Branding, Say What?!

I know by now you’ve heard the word “Brand” tossed around by one business guru or another. And you are scratching your head going “branding, say what?!”.

You’ve been sending out silent pleas into the internet abyss, “can’t someone, anyone pleeeease tell me what it means to have a brand?”

Well, it’s not the easiest thing to define, because it entails a lot, but I’m going to give you a quick example and a run down of what the essence of a brand is.

Imagine living in a foreign country…

Branding-How-To-In-A-Sea-Of-SamenessLet’s just say China, because it’s quite the populous place (trust me I’ve lived there). And you live in a sea of people, in a city of over 9 million to be exact. It’s a little difficult to feel at home in a city of this magnitude.

There is a mall in this city, with so many stores that it’s hard to know where to go or where to look.

The choices are overwhelming. Yet, you do manage to find a place that makes you feel at home.

It’s the cutest little store with a coffee shop kind of vibe that makes you feel so at home that you decide you must go there every single day. And you want to buy ALL the things inside said store, because it makes you happy.

You have absolutely no problem giving them your money or buying some doodad that you have no clue what it’s used for, all because said store gives you warm fuzzies inside.

Now, what is it about this store that makes you feel at home in the midst of a foreign country?

I can guarantee you that it’s not the logo hung above the door frame, or the color of the walls inside.

It’s the feeling the store gives you.

In this case it is the memory of home.

(Sidenote: The logo and colors were what drew me in, so those things are important. And the designer in me feels you must know this.)

This store really existed for me. I’m pretty sure the owner had to have known me by name, that’s how often I frequented the place.

So, why is this important?

Well, because the feeling the store gave me was the store’s brand. The essence of that brand is what mattered to me, and was what got me to buy continually.

The Essence Of A Brand

There you have it my friends, this is the core of what branding is.

It’s the feeling you get and the things you say because of a business.

It’s the things that you tell your friends about a business, and it’s products, and it’s employees…a brand is built upon these things and your brand is what will make or break your business.

 So, now I want to hear from you. Tell me in the comments below what your favorite brand is and what feelings it gives you. I will be blogging a series on branding for the next month or two, so if you have any questions feel free to ask those also.

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  1. Lisa Robbin Young says

    Three of my favorite brands are Jeep, Marvel, and Lego. Jeep gives me a sense of adventure and power, and the confidence to get stuff done (no matter how dirty my hands have to get in the process). Marvel makes me feel like a superhero (even while I embrace the “realness” of my human flaws), and Lego inspires creativity, playfulness, and FUN!

    As a fusion creative, I’ve struggled to bring all the elements of my brand under one roof for years. I felt like I had to compartmentalize my music and my business stuff. It’s only been in the last year that I realized I just needed the courage to keep showing up consistently as both to be seen as both. The brand sticks because of consistency. If the little shop only made you feel warm and fuzzy sometimes, you wouldn’t resonate with the brand.

    • Amanda says

      I love the three brands you’ve chosen as favorites! They are outside of the box than what I’ve heard before (I hear Apple all the time!). Great job on identifying them and why you love them!

      • Lisa Robbin Young says

        Hey Amber!
        “Fusion Creative” is a term I developed to represent the middle of the spectrum I developed to identify different types of creative entrepreneurs. “Chaotic Creatives” are at one end of the spectrum – eschewing deadlines, and too much structure, while “Linear Creatives” are on the other end of the spectrum, eschewing disorganization and too much “white space”. “Fusions” handle both with equal love and disdain, thus the term. If you’d like to learn more, there’s a free quiz on my website to determine your type at

  2. Mari Sierra says

    For the first time I really understand what a Brand is and what a good Branding should do… Thanks, Amanda!
    Three brands I like even thouh I’m not their IC are Tiffany, Channel and Carolina Herrera they feel to me classy, beautiful and feminine with that luxurious element too!

    • Amanda says

      Oooh…I love that feeling of classy, beautiful, and feminine! Those make for a great brand. Thanks for sharing with me your faves and I’m so glad that you understand Branding a bit more now, Mari! Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Andimaginary says

    I spent hours with my clients telling them how important it is to take branding seriously. Now – thanks to you – I have a better way to describe its importance.
    I love these brands: David’s Tea, because it reminds me the times when I frequently visited tea houses with my friends during my university years. It’s also so young and fresh looking and the staff is super nice.
    IKEA because as a kid, me and my sister spent hours in their store playing in the “kitchens” and I love all the smart ideas they implement into furniture (even though I hate assembling them).
    Artistry beauty products: everything from the packaging to the actual quality of their products feels so exclusive, I can’t start my morning without using them.

    • Amanda says

      I also love IKEA! And I’ve always wished that furniture would come already put together, but that does make it difficult to get back home, huh? Thanks for sharing your brands!

    • Brenda Zimmerman says

      I love the following brands:
      First, I love hoarding (ahem! I mean working with) paper. I absolutely love Graphic 45 paper for all of its scrumptious front sides, but more-so, its backside, double-sided paper. Because of its perfect thickness, it is also very easy to work with. I am almost guaranteed a beautiful project – every time.
      I absolutely adore this little town of Leavenworth, Washington, which brands itself after traditional Bavaria. It’s a no-brainer to go there every November for pre-holiday festivities and oodles of great gift idas (not to mention the food – and bier!)
      And I do love me some Amazon. They are so dependable, and always give me ways to feel comfortable about my purchase every time. The shipping is quick, and I feel like I have choices, and that I’m in control when I make my buying decisions.

      • Amanda says

        I’m with you on Amazon! I didn’t even think of them when making my list. And it sounds like I may need to pay Leavenworth, Washington a visit. Sounds amazing.

  4. AmberLynnBenton says

    Thank you, Amanda! I’m finding that using the photography exercises from DYF and just exploring my drawings more are helping me discovery my brand/style. And it’s suprisingly girly, lol! My favorite brands are Sundance, Anthropology, and Keen.

    • Amanda says

      It’s so exciting when you begin to find your brand! And girly is okay. :) I am always attracted to brands that share more girly stuff. Anthropology is one of my faves!


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