Co-founder & Strategy Director at Anagata
UX Lecturer at Cambodia Academy of Digital Technology


The world of branding is so confusing right now, that even professionals find it hard to align with each other. Especially the definition part. The word brand itself is thrown around like crazy. But what is it? Let’s clear things out.

First, a brand is not a logo. 

This is an outdated definition, it comes from when some hundreds of years ago people used to mark animals or slaves with the initials of the owner. It’s no longer relevant here. A logo is a tool to identify an organization, a business, a product, or even a person. And that’s it!!

A brand is so much more than a logo. When you say “Let’s build a brand.” You are clearly not referring to designing a logo. You meant something more. Designing a logo or a corporate identity is just a starting point in building a brand.

Second, a brand is not a company.

There is some truth to this, people tend to use this a lot when they talk or write about a certain company. But again, a brand is so much more meaningful and powerful than that.

You can start a company, but you won’t have a brand until you have customers. Until people start knowing you, buying from you, talking about you, and so on, you don’t have a brand. Companies don’t build brands, customers BUILD brands.

Usually, when we use the word “brand” in this context, we were referring to a company with a reputation. A well-known reputation for something whether it’s good or bad.

A brand is a reputation.

It is an emotional connection, a perception, a person has toward someone or something. That perception is formed through their experience with brand touchpoints. A brand is the result of that, the aftereffect of the overall experience that the customer went through.

Although the customer is the one who builds the brand, the company can shape their perception through these touchpoints.

Why branding?

Brand HAPPENS whether you like it or not. It can either be positive or negative. A good and consistence brand experience will create advocates. People will go out of their way to promote you. On the contrary, a bad brand experience will create enemies, they will also go out of their way to say how bad you are.

A Good, well-managed brand will help you sell more offerings, to more customers, that are willing to pay more and stay with you longer. A poorly managed brand will do the opposite.

The poorly managed brand will shape different perceptions of different people. Customers will run from unclear and confusing brands. They will run from bad and inconsistent experiences. And they will talk, they will share information with their tribe. Nothing travel like bad news, either you get a grip or get ready to lose it all.