Branding guide. What is it, how is it applied, types and examples

How is a brand built? Branding guide. What it is, how it is applied, types of branding and real examples of each type.

All brands, regardless of whether there is a large, medium or small company behind them, understand that in order to gain a foothold in the market they have to differentiate themselves from the competition. To achieve this, today it is not enough to offer quality products or services. This is already done by all (or supposedly) and many, in addition, at competitive prices.

To differentiate oneself is to go further; It means building a brand with its own personality and managing it in such a way that the general public, but especially the target audience, easily recognizes it and identifies with it.

That’s what branding takes care of. Its ultimate goal is to carve a niche in the consumer’s mind to attract new customers and retain those who already are.

How is a brand built?

table of contents [ hide ]

  • 1How is a brand built?
    • 1Define your corporate value
    • 2Design your corporate identity
  • 2Brand coherence, without it branding is useless
  • 3Types of branding, beyond corporate
    • 1Personal branding, “what they say about you when you are not in the room”
      • 1.1Examples of personal branding: the influencer phenomenon
    • 2Country branding – a country as a brand
      • 2.1Country branding examples: Spain is ranked 24 in the world
    • 3Employer branding – companies where everyone would like to work
      • 3.1Some examples of employer branding: who doesn’t want a position at Google or Apple?
    • 4Social branding – commit to a purpose beyond selling
      • 4.1Two examples of social branding: Ausonia and DOVE, committed to women
    • 5Emotional branding – less reason and more emotion
      • 5.1An example of emotional branding: Coca-Cola, specialist in sensitivity
    • 6Co-branding – unity is strength
      • 6.1Some examples of co-branding
    • 7Rebranding – it’s never too late to redefine a brand
      • 7.1Two examples of rebranding: Secondhand bug and latest Rastreator

The branding strategy involves knowing the brand and the environment in which it will move very well; that is to say, to its competitors and to the public to which it is addressed.

With this information, which should be part of any marketing plan , the brand manual can now be prepared. This document includes all the elements that will give it personality and is carried out in two phases.

Define your corporate value

Innovation, transparency, respect for animals, care for the environment … What do you want the public to associate you with when they think about your brand? Define it well. That intangible asset that appeals more to the emotional than to the commercial is what makes your brand unique and different from all others.

For example, the value of the Levi ‘ s brand is not the style or quality of its clothing, but the feeling of freedom and comfort it provides. Yet another example. If you hear: “Extreme Sport”, chances are that Red Bull comes to mind.

These brands work their corporate branding so well that they have managed to associate the entire public, even those who are not their clients, with the concept with which they are interested in identifying. It is important to be clear from the beginning, because the next phase develops from it.

Design your corporate identity

Corporate identity is much more than a logo, it is the sum of its verbal identity and its visual identity.

The first has to do with naming , the name of the company itself; the claim or phrase that transmits corporate philosophy (for example, Nike’s Just do it! ) and the more technical or casual tone or style of communication with which the company is going to address its audience on the web, social networks and copys in Ads, in case you invest in advertising.

As for the visual identity, it is made up of: the logo and isotype, as well as all the color elements, typography, photographs or infographics that shape the graphic universe of the brand.

Brand coherence, without it branding is useless

Once the brand branding manual has been developed, it is time to make it visible in all elements of the business. And when we talk about everyone, it’s everyone, online and offline, from product packaging and brochures or catalogs, to web design and social media headers.

Employee uniforms, stationery, company vehicles, merchandising or company gifts … Everything must be personalized with the logo and brand name to offer a consistent and solid image.

Types of branding, beyond corporate

So far we have talked about corporate branding, but the strategy has evolved in multiple variants to suit the most specific objectives of the brands.

Let’s go over them and give examples of each one. So you can choose the one that best suits what you want. 

Personal branding, “what they say about you when you are not in the room”

If corporate branding is focused on companies, personal branding is aimed at caring for the image and reputation of people.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos defined it as briefly and clearly: “It’s what they say about you when you’re not in the room.”

For Tom Peters, the first to speak of personal branding when he published the article The Brand Called You in Fast Company magazine in 1997 , each individual in his relationship with others leaves a mark that depends on the image he projects and his behavior . We all have, regardless of whether or not we want, a personal brand and its management is what we call personal branding.

Examples of personal branding: the influencer phenomenon

The evidence that the personal branding works is found in Dulceida, El Rubius or Lovely Pepa.

Do these names sound familiar to you? All have carved out a niche in the latest Study of the 500 most influential Spaniards , published in 2019 by the Fundación Marqués Oliva. They are part of the category influencers, those people to whom brands pay a fortune to recommend their products or services.

