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What is Branding?
Branding is every aspect of a product and the way it is communicated and how that corresponds to how it is perceived by customers.
A brand starts with an organisation’s mission statement and how that is projected into the world. So for example Nike’s mission statement is:
but in order to make sure that the company didn’t limit its appeal to only high level specialist sportspeople it also adds:
Hence the emphasis is on the journey of the individual to finding their own athletic status and to progress, improve and enhance themselves with the help of Nike.
Nike products cover many sports. The story of Nike starts with:
The first Nike shoes were sports shoes made in Japan that were then modified and sold in the USA. The story starts with running but Nike now cover many sports and for each sport Nike associates itself with athletes – paying them and giving them kit to use. These athletes are popular and seen wearing the kit and being successful through the media.
The Nike Swoosh design created by Carolyn Davidson, a graphics design student at Portland State University who was inspired by the wings of the Goddess of Victory for only $35 when seen immediately brings to mind some of the aforementioned aspects of the brand which short-circuits the momentary decisions that go into making a purchase.
Nike runs advertising campaigns across myriad media channels. When I think of Nike now I think of a company that does a lot of research and development into their kit with the aim of pushing the performance of athletes. A company that has very slick advertising and is very much an iconic American brand.
You can see already that Nike ‘the Brand’ means its associations, which is how it is perceived. It is a brand that exists within an ecology of products that serve human desires and needs. Desires: being cool and fit. Needs: improving performance, having healthy feet, feeling comfortable when participating in sport, reliability.
Design of the products. Logo, name.
The way you look and sound – imagery, colour, fonts, personality and tone, Advertising messages, strap-lines and your PR. Website and other promotional material. Social marketing.
Your people. Your reputation. Sales people and distributors – during the sale and after. Shop, office, factory. Uniform, badges, vans, trucks. Price, discounts, promotions.