Generally the added a affair is discussed the less it is understood. Words accept a point of diminishing return. That point is crossed when the accomplishment to be ablaze and precise counts every tree standing, but misses the proverbial forest. Such is the position with branding.

As the abstraction of branding is all the rage, bodies are tempted to anticipate that it is a advanced abstraction. It is not. It’s roots grasp back into history.

The Aged West
Let’s action back to the Aged West where brands were burned into the hind lodgings of cows. The affair branded was the cow, the product produced by the ranching endeavor. The brand itself was the twisted iron logo on the borderline of the rod that left its angel or mark on the adumbrate of the cow. Cows were roped, tied and branded in adjustment to analyze them, should they be stolen. The brand was a mark of agname, as it is in the corporate apple.

Some ranchers again used their logo as a greet sign wrought in iron over the gates of the corral or over the road leading to the rancher’s at ease. Again, the brand identified the ranch. Some ranchers even got their cowhands girdle buckles with the ranch logo to analyze them as employees. And over age logoed merchandise began to pop up on boots, hats, shirts, etc.

The brand is essentially a mark of agname. It identifies the ranch or company, and has come to act as or suggest the values and appearance of the company, and of its leaders. The brand is associated with the appearance of the company, as able-bodied as its products.

The early history of branding was always personal. Where does the ranch or company amuse the values and appearance that are associated with it? From its owners and leaders, and from their bag practices.

Branding as we apperceive it today is the art of instilling and communicating the values and appearance of a company or alignment buttoned up association with its logo. Psychology calls it symbolic association, and finds it to be foundational to the learning action. Symbolic association has abysmal roots in human acquaintance and in history.

Fish, Cross & Swastika
We acquisition that branding as a practice began actual early in history. The sign of the fish and the cross were symbols used by the early Christians. Over age they became Christian brands.

The Roman Ruler Constantine had a eyes of a bittersweet cross in the sky before the battle of Saxa Rubra, October 28, 312, near Rome. He put that bittersweet cross on his shields and flags, branding the Holy Roman Empire for centuries.

On August 7, 1920, at the Salzburg Congress, a bittersweet flag bearing the Swastika became the authorized crest of the Nazi Affair, as Hitler branded the Third Reich. While our emotional reaction to the Swastika is usually abrogating, both the actuality and the intensity of our response to it points to the adeptness of branding. Most bodies probably accept an emotional reaction to the examples above. That emotional reaction is the aim of branding.

It must be recognized that a branding accomplishment does not always turn out the road the campaign intends. The cross was intended to be a symbol of derision, but became a symbol of grace and mercy. The Swastika was intended to be a symbol of the triumph of the Arian competition, but has alter to a symbol of ablaze. In both cases branding was achieved, but not in the road intended.

Of course, companies appetite the emotional association to their brand to be absolute—even to generate an appetite to splurge, or assurance sufficient to sustain a transaction. But regardless of one’s personal reaction to a symbol, the fundamental mechanics of branding involve soliciting an emotional response to a symbol.

There are two fundamental elements in the branding action. The aboriginal pertains to the symbol, the second to the association.

The Symbol
The symbol itself must be accepted. The added the symbol or logo is seen, the added accepted it becomes. The most acknowledged branding campaigns will accept a lot of sustained media coverage and statement a array of advertising mediums. This does not beggarly that smaller campaigns cannot be acknowledged, alone that their accomplishment will be smaller. Familiarity is primarily a function of exposure.

The Association
Secondly, the emotional content of the association again needs to be accepted. Of course it is accurate that advanced desires and/or emotional content can be created. But the accomplishment is both age consuming and risky. The aftereffect might be other than the desired aftereffect.

The added acknowledged adaption for creating a symbolic association employs able-bodied-established and widely valued characteristics, according to adulation, statement, rectness, abandon, etc. Acknowledged branding campaigns authorize symbolic associations between their products and/or company and such dejected-blooded characteristics. What is dejected-blooded inspires bodies, and what inspires is remembered and discussed. It creates buzz. And buzz is branding’s engine.

To altercate the art of branding apart from these foundational elements is to miss the forest for the trees. However, branding is added than a mere advertising campaign can accomplish as the symbolic association that needs to be fabricated for the branding to be acknowledged involves the core values and appearance traits of the company— its leaders and its bag practices.

Prior to branding, core values, appearance issues and company policies charge to be curved, developed and deployed within the company. As the action of branding reveals the values, appearance and policies of the company, those things charge to be adapted, and be in abode before they can be successfully revealed.

Premature Branding
A premature revelation of these things can be disastrous to the intention of the branding campaign. To be branded as hypocritical and shallow is worse than no branding at all. Again, branding occurs when an emotional response—any emotional response— is associated with a company symbol. The art of branding is to solicit the adapted emotional response.

So, what can be done to advance a brand? Activate by working to authorize core values and appearance within and throughout the company. To be successfully branded is to be accepted widely for who you are. You appetite a abundant branding campaign? Be a abundant company. Aspire to the values and appearance traits of greatness and generosity. Herein lies the answer to branding accomplishment.

©2003 Phillip A. Ross

About the Author

Phillip A. Ross, entrepreneur, freelance writer and owner of Bag Specialties (, lives in Marietta, Ohio, and provides agname products and promotional services to position companies and alignment for substantial accomplishment.

Originall posted October 28, 2012