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Shattering Five Branding Myths

by Maria Ross  |  
July 27, 2010

When people think of branding, they often think of just a logo or business card. Or they think of the opposite extreme, such as Apple or Virgin, and so assume they will never have the budget to "brand effectively."

Although dazzling branding is more than just pretty pictures, it also is something that is easily attainable if businesspeople put the right thought and effort into it.

Dispelling five popular myths about branding is key to starting that process and transforming your business.

Myth No. 1: Branding Is Hard

Branding is not rocket science. It simply requires focused thought about what you want your business to stand for and to whom, and then a commitment to communicate that message through everything you do visually and experientially.

With my clients, I offer a 10-step process to building a firm brand strategy. But once it's built, you are never "done" nor do you ever stop being a steward for your brand once all the processes, websites, and logos are in place.

You need to constantly be vigilant and regularly do a "system check" on your materials, business practices, customer service, and messaging to ensure your brand is clear and consistent.

You also need to commit to living your values and ensuring that all your employees and partners can verbalize and live those values as well.

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Maria Ross is a brand strategist, author, speaker, and the founder of Red Slice. She advises entrepreneurs, startups, and SMBs on how to create an irresistible brand. The second edition of her Branding Basics for Small Business: How to Create an Irresistible Brand on Any Budget launched April 1, 2014.

Twitter: @redslice

LinkedIn: Maria Ross

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  • by Marcy Tue Jul 27, 2010 via web

    As a strategic branding agency we face these challenges on a daily basis - it's great to see them broken down and addresses on such a detailed level. Great article. Thanks for sharing!

  • by M P Friedman Wed Jul 28, 2010 via web

    Maria - good list, but I think you missed the #1 Myth: Branding = Logo. Of course logo design and placement is a critical element of branding. However, I believe branding is what occurs during every time a consumer interacts with a brand - so product is branding and retail placement is branding and all forms of advertising are branding and each tweet or FB post is branding...Net, an effective branding effort must be comprehensive, multi-disciplinary, and in the context of the brand's entire ecosystem. Logo alone? Necessary, but not sufficient to move the needle in today's multivariate marketing universe.

  • by Maureen Perou Wed Jul 28, 2010 via web

    I wish I wrote this article because it reverberates everything I believe in and tell my clients. I will be sharing this with multiple individuals who don't understand the value and effort it takes to start and keep and build a strong brand. Super synopsis!

  • by Randee Thu Jul 29, 2010 via web

    Kuddos Maria! I too rant and rave about what a brand is and isn't. Check out my take at Thanks for the article; I'll be saving and sharing it as well...

  • by Maria Ross Sun Aug 1, 2010 via web

    Thanks everyone. MP: to your excellent point, the whole intro to my book is about how Branding is not just your logo so this specific excerpt left that part out. Thanks for the all-important reminder! I can't tell you how many people I've spoken to who say, "Oh, I have my brand down pat. I have a business card already!" It's really the proomise you make and how ypu deliver it in everything you do. Randee, I'm going to check out your blog as well.

    Keep spreading the branding gospel, folks. And you can recommend my book to any particular clients who might not be getting it, just to make your own conversations go a little more smoothly!

  • by Ann James Fri Aug 20, 2010 via web

    A great summary - and most timely for my purposes of explaining to the co that brand is about association & the customer experience, not the logo and what we say the mission statement is. It's who we are, how we act, make ourselves seen (yes of course style/collateral in its widest sense incl web and logo play their parts..) and most importantly how we're perceived. Thanks - most useful.

  • by Harpreet Sun Dec 26, 2010 via web

    Branding = Logo, Symbol, Song or Anthem, Color Combination is a myth. All these objects equated to brand are actually "Signifiers" whereas brand is "The Signified".

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