By Linda Tancs • March 05, 2016•Careers, Firms and the Private Sector, Other Career Issues, Issues, Other Issues
The term branding is often used interchangeably with the terms marketing and advertising. However, each process is distinct. To put it simply, marketing refers to the message that you wish to deliver and advertising relates to the medium (or media) through which you will execute, or deliver, the message. Branding is the step you must take before you engage in marketing or advertising. The terms brand, brand name or label are often used colloquially to refer to a trademark. The law defines a trademark as a word(s), name, symbol or device (or a combination of these elements) identifying and distinguishing one merchant’s goods from those of others. A service mark likewise may consist of a word(s), name, symbol or device but identifies and distinguishes one merchant’s services from those of others. Of course, a merchant may designate both goods and services under a single mark. In that case, the mark is both a trademark and a service mark. Branding, then, begins with the development of a word (or perhaps a group of words, like a tagline), a symbol (e.g., a logo) or other element identified above. But these elements are just banners for the brand—labels. Labels alone are not assets. Creating an asset entails establishing an experience around the label—in other words, developing a cult of personality around the brand for it to gain consumer attachment and occupy a distinct position in the marketplace. This process is the essence of branding.