What is branding?

If the explanation of branding was simple, there would not be so much ambiguity and dissonance regarding the concept. Still, for the most part, a strong understanding of branding requires a decent grasp of business, marketing, and even (human) relational basics. Branding is such a vast concept that a correct definition that truly encompasses everything that it represents would not bring too much clarity to the subject just by itself. But, for the sake of lowering the propagation of obsolete, incorrect, and incomplete information about branding, we offer a more complete definition:

Branding is the perpetual process of identifying, creating, and managing the cumulative assets and actions that shape the perception of a brand in stakeholders’ minds.

If you compare this definition to the official Cambridge definition, you can clearly see that the latter (Cambridge) offers more surface-level information, giving a false sense of understanding to the reader. This might be one of the reasons why most people think that definition is correct and choose it as the foundation of their knowledge-building on the subject. In truth, basing your learning about branding on a definition that reduces it to only one element (visual identity) makes every other branding-related concept fall short when trying to connect the dots.