Branding. Define it: Essential need to know for new start ups

Updated: May 13

What is branding?

Now we aren’t talking livestock management and we’re not talking about anything complicated. You may enjoy sticking your logo on things and making sure all your fonts and colours match but there’s a bit more to it than that.…Branding is the process of giving meaning to a product, person, business, or service by influencing people. This could be from your marketing, to your pricing, or even to your customer services.

A good example that springs to mind is water (lol great pun); Essential for life to exist and survive, we’re all too happy to part with a pound rather than sticking our head under a tap.

Nothing irritates me more than a brand that pops its head out of nowhere and suddenly becomes a market leader. It happens all the time. Am I annoyed because of their commercial success? Partly, but I’m more annoyed that they have done their job so well that I end up falling under their influence too and I end up spending money, what's worse is this is a core part of what I do.

Smartwater was introduced to the UK market in 2014. It has since been a tour de force of branding and has become recognised as one of the top ten bottled mineral waters in 2019.

How have they achieved this?

Brand definition: purpose, values, promise Brand identity: name, tone of voice, visual identity design (which includes the logo design, colour palette, typographies…) Product and packaging design

I could sit here all day and talk about how Smartwater have brainwashed the masses. But I have chosen some key points within their branding to illustrate how they have gone about it. The Name.

I worry about the future of humanity with some believing it will actually make you smarter. I’m not sure this is what they wanted us to buy into, but I would hope most realise it’s just water. Smart is a referral to the added electrolytes and it’s balanced pH level of 7. Basically, they are trying to tell us there it more to it than regular water.

Product Placement.

This is where I first saw Smartwater. Sheldon Cooper drinking it on The Big Bang Theory. Most people just overlook this but it is in fact very clever marketing. A smart person drinking Smartwater… never mind reinforcing what they hope to achieve through their name but having an advocate drink their product over any other subconsciously makes us believe it’s the better choice.

The Bottle.

I can’t deny it, I am a HUGE fan of the Smartwater packaging. It just looks right! Why?... Several factors. If we compare it to what else is on the shelf it sticks out like a sore thumb (in a good way). It’s elongated, smooth, and completely transparent bottle is designed to make us associate it with purity, which is what we would expect from water (especially one that’s smart). The others out there use dumpy, shapely, tinted bottles. This may well work for their brand, but they all look the same.

‘Glacéau Smartwater is made from British spring water, which is vapour distilled before electrolytes are added to give the brand its crisp, clean taste. In tests, consumers respond very positively to the concept and design of Glacéau Smartwater and see it as different to current brands available.’

The Logo/Colour.

If I have to point out that we associate the colour blue with water I’d encourage you to abandon hope and contact me for a consultation. But blue is also used to gain trust, draw attention, and stimulate productivity. Maybe this is why some of the competition have used a blue tint in their bottles.

The result: Loosely, branding is all the components that are strategically put together to ultimately create a brand. We have only used a very basic example, but the principles remain that each and every aspect of what you do within your branding will come together and create your brand.

A lot of hard work and effort goes into the creation of a brand. If you find the idea of DIY a bit scary then why not get in touch.



Sam is innovative and insightful and with his help I have seen my brand grow and develop into something of which I am immensely proud. He fully understood where I was planning to take my business and knew immediately what I wanted and needed. He is extremely efficient and has gone beyond what I would normally expect from a branding expert in that he has shown me ideas and initiatives that I wouldn't have even dreamed of. If you are a business looking to build your brand or are looking to take your existing brand to another level, I would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending Sam. - Adam Whittaker, Owner.
Entrepreneur of Excellence nominee 2020
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