Branding 101

Strategy
Brand Identity
Brand Execution

November 4, 2022

Branding 101

Strategy
Brand Identity
Brand Execution
When our clients are deep in the branding process, we aim to educate them as much as possible while relieving some of the stress that comes with it. Let's take it back to basics. Class is in session!

As an agency of branding experts, we like to get our clients on the ground floor of our highly collaborative, hands-on, and transparent branding process. We focus on doing what's best for you and your brand to help you succeed.

At the core of that process are the fundamentals of branding. What is a brand? What is branding? How do I know the difference between brand strategy and identity?

We'll discuss all of that and more in this blog on the foundations of brand building and why it matters.

Now’s your time to make it count.

Grab these key steps to staying accountable to your brand.
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November 4, 2022

Branding 101

Strategy
Brand Identity
Brand Execution
When our clients are deep in the branding process, we aim to educate them as much as possible while relieving some of the stress that comes with it. Let's take it back to basics. Class is in session!

As an agency of branding experts, we like to get our clients on the ground floor of our highly collaborative, hands-on, and transparent branding process. We focus on doing what's best for you and your brand to help you succeed.

At the core of that process are the fundamentals of branding. What is a brand? What is branding? How do I know the difference between brand strategy and identity?

We'll discuss all of that and more in this blog on the foundations of brand building and why it matters.

What is a brand?

In the words of branding thought leader Marty Neumeier, "a brand is a person's gut feeling about a product, service or company." Essentially, a brand is everything your business does that a customer can experience.

Branding is a way of identifying your business and how customers recognize it. When boiled down, it's the act of working to improve how people perceive you. It sets the tone and positions the brand within the market, distinguishing it from other products or services.

However, too often, we see businesses slide into what Marty Neumeier coined as the "Brand Gap." This refers to the chasm that exists when the perception of what a business is or offers doesn't match what the company actually provides. Even at Hardy, we have found ourselves in the brand gap. To learn more about why we rebranded, visit our 'Why We Decided to Rebrand' blog post.

Brand Strategy and Brand Identity: How They Work Together

Many don't realize this, but brand strategy and brand identity, though they are two different concepts, work together to create a cohesive brand and customer experience.

Brand strategy is the overall map of what you're trying to achieve. At the core of strategy is research, informing your purpose, mission, and brand pillars, and creating the framework for your brand. Alongside defining this framework is defining your customer, as it's always important to know who your people are or should be.

Strategic questions we ask are:
     -
Who are you, and what do you do?
     - What do you believe in?
     - Who is your ideal customer?
     - Why does who you are and what you do matter to your customer?

Now let's talk brand identity. Where brand strategy is the words that define your brand, identity would be considered the visuals that communicate those words. It's how we bring your strategy to life and is often what people think of when they think of "branding" as a concept. Your brand identity encompasses everything from your name and logo to sensory experiences like the ambiance in a restaurant.

Brand identity takes all of these elements and unifies them into a complete system, with each piece having a vital role in reinforcing your brand's essence and personality.

As you can see, a logo is not a brand, and when working in the Hardy Brands system, you need to begin with strategy to inform identity.

Check out our Brand Strategy and Brand Identity pages to expand on these two concepts.

So, why does branding matter for a business?

Now that you've gotten the rundown on basic concepts and definitions, we look to why this matters.

On an operational level, branding and brand strategy provide your business with a roadmap to help it make decisions, strategically position itself within the market, and help differentiate it from competitors.

On an external level, branding provides your customers with consistency across all platforms they're exposed to and all your business's experiences.

Consider our work with Blue Collar Restaurant Group; we helped them define their company culture with the foundation of excellent customer service. So, no matter which Blue Collar Restaurant Group establishment you may walk into, you can always expect excellent service. This foundation is based on their strategy.

On the identity side, take our client Bridger Brewing, for example. Not only did they see a 10.12% increase in sales after implementing their rebrand, but as they grow into different markets, their brand identity is a recognizable, trusted beverage option for ideal customers.

The Beth Traverso Real Estate Group, whose brand we crafted to stand out in a highly saturated market, now has a formidable brand identity that reflects their personality and positions the group uniquely in their market as a helpful, genuine realtor. This resulted in increased revenue of 123.8%.

At Hardy, we're privileged to work with many unique clients and watch them flourish by providing them with branding knowledge and equipping them with the tools to use it in every facet of their business.

Ready to use our tools to define your brand strategy and communicate it to your ideal customer? Contact us to start a dialogue.

want to chat? give us a ring

We’re always eager to talk branding with interested business owners.

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About Us

Like our work, the Hardy Brands branding & design agency team is an embodiment of the perfect balance of strategy and creative. We’ve cultivated a team of certified brand specialists and strategists, designers, copywriters and marketing professionals who are ferocious about helping you succeed. We’re a Montana marketing agency that will constantly strive to improve your business.

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Our Work

As a branding, marketing and design agency, we partner with all types of businesses, from restaurants and breweries to building and real estate professionals, nonprofits to accountants and many others. Get a better idea of who we are and what we do by visiting our Work page.

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