What is Branding?

A topic with which business owners and marketing students alike struggle – what is branding?

A School of Visual Arts Masters in Branding student named Sarah Fudin was inspired to gather 100 definitions of branding from 100 different people in various industries: marketers, designers, strategists, authors and more. These definitions are original and have been acquired through email, phone calls and in-person meetings. We’ve collected our favorites here.

Elizabeth Talerman

Elizabeth Talerman is the chief executive officer and managing partner of Nucleus.

A brand is a simple mental model that represents, collectively, what people feel, think and say about a product, service or company, and where meaning is established over time through consistent positive experiences and engagements.

Chris Goward

Chris Goward is the founder of WiderFunnel.

The goal of branding is to own the one feeling that motivates your prospects to act.

Mark Dudlik

Mark Dudlik is the Director of Operations at The School of Visual Arts.

“The things that make me different are the things that make me.” – A. A. Milne

Michael Bierut

Michael Bierut is a graphic designer, design critic and educator.

“Find out who you are and do it on purpose.” – Dolly Parton

Armin Vit

Armin Vit is a graphic designer and writer.

Branding is building and establishing expectations about the experience a person will have with a product, service, or company and, ideally, meeting those expectations in a manner that is so positive that the same person will want to have that experience again. And again.

Jennifer Kinon

Jennifer Kinon is a designer, educator and co-founder of OCD (Original Champions of Design).

A person has a soul. A product has a brand.

Jon Gieselman

Senior Vice President of Marketing at DIRECTV, Inc.

Branding is the immediate and visceral reaction you have to any product or service, and what you believe it communicates about you as an individual to others. Branding is what drives people to make regrettable wardrobe choices, and spend any amount of money on designer cat food.

Debbie Millman

President of the design division at Sterling Brands. (and provider of our favorite response)

Branding is deliberate differentiation.

See all 100 responses by clicking here.

Of course, if you need a little help, or have questions, you can always contact us.

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