Why them? Because on Instagram or YouTube they have legions of followers to impact with their publications. The secret of your success? They live and go out of their way to care for and promote their personal brand. They have personality.

Country branding – a country as a brand

A country or a city will not be less than a person or a company when it comes to “making a mark”. Country branding takes care of it.

Its objective is to create interest about the place and improve its perception inside and outside it, “so that it stops being a simple point on a map, to become one of the places where people want to live, visit, invest and buy ”, explain from Future Brand, the company that publishes the ranking with the 75 countries that best work on its reputation as a brand.

Examples of country branding: Spain is ranked 24 in the world

In its eighth edition for 2019, the FutureBrand Country Index (FCI) places Japan in first place, followed by Norway and Switzerland.

The Marca España is ranked 23, the same as it was in the last report published in 2014. To prepare its classification, Future Brand takes into account the GDP, the size of the population and its quality of life based on services health, education or security, among other parameters.

Employer branding – companies where everyone would like to work

The types of branding we have seen so far are focused on attracting customers. But not all branding is done “out of doors”. It is time to talk about the one who seeks to retain the talent of his employees and attract the best candidates to his offices. He is the employer blanding.

Some examples of employer branding: who doesn’t want a position at Google or Apple?

Free transportation, rest rooms, medical assistance, trips, breakfast, lunch, dinner and, of course, coffee and juices on demand. We are not talking about a resort, but Google and Apple. The list of benefits that is part of its retention and recruitment policy does not end there: generous vacations, training aids, legal advice … Who does not want to work in these companies?

As in all types of branding, the success of employer branding also depends on its dissemination strategy. The good thing in this case is that it is the employees themselves who promote the values ​​and corporate culture. They use their social networks to speak highly of the company, which lends credibility to the brand.

Social branding – commit to a purpose beyond selling

When experts talk about this type of branding, they also refer to it as cause marketing. Its objective is to add value to a brand through its commitment to some social, health or environmental problem.

Of course, the commitment must be real. Nothing about publishing a mission and values ​​on the web that later do not come true. Here the “posture” is not valid.

Two examples of social branding: Ausonia and DOVE, committed to women

Ausonia is a pioneer in social branding. The brand of feminine hygiene products has carried out a campaign to finance projects related to the investigation of the disease for the past 10 years, on October 19, the world day against breast cancer.

Another example is DOVE. Standard-bearer of caring for self-esteem over physical beauty, she has been fighting stereotypes for years and betting on real women.

Emotional branding – less reason and more emotion

“Don’t sell products, sell experiences and emotions.” This is the new maxim that marketing gurus endlessly repeat … quite rightly.

In this moment of fierce competition, customer loyalty is not achieved through reason, it is reached through emotion. The consumer not only seeks to buy products that meet their needs, he also wants that purchase to make them feel good.

An example of emotional branding: Coca-Cola, specialist in sensitivity

There is not a single Coca-Cola ad that does not appeal to emotions. From the mythical Para todos , with which the company congratulated us on Christmas in 2012, to the tender Ser Padres , where they explained the ups and downs of a couple when their first child is born.

If you lack ideas to find the emotion you need to associate with your brand, check out Coca-Cola campaigns, it has them all.

Co-branding – unity is strength

In short, co-branding is the alliance between two brands to promote a product or service with the aim of boosting its value and profitability.

Each brand has its identity, so both must study very well with whom they associate. Represents? What do you identify with? Is it addressed to the same audience? How is the other brand perceived? Only then, the co-branding strategy will be a Win-Win.

Some examples of co-branding

Co-branding cases abound in the food sector. For example, McDonalds does it continuously by offering the possibility of adding M&M, Oreo or Chips Ahoy to their ice creams!

Another case is that of the chocolate bar with a cookie that  Milka and Oreo launched with the successful slogan: Doubly irresistible!

Rebranding – it’s never too late to redefine a brand

When a business does not have the visibility it expected or wants to redefine its identity to adapt to the new demands of the market and reconnect with consumers , it is time to rebranding.

Sometimes they only update the logo, but others change the name, the typography, the design … Be careful in these cases, because the process is expensive and does not always go well.

Two examples of rebranding: the Secondhand error and the latest Rastreator

Segundamano, the legendary classifieds portal, carried out in 2015 a rebranding strategy that is explained in marketing schools as an example of what not to do.

In order to reach a younger audience, the platform was renamed Vibbo. “Changing the name to Segundamano was a big mistake,” Joao Almeida D’Eça, CEO of the company since 2018, recently admitted. The proof is that if you search Google today for Vibbo, the result will lead to the Home continues to warn users that they are the old SegundaMano.


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