If there is one word that is bandied about a lot when it comes to the business world, I would guess many would say “branding” might be that word; at the very least it would earn a place in the top ten. Whether you are just starting your own company or have been in business for a while, you may have become familiar with branding to some degree.

I believe though, that many have the idea that branding and marketing are one in the same. This is where we need to pause, however, and ensure that this notion is dispelled.

Let’s be clear on what branding is and what branding is not.

On the very surface, branding may be thought of as the idea or image that people have in mind when thinking about a specific product or business. But as you can guess, it goes much deeper than this. When a business is conceptualized there is a whole set of thoughts, ideas, goals, and a vision that come into play. What is the purpose of the business? What products will be sold? What services will be offered? What do you want people to think of when they think of your business? This then leads into: who will be your target audience, and how will they buy your products or services?

Branding can be thought of as driving home how your business, product or service wants to be known, to your potential customers. This is not the same as marketing, but again the two are often confused. Think of marketing as the vehicle used to deliver your overall brand to your target audience.

So how does one go about driving their message or brand to their target audience? You can begin by asking some of the questions mentioned earlier and recording your thoughts as they develop in order to begin to structure the framework of your brand. But what if even some of these questions are hard to answer?

This is where a branding agency comes in.

A branding agency can offer a perspective that may be hard to come by on your own. Just like your area of expertise may be designing hats, for example, a branding agency will be able to help nail down the important details for you to develop your brand including the message you are trying to get across to your target audience, and even to help you find out who they may be exactly.

Maybe, for example, you need to develop a logo, and the colours used in your logo, which will then be used across all areas of your business including your website and marketing materials that will be eventually used. Or perhaps you are looking for a complete re-branding of your company.

Can a business develop the brand of their company on their own or even re-brand their company? Yes, of course. But with a branding agency, your business is explored from a completely different angle that those at the heart of the business will never be able to. Maybe think of it as a bird’s eye view of sorts. A branding agency can step back and see your business from a completely impartial view. A branding agency also has the experience and expertise to know what works in your area of business, and perhaps what the competition is doing.

A business can take years trying different concepts and ideas hoping for the best, or they can rely on an impartial perspective of an expert to quickly get the results sought after.

So, whether you are just starting out, or are looking to completely re-brand, having a branding agency in your corner can be one of the most effective ways to get your business visible and your message successfully across to your audience.