The meaning of brand building

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

It is not about the product that smells like a rose, but if you call a fragrance a rose, you know what the fragrance would smell like. The name Rose has a personality. So wherever it goes, it will carry that personality.

So what is a brand- A name? A Logo? A tagline?

Is it all of the above?

A brand is a name to start with. And that name slowly showcases it’s personality. Sometimes the name is functional- like the service you provide, your brand name may indicate that directly. Sometimes it is not linked with the business. It is just a name. It still has a mission- to be etched in the customers’ mind. A name is just the beginning.

The logo of the brand is like the signature of that personality. It is not critical initially, but it starts seeping into the customer mindset slowly and it does influence the behavior. It could be soft, it could be bold, it could be bright, it could be subtle. Whatever it is, it adds a layer to the personality. It is like an individual’s dressing sense. It is the closest visual-aid for the name of your brand and anything visual sticks in the mind for the longest.

So a brand is a name, a brand has a logo and a brand has a tagline. What is a tagline? It is simply the promise that you make it to your customer. It is the promise of your product, the promise of your service. Do you need a tagline when you are a startup? No, it is not necessary to launch with a tagline. But what you need is to be clear about how you would like your brand to be remembered and this message we call as the communication goal. Tagline of any brand evolves from the brand’s communication goal. The communication goal is never advertised, it is written down for clarity of action and to shape brand’s personality. The credibility and the reputation of the brand are built on the communication goal. And this message caters to:

  • your partners, your vendors
  • your customers
  • your employees
  • your potential investors
  • your media presence- your website, your social media presence
  • and in your advertising, as and when you go ahead with that

While there is a structured way to arrive at the communication goal, founders should look at that personality trait that they want their brand to be remembered for. You will soon find this message woven in your everyday business dealings. If you get clear about your single communication goal, it will become easier for you to take decisions. And these decisions are not brand decision but business decisions. So say for e.g. you are in the business of personalized gifts and you have a portal to retail through. You may also tie up with existing e-commerce giants to increase your product awareness and build scale. But you may not be allowed to extend personalized service there. What you could do to drive your objective is slip in a card about your edge of personalization in each packet that gets shipped through the e-commerce giant. You will achieve a marketing objective without spending anything extra. You may like to give all your partners a personalized note, every time they achieve certain goals. You may like to delight a potential customer by personalizing. In this case, your email marketing will not end up being a mass blind mail but will be a highly personalized email. So, very soon your brand will start getting remembered as not just a gifting destination but a personalized gifting solution. You could even weave in words like fastest, trusted delivery, unique, etc… in your communication goal. When you are ready to brief an advertising expert to create an ad for you, you know what brief to give. You need to be clear about the thought; actions will follow your command.

A brand is a name, a visual identity that lives up to its promise (tagline) based on the communication goal. Like it or not, the day you decide a name, the personality starts shaping up. The sooner you define the personality objective through your communication goal, the better it is.

Do remember, brand building is not about advertising. Brand building starts with the communication goal. The importance lies in internalising that communication, only then it reflects externally in the day-to-day business.

We all know, there are multiple ways of building the awareness without advertising, but ensure that all means of communication whether your employees, your advertising, your blog, your portal leave the same fragrance behind.

You cannot create a rose. What you are creating can become the namesake Rose.

The author runs a shopper marketing and retail media firm. Prior to her own startup, she has worked on building successful media brands. She can be reached on

One thought on “The meaning of brand building

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  1. Completely agree, there are so many companies that don’t consider that their brand should influence every decision the company makes from hiring to purchasing materials and even the building they work from.

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