Not that long ago we exhibited at the Great British Business Show / Business Startup Show in London(some of you might even have come to chat with us?).

Well to be perfectly honest with you, this event made me realise that many people misunderstand what branding is; in fact, I would say that it is more of a confusion than a real misunderstanding. If you feel unsure about what branding is or if you would simply like a refresher course, then carry on reading.

From the Origins to Nowadays

In the good old days, ‘branding’ was simple: it was the marking of livestock to indicate ownership. Nowadays livestock owners still mark their animals but they’re not the only ones anymore. Branding now also applies to products, services and companies. The meaning is a bit broader too: branding indicates ownership; it now also conveys the owner’s personality and his/her personal message to his/her target market. From what I’ve just said you should therefore remember that branding indicates ownership AND communicates an identity.

Branding  ?  Marketing

Still with me? Alright, let’s carry on.

If you have paid attention to what you have read in the previous paragraph, you should have noticed that I haven’t used the word ‘marketing’ (if you’re not sure re-read the previous paragraph). The reason I haven’t is simple: branding and marketing are two completely distinct things. To re-use the very clear and concise definition that Lois Geller from the Lois Geller Marketing Group gives about brands and branding in her article Why A Brand Matters[1]: “a brand is a specific combination of logo, words, type font, design, colors, personality, price, service, etc.” Following this logic, branding experts will be able to help you on the creation of your brand identity, they will be likely to be competent at helping you to decide or revise your brand strategy and positioning, but if what you are looking for is help and advice to market your brand – I warn you, what I am about to say will sound very obvious – then you should get in touch with a Marketing company. Although it is true that some Marketing companies have their own in-house branding department; but if you get in touch specifically with a branding agency it is not certain that they will offer you marketing services.


If you have to remember one thing out of this entry (actually two!), remember the following:

> Branding = work on the brand (whether it is your brand name for a product, a service or a company; your domain name; your slogan; your logo; your website; the colours and  the font(s) to use; the way to communicate about your brand internally/externally, etc).

> Marketing = work on the marketing of your brand.

[1] Lois Geller from the Lois Geller Marketing Group