Branding Strategy

Define brand: A brand is not a trademark, logo, or product

We finish talking about branding on the previous posts, let’s talk about brand then. What is a brand? Before we define what is a brand, let us explore what is not?

Things a brand is not?

Here are a list of common misconception that people have regarding what is a brand:

  1. Brand is not your logo
  2. Brand is not your design
  3. Brand is not your trademark
  4. Brand is not your product
  5. Brand is not your service

Now let’s go into detail for each points.

1. Brand is not your Logo


I have a logo, I have a brand. No, you don’t have a brand. Anyone can design a nice logo, I bet you can draw a Nike swoosh logo easily. In fact, Nike founder paid an intern for 35 USD to draw that logo. He don’t like it but he said the logo is going to grow on him. So you can have a nice logo like Nike but you don’t have the brand. A great logo doesn’t constitute to having a brand for your business. Of course to build your brand, it sets a brand identity or corporate identity. But it is not your brand.

2. Brand Is Not Your Design


You can have creative design but if it doesn’t bring your differentiation in it, it won’t build your brand.  Having great designs is crucial especially in this digital era. Great visual showcases the detail and the realness of the product. Designs are just visual representation of a brand not a brand (it just like your logo).

Check out my last post why you need to have differentiation in your design(all business process).

3. Brand Is Not Your Trademark

Trademark is not a brand. But then trademarking your logo, design, and fonts does protect your brand. If you don’t have a brand how can you protect it, so learn branding! Have a strategy to build a brand in order to have trademark protecting it. (If you don’t have a car, how can you buy a car insurance?)

4. Brand Is Not Your Product

By having a unique and one in a kind of product in this world is quite impossible for a small business. While Apple is the company that keeps innovating to build new products like M1 MacBook, it’s not their product that build their brand. Apple branding has always being different which is in the innovation space. They design their whole brand differently, different OS, different chip, different Apps. Their brand is they are different and attract their Perfect Buyer Persona (PBP) which likes their brand (think different). Well people like me like Apple because I like to be different. So yeah, your product is not your brand.

5. Brand Is Not Your Service

Your brand do not define by your service. You can brand your service like Haidilao but then their brand is not service. Haidilao brand treats their employee well in order to create the best customer experience in the hotpot industry, that is  their differentiation. They give free popcorns, snacks and comfortable waiting zone. That is how they define their differentiation in the food servicing industry. Saying your service better don’t build your brand. You have to build your differentiation in your service to do it.

What is a Brand?

There is a lot of definition of what is a brand. And that is why a lot of people can’t grasp what is the meaning of it. To make this easy, I would like quote my favourite brand expert and author, Marty Neumeier.

“A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or organization. – Marty Neumeier

Gut feeling, what your customer feel when your customer touch your brand (Customer touch points). Different people different gut feeling regarding your brand. What your customer feels and convey to others is your brand. Just like Starbucks brand as the third place, which defines a place where people meet. You don’t go Starbucks just for a coffee only? You probably go there work, chill and to meet people. A lot of coffee enthusiasts tell me that Starbucks don’t use the best coffee bean. If you looking for great artisan coffee, find a some famous cafe. 


To summarize brand is not about the tactics you use to build the brands. Having better logo, design, service, or product only increase competition in the industry. The other way round is to build your differentiation.

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