By Bill Chiaravalle, Barbara Findlay Schenck

Branding your business takes a significant amount of thought and effort. In order to get you started in the right direction, you will need to know some lingo. Following are some need-to-know terms:

  • Brand: The essence and idea of what you stand for. Your brand starts with a vision and grows into a promise about who you are and what you stand for that gets reinforced every time people come in contact with any facet of your business or organization.

  • Brand identity: The name and visual marks that present your brand, usually in the form of a logo, symbol, or unique typestyle, as well as all other identifying elements including colors, package shape, even sounds and smells associated with your brand.

  • Brand image: The beliefs about what your brand is and what it stands for that exist in the customer’s mind as a result of all encounters, associations, and experiences with any aspect of your business or organization.

  • Branding: The process of building positive perceptions in your customer’s mind by consistently presenting the vision and idea of your brand so others understand and believe what you stand for and the promise you invariably make and keep.

  • Brand position: How your brand fits in with and relates to various other brands within your competitive market.

  • Brand management: Controlling the presentation of your brand identity, message, and promise across your entire organization and through all communication channels, and protecting your brand identity against infringement or misuse.

  • Brand equity: The value of your brand as an asset based on its qualities, reputation, recognition, and the demand, loyalty, and premium pricing it generates.

Armed with an understanding of the above terms, you can navigate branding conversations just fine. You will be well on your way to developing your own brand.