Branding is the expression of the essential truth or value of an organization, product, or service. It is the communication of characteristics, values, and attributes that clarify what this particular brand is and is not. A brand will help encourage someone to buy a product, and it directly supports whatever sales or marketing activities are in play, but the brand does not explicitly say “buy me.”
Instead, it says “This is what I am. This is why I exist. If you agree, if you like me, you can buy me, support me, and recommend me to your friends.”
Branding is the process of creating a connection with your consumers, so that when they have a need, they think of you to satisfy that need. It is something that triggers associations in our minds. Branding is about creating an identity. It’s what sets one company apart from another. In short, it tells us what we can expect from that company. It’s about the perception people have of the company.
The branding is ultimately what determines if you will become a loyal customer or not. The marketing may convince you to visit a particular destination, for example, and maybe it’s the first foreign destination you ever visited, but it is the fulfillment of the brand promise that will determine if you will visit again and again.
A brand is built from many things. Very important among these things is the lived experience of the brand. Did that company / destination deliver on its brand promise of quality of life or outdoor activities? Did the company / destination uphold the quality standards that made them what they are?