The word “branding” means many things to many people. To an art director it means design. To a writer it means tag- or campaign-line. A media person sees it as threshold weights of eyes and ears. A web designer sees branding in terms of wireframes. Digital agencies view it as the part of their portfolio that doesn’t need to be judged on click throughs.
Selling, on the other hand, is a verb and it has only one meaning. Moving merch. Or services.
No matter who is using or misusing the word branding, it’s important they know it means selling. Not exposure. Sadly, many feel getting the name out there is enough. When a communication is all claim and no proof it’s nothing more than “we’re here” advertising. “We’re here” advertising simply acknowledges the category and where to buy. “If you have lung cancer, our hospital provides hope.”
Branding is about organizing proof beneath a claim. That’s why creative briefs have a line called “reason to believe.” If there is no reason to believe – following an organized, road-mapped, discrete plan – there is no branding. There are simply tactics. Tactic may be the fun in the business but the revenue and earnings are in brand management. Peace!