Hi, I’m Adam Ingle, I’m a designer that helps business owners and like-minded designers build their awesome ideas into something special.
When you hear the words brand or branding, a lot of people associate this with a logo or graphic. But branding is rooted much deeper and goes way beyond a single element or symbol. It’s a culmination of everything associated with your company or service offering.
A lot of people don't understand this, so. that's why I'm going to explain a little bit about what branding is, and where it originated (roughly). I'll provide you with a quick overview of the subject and what some of the reasons for the creation of branding were and explain how branding has evolved over time and its effect it can have on a consumer.
This might shock you a little, but branding has existed for thousands of years and can even be dated as far back as 3000 BC. Yes, that long. It comes from the Old Norse or Germanic root meaning burn and although it has existed for thousands of years, the meaning of the term has changed from how it is being used today.
Branding is constantly evolving and adapting; there are several examples of this from 3000BC to the present day. Around 1200 BC English bread makers, goldsmiths and silversmiths were required to place their mark on the goods they sold to insure honesty in measurement. The same way papermakers and printers used a term called "watermarking" to instil a sense of quality on their products.
In the 1300s potters used to place their insignia on their pottery and porcelain in China, Greece, Rome, and India. Between the 1600s and 1800s, criminals would be fixed with a mark of infamy using hot iron or tattoo, for example, an S-shaped letter was used and burned onto a person's cheek, and a similar mark was usually placed onto unlawful citizens in France. Slaves were branded the same way cattle and livestock were branded to connote ownership and can be referenced as far back as 2000 BC, and there is further evidence on branding seen from archaeological discoveries among Babylonians dating as far back as 3000 BC.
Today branding is used for similar reasons; however, the method of which these qualities are conveyed has drastically changed. For the most part, the negative connotations of branding which was once evident in history have been abandoned for one that is positive and commercial, referring to the use of a distinguishing brand name, goods and services in the highly branded world we live in today. Looking at the past we can see there are similar qualities behind the purpose of branding and could describe a brand as a promise of satisfaction.
Nowadays, branding is no longer used as a means to signal disgrace by branding people but used as a process of attaching a name and a reputation to something or someone to connote ownership, ensure honesty in measurement and quality of goods.