Is branding a ‘New Thing’?
Heraldic branding of soldiers and banners in medieval times

Is the emphasis on branding your business a new kind of thing; an invention to add layers of difficulty and stretch your do-to list even longer?!

History of Branding:

The history of branding is long and fascinating. Let’s go back to our great ancestors – beginning with the cave people, believe it or not! Cave walls in North America contain symbols and illustrations of daily life and significant events of the time, dating back thousands of years. These drawings tell us so much about how our ancestors lived. Our earliest evidence of story-telling through imagery, and the beginning of logos in branding. 

Another example is the makers’ marks that have been found on Greek pottery dating from over 2,000 years ago. In the middle ages, heraldic devices began to be used to identify families, and imply supremecy and power. Soldiers were branded (ouch!) with hot irons, with their leader’s mark. Crafts people and artisans used different crests to identify their trades to a by-and-large illiterate audience. 

At the beginning of the 19th century, the advent of the steam engine kicked off the industrial revolution. Vast changes took place across all aspects of society.

“Industrial and technological change always give rise to social change which, in turn, affects artistic expression. Creative expressions become a mirror, always reflecting society.” (Viva Modernism by R Roger Remington).

A great surge of creativity followed in logo design. In fact, some of these designs have endured since then – with small evolvements over the years.

Fast forward to the 1960s: integrated corporate design systems became the norm. The techniques of logo design may have changed over time, but the core purpose of branding has stayed the same.

What about branding today?

Nowadays, in this information-saturated world, businesses need to differentiate themselves more than ever. We all have a shorter attention span and very little time. Make it easy for your audience to recognise you, to understand your values, and to connect with you emotionally.

What is the difference between brand strategy and marketing strategy?

Good brand strategy is a vital part of your overall marketing strategy and should be closely aligned with it. However, it doesn’t need to be overly complicated but should include your business goals and an implementation plan. In short, ask where do we want to go and how do we get there? What tasks are involved?

A solid brand strategy helps you get the best possible results from your branding project. It is worth giving it your time and attention!

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