Rants & Raves
December 1, 2023
What Exactly is a Brand?

After more than 40 years developing brands for a wide variety of food producers around the world, it remains incredibly frustrating to hear senior level executives talk about branding in terms of their logo or website. While these folks aren’t completely wrong, they aren’t altogether right either.


When I think of branding, my mind drifts back to images of the old West. This is where cowboys "branded" their herds by burning distinctive marks onto the animals’ backside. In short, the "brand" generated expectations of quality, value and defined point of origin.

It's no different today. Branding integrates and effectively communicates details related to every aspect of business operations, including products, services and performance. It relies on purposeful contact with both internal and external audiences and creates valuable relationships. It's a really simple equation: Brand = Reputation.

While effective branding requires a clear understanding of what you have to offer, this process demands more than a mere recital of facts. It’s important to know your audience, what they need, what gets them excited and what they find most desirable. You want to know what sorts of messages will provoke a favorable response and can be converted to your advantage in terms of trial, repeat purchase and loyalty. In short, marketing touchpoints must answer a customer's question "What's in it for me?"

Keep in mind that every brand encounter represents an opportunity to trigger a positive emotional response. When you know what makes your audience tick, you can use these occasions to be creative and entertaining while delivering highly informative and relevant messages that build trust and long-term relationships.

The bottom line rests in making a connection with your audience and compelling them to act in a manner that is consistent with your business agenda. When your marketing and reputation is based on shared emotional experiences and values, you’ll end up with a stronger brand and results you can bank on.

Jeffrey Spear has been immersed in strategic planning and ways to create and revitalize culinary brands for more than 40 years. He is also an accomplished food writer, formulating recipes, publishing cookbooks and developing editorial content for a variety of trade and consumer publications. If you're looking to enhance the impact of your culinary brand, or simply need someone to tell your story in ways that are visually and emotionally appealing, give Jeff a call: 866 787 8761 - or shoot him an email: jeff@studiospear.com