What is a brand? The art of Branding demystified

ver wonder what someone in “branding” does? You’re not alone. A lot of people wonder.

Why, when someone says coffee, do you think Starbucks? And why do you shop at Target instead of Walmart? Aren’t they the same kind of store?

Branding is something that affects us all – some, if only subconsciously – but we’re not always able to define it; to put the proverbial finger on it. The first step is to define what a brand is. Here is an excellent article from Branding Strategy Insider that (hopefully) helps clear up the mystery of what a brand really is, and ultimately, what the job of someone in branding actually does.

The Brand Defined

The goal of a brand is to be the only option for a customer. The first choice that pops in someone’s head when they’re making a choice. So, my goal as a brand manager is to reinforce and support these definitions and bring them to fruition. My job, as per my mission, is to build dynamic, three-dimensional brands. Brands that live. Brands that breathe and brands that have personalities that excite, magnetize and lure you in. Here’s how it’s done:

  • conduct research – surveys and market research; looking at historical data
  • create a a positioning statement – a statement that proclaims why the brand is unique and relevant to its audience;  from here, the brand strategy is formed and executed
  • produce key messages for dissemination – this is where we establish your brand philosophy and belief system
  • design an identity package
  • run a measurable branding campaign

What are your thoughts? How would you define a brand?


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Filed under Brand perception, Branding: Identity

Marketing or annoying?

‘ve been wondering about something lately. Obviously, Apple has a good thing going. They have a cultic following because they make products that the masses love (i.e. are obsessed with!). I’m an Apple fan like the rest of them, but I’m wondering:

When does the release of new product versions at astounding rates become less a marketing marvel and more of an annoyance to consumers?

How many iPhones can one person really keep up with? The second I bought my iPad 2 it was obsolete because there were murmurings of the iPad 3 already. So, when do consumers get tired of paying the price of the product (+ the price of the brand!)? I know what I think. What do you think?

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Filed under Brand perception, Branding: Identity

Have we lost the ability to think strategically?

ersonal branding is important in the modern world. As a millennial myself, it’s my responsibility to make some sort of name for myself. Some sort of stamp on my generation. That’s a huge responsibility if you ask me. One way to change people’s thinking about my generation is to think. Think before speaking. Think before doing. Just think. Imagine if we all just stopped for a moment and thought. [Insert thinking here.]

I subscribe to Ragan Communications’ PR Daily emails (which are awesome, by the way) and this one came in a few weeks ago. I just felt like I should share the content.

5 ways millennials can become better strategic thinkers
1. Consider mistakes to be opportunities rather than failures. This is ‘glass half-full stuff’, people.

2. Avoid information overload by stepping away from technology. It’s ok to not know everything immediately. Think for yourself for a change. Don’t form an “opinion” because it’s what you heard on the news, or worse, from a celebrity! (That’s one way to dumb down the generation.) Learn the facts and formulate your opinion from them. 

3. A common criticism of our generation is that we act as though we’re entitled. Entitled to things. Entitled to success. This bugs me like crazy. We AREN’T entitled to anything. Whatever happened to hard work? We DON’T know everything – we have a lot to learn. Time to step off the high horses. Step back and learn from someone instead of assuming you’re the best. 

4. Experiment. “You never know what kind of innovative ideas might come from an unexpected place.” I love this idea of cross-pollinating your interests! Work and play don’t always have to be separate. 

5. There is an old Indian proverb that goes: “Tell me the facts and I’ll learn. Tell me the truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.” The power a story has is amazing. Learn to be a good storyteller by telling human stories. 

Ok… glad I got that off my chest…

PS – Check out the new logo! (below)

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Filed under Personal branding, Uncategorized

The Best of DBS This Week: August 20-24

f you aren’t following  on Facebook, Twitter or even the  blog, — seriously, you should be! — here’s what you missed.


– RT from @MarkRaganCEO : “How to write one press release for multiple audiences bit.ly/NeFxhX #PR”

– One of the most popular tweets this week was about the 2012 London Olympics logo. Who else hated it? I like the logo for Rio 2016 much better!

– I determined that “public relations is not for the faint of heart. It requires some serious thick skin, compassion and quick thinking.” Agree? What other qualities are useful?

– RT from @HubSpot: “Have you created an ebook from your stellar blog content yet? – ow.ly/d51NT” I think this is such a great idea. Consolidate your best work on a given topic into one great, useful resource.


– Thanks to everyone who has “liked” the new  Facebook page. I apprciate all the love. Please share with friends, family and colleagues and anyone else you think would enjoy it.

– “For companies to provide a consistent experience on their website, they must stop organizing marketing into functional silos like web, email, and social media, and instead embrace the fact that the customer journey weaves its way in and out of all of them.”


Trends are everywhere. They also pertain to the world of branding. So I looked around Colourlovers.com for some current trends.

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Branding trends courtesy of the good folks over at Colourlovers.com

rends change every day… and quite possibly several times a day. The second you catch onto one idea, another one has already manifested itself. So how can a business possibly stay on top of the trends? Well, in my opinion, they shouldn’t. Well, ok, a business should be aware of their surroundings and what other businesses – especially competition – are doing. It gives them a competitive advantage. And businesses should definitely stay updated and modern, rather than dated and obsolete. However, a business has to be dynamic and creative; and innovative and trend-setting in its own right…not because someone else is doing it. The things that sets a business apart are its unique qualities; characteristics that no one else has.

That being said, here is what some businesses are doing with their logos. If you want color inspiration, this is for you!
Business Color Trends from Colourlovers.com

Did you have a favorite? I think I love everything about the “Delicious” logo – from color scheme to font. For me the colors speak volumes about the brand, which is what you want. Can’t you almost taste how ‘delicious’ the company is? Drew Melton knew exactly what he was doing!

If you’re proud of your logo and what it says about your brand, share it here in the “comments” section. I’ll share my favorites on my  board on Pinterest.

Note: By sharing your logo, you are giving DBS the permission to use it on other social media platforms including, but not limited to Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

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Filed under Branding: Identity, Business Identity

The Best of DBS This Week: August 6-10

n case you missed anything, here is a compilation of the best of DBS this week.


-10 million Facebook posts are added every 20 minutes. How to make your voice heard through the distortion.

-The wise and ever relevant Albert Einstein supplied some wisdom:

“Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value.” -Albert Einstein

-Entrepreneur Magazine lent some inspiration for time management.


Oreo capitalizes on current events to celebrate the iconic brand’s 100th birthday.

Branded blog:

-The  blog featured a poll on fangelism (brand advocacy.

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Brand advocates share what is most important

ust a quick poll for today.


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Filed under Brand perception