What's the Value of Branding? (Part 1)

Branding is most expensive, most cost-effective, and least understood discipline. In the next 4 articles, I will advance 3 arguments for why it's worth investing the right amount in branding. First, what is branding? To me, it's simple. Branding is to a company like character is to a person. A brand is the "character" of a company. It's the description of "who" a company is. This includes what the company is like (emotional attributes) and what the company is likely to do (functional attributes). In this way, just like character forms the basis for interpersonal communication, branding forms the foundation for all corporate communication. Branding includes the basic vocabulary, images, symbols, and tools that are used by a company to communicate with others (note that this is just as important for internal communication as external). The trouble with this is branding is usually done over a few months, while character formation is done over years. And branding is thematized while character development is mostly unconscious. These make branding difficult and expensive. And this is why it's not well-understood or well-practiced. So, why spend all this money? Next week we talk about why branding is worth the cost.