Fake News: 7 Myths On Branding Busted

7 Myths

By Julia Koh & Syira Junaidi
October 2019
Branding was historically exclusive to cattle branding. The word ‘brand’ came from the German word for ‘burn’ as you sear the flesh of living livestock to mark ownership.
However, today we have evolved from that. No longer do we just brand cows, we also brand products, organisations, people, events, and anything else really. Branding has come to mean perception, communication, imagery, and even legacy.
What exactly is branding? And what is not branding? There are a few common misconceptions as we’re about to discuss. These myths are not only untrue, but can also be detrimental to those believing in them. What are they and why are they not true?
Let’s look at the 7 myths on branding that are merely fake news:
  1. Branding is the logo and name
    We are far beyond the days of cattle branding. No longer just the logo and name, branding encompasses a lot of aspects of your product, services, and business. When we speak of a company’s brand, we also mean its customers, industry, values, messages, angles, channels, personality and many other things.

    It’s true that the first thing most people will remember about a brand is the logo; just think of Starbucks or Toyota. However, it’s incorrect to think that the logo creates the brand. It’s actually the other way around; the brand creates the logo.

    That’s why rebranding is so much more than a logo update. It could be a repositioning exercise, or an overhaul of the whole brand strategy. The logo change is usually the result of rebranding, rather than the reason.

  2. Branding is an unnecessary luxury
    Some might think that branding is only for big companies where they have big budgets for expensive and viral campaigns like how KFC Malaysia often does them.

    Branding doesn’t have to be luxurious, though it is still necessary. It could be as common as creating a brand identity guideline, or it could be as complex as a long-term brand strategy. There are also many DIY branding guides you can try online, like our playbook or the free e-book you might have seen on our website. This way, you would be able to start building your brand yourself, all you need is some time and experimentation.

  3. Branding is meant to please everyone
    Some might think that a brand should appease everyone. Or worse, some think that they don’t need a brand because they want to appease everyone. This news is fake, to say the least.

    Brands are created to speak to a specified target customer. Everyone has different needs according to many factors like lifestyle, occupation, interests and opinions. It’s easier to talk to a smaller group of people than to yell unheedingly in a noisy crowd. Remember, your competitors are already targeting your customers. You need something attractive and relevant to get their attention and a brand can help you do that.

  4. Branding is the marketing team’s job
    Branding should involve people outside the marketing department as well. Specifically, it involves the brand owners and decision-makers who need to be informed and aware of the company’s brand image. Not to forget, other departments should be in the know about the company’s branding too. This is to establish consistency throughout the customer journey.
  5. Branding is created through marketing
    Relating to the previous point, branding is not created by (just) marketing. The whole process of branding is made up of customer service, product design, image and identity, public relations, and more.

    What creates a brand? Essentially, customer experience and customer perception. Therefore, every part of a company should work in the same direction as to how it wants to be perceived by the customers. Marketing does play a big role in branding, but that doesn’t discount the importance of other parts as well.

  6. Branding is subjective
    We say that it’s both an art and science. Coming up with attractive content, designing and planning creatively are the artsy parts of branding. But how would you know your brand’s performance if not by objectively measuring it?

    That’s where brand agencies can help you quantify your campaign and get you through the process objectively and systematically. You can track results and give credit where it’s due by looking at key metrics from your campaigns. Because ultimately, you want to identify if your branding tactics contribute significantly to the company’s revenue.

  7. Branding is a one-off affair

    Branding is not something you can dust off your hands after one branding campaign is done. Occasionally, you need to review your brand’s performance and see if the KPIs are still in-line with your brand strategy. From there, you can decide if you want to keep doing what you do or change tactic to better fit customer trends.

    Amazon didn’t become the world’s most valuable brand in one year. It happened through consistent but intense branding over more than two decades. Amazon knows the importance of brand visibility, recognition and image. They put their name in almost every product and service (Amazon Prime, Amazon Echo, Amazon Smile). Even their shipping boxes are not exempt from their branding. However, one of Amazon’s strongest points that helped their branding is their customer service that sticks to the brand’s mission and purpose.

In Conclusion

Branding involves a lot more than a logo, the marketing department, and a one-off event. It’s about shaping your product or company into an image that looks desirable to your customers. Branding is a journey to build recognition and trust that your customer can make meaningful connections with.
And brand agencies are there to help you streamline your branding process, guide you on how to fortify your brand and stand out against a crowded market.