become brand ambassadors within the organization and in the outside world.

Branding is no longer a marketing or a PR function, but a natural organic process which grows from the culture. Amazing! Inside and outside of the business: Live it. Be it. Think it. A unified goal. The author has become a master at how and why we humans do what we do, which is key to building a brand that humans embrace.

Zappos is one of those companys that we should model for brand building behavior.

The author says, “It is really important to have core values that can be committed to. And if you’re willing to hire and fire based on them, you’re well on your way to building a company culture that is in line with the brand you want to build.”

For me, this brings a surprisingly refreshing approach to branding. Enjoy! And let me know what you think!

Delivering Happiness