What is Brand

What is Brand

In the sponsorship world, we often use the word “brand” interchangeably with “sponsor” or “corporate.” We mean “that company,” which typically is a big-name brand! This week, I thought I would look at what a brand or branding really is. In March, I delivered an opening keynote address at a conference and the subject was “Building Your Own Personal and Professional Brand – The Why and How!” So, I am pulling some content from that as well. I also reached out to poll a few folks on branding and what it means. Here is what I have to share.

  • In our sector specifically, it is important to remember that it’s wrong to refer to sponsors as brands. Everyone and everything is a brand—some flaunt it, others bury it. Just as Coca-Cola is a huge brand (and a sponsor), the Toronto Raptors, the Canadian Cancer Society, and the City of Winkler, Manitoba are also brands, but they are not sponsors. In fact, they are sponsorship selling properties. But like Coca-Cola, they are also brands. They have an image, vision, and message, and they stand for certain things. They are each as much a “brand” as the sponsor Coca-Cola.
  • Branding is different from marketing. It is about the long term, image, and your values, whereas marketing is more short term, and driving a message to promote a product or service.

I love this quote from Sarah Durham and Farra Trompeter at Big Duck – Smart Communications for Non Profits  “Branding is not a one-time fix, limited to a shiny new logo, nor is it a memorable elevator pitch. It is an ongoing practice of aligning around your organization’s identity and voice internally, then using it to create experiences that shape perceptions and behaviors that advance an organization’s mission and spark collective change.”

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