Building a brand for your business

Building a brand for your business • Yoast

Joost de Valk

Joost de Valk is the founder and Chief Product Officer of Yoast. He’s a digital marketer, developer and an Open Source fanatic.

At Yoast, we pride ourselves on our branding. I would go as far as saying that it has attributed a lot to our success. I also think that good and consistent branding needs to be talked about more, as it is one of the hallmarks of a great enterprise. Please let me explain why I think it’s important for a business to think about their branding and give some examples of what we did. Hopefully, it’ll inspire you to do better branding for your company!

What is branding?

First, let’s look at some definitions. The American Marketing Association on their site defines a brand as:

A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.

Lexico defines branding as:

The promotion of a particular product or company by means of advertising and distinctive design.

On the scientific side, definitions range widely too. David Aaker, called the “Father of Modern Branding” by marketing text book writer Philip Kotler, defines branding as:

“Far more than a name and logo, it is an organization’s promise to a customer to deliver what a brand stands for…in terms of functional benefits but also emotional, self-expressive, and social benefits”

David Aaker in Aaker on Branding

So, branding is the whole package: the name, the images, the advertising, the story. Good branding associates your company and/or product with positive feelings. Some major brands even go as far as only promoting the feelings in their advertisements, because we all know what the product is. If you’re in that stage, you’ve reached true “brand recognition”. If you succeed in making people feel certain feelings because they’ve bought something from you, the way I feel when I drink a Diet Coke, for instance, you’ve hit the jackpot.

How do you measure branding?

As digital marketers, we tend to want to measure everything and we think we can measure everything equally well. I don’t think that’s the case for branding. You might have the budget to do large scale brand research, but only truly big brands usually have that kind of money. And when you’re doing that research, the bigger question is: what do you want to do with the outcome of that research?

To go one step deeper, we probably need to define better what we’d be measuring if we can measure anything. I find this brand knowledge pyramid in this article by P. Chandon from INSEAD very useful:

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This article was written by Joost de Valk and originally published on SEO blog • Yoast.

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