What is Branding?

PHd Design Limited

We all know that branding is critical to success, and although this is true for all businesses, it is especially true for businesses that sell products rather than services. But it’s no surprise that many struggle to understand the nuances of branding and how best to apply the elements of great branding to their business.

So, we’ve put together some key information to help make the concept of branding that little bit easier to digest…


So, What is Branding?

In its simplest form, branding clearly states what your business is, and what people can expect from it. Branding will help your business to create a distinctive and long-lasting perception in the minds of consumers. And when done really well, branding can make your business, products and services more desirable than those of your competitors.

See that wasn’t so scary, was it?

But let’s dig a little deeper into this. The objective of effective branding is to not just make your company more attractive to customers. It also ensures that your company, service or products are more memorable than your competitors.

The final trick of effective branding is to make sure that the brand’s personality is appropriate to the audience. It’s important that professional services look professional instead of silly or unprofessional. That fun products don’t look overly corporate or dull. And that luxury venues give the impression of premium and do not come across as cheap.

If branding is done well, it reaps significant rewards. Great branding will capture more attention, be remembered more than the branding of competitors and will start to develop that perception, allowing you to build rapport through your branding to attract and retain customers and stakeholders.

Types of Branding

Branding is one of those terms that can mean different things to different people. Some people interpret branding as brand’s name, some will interpret it as a logo, and some will see the overlap between branding and marketing and assume that they are one and the same. As branding covers such an incredibly wide and diverse range of activities, elements, assets and more – it’s easy to see why there is much confusion…

But generally, you should try to treat the phrase branding as a ‘catch all’ term – as a broad way of describing the area of your branding efforts. But let’s take a closer look at the main areas of branding that you might already be familiar with:

Corporate Branding – Branding at company level with the aim of effectively communicating key information about the business, such as; who they are, what they do, who they do it for and why they do it.

Personal Branding – Branding for an individual person with the aim of cultivating a public persona that accurately communicates personality.

Product Branding – Branding for a specific product, with the aim of shaping how the product is perceived, to ensure that the product ‘connects’ with the customer.

Service Branding – Similar to product branding, service branding aims to shape how the service is perceived, to ensure that is appeals to the right customers.


But remember this is not an exhaustive list, there are many other types of branding, such as geographic, cultural, retail, online, offline and more. And then we have the elements of branding, think of these as the building blocks that make up each area of branding;

Brand Identity – this is how the brand identifies itself, through a name, logo, tagline and more.

Brand Image – this is the perception that people hold of the brand, based on how the brand presents itself.

Brand Positioning – this is the chosen target market segmentation.

Brand Personality – this is the personality and qualities behind the brand.

Brand Equity – this is the value of the brand, covering both tangible and intangible value.

Brand Experience – this is the culmination of the customers experience with the brand.

Brand Differentiation – this is the way in which the brand stands out from competitors.

Brand Communication – this is the messaging that the brand delivers through various mediums.

Brand Gap – this is the difference between what a brand promises in its communications and what it actually delivers.


As you can see, there are lots of different types of branding, with many different layers, meanings and structures. And yes, it is complex, but the more you understand about the complex nature of it, the easier it is to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your own branding.

Here at PHd Design we are branding experts, so if you are looking for support with branding your business, or if you’re looking for branded designs for your next marketing campaign – we might be the perfect fit!


Who are PHD Design?

We are an award-winning agency that has been merrily doing what we do best since 1992. Ranked in the top 100 of all creative agencies in the whole of the UK, we're proud of our reputation of delighting our clients.

We are located in the heart of the Staffordshire countryside, near to historic Lichfield and on the doorstep of Birmingham.

Why not take some time to look around our website and plan how best to use our phenomenal services to make your business dreams come true!

You can see a range of our projects on our website phddesign.co.uk, or get in touch to learn more about how we might be able to support your next design or branding project.