Branding is the art of representing a company’s promise to its customers through its advertising, customer service, reputation, and visual logo. Whether you are looking at the corporate branding of organizations or the personal branding of individuals, their brand marketing will seek to answer the same questions - who they are, what they do, why they do it, and who they do it for.
Branding is thus important because it helps companies to attract new customers and give their employees motivation and purpose, both of which increase that company’s value in the marketplace. Traditionally, the brand identity of an organization would include a distinctive logo, typography, colors, and messaging presented to the customers.
But in today’s world of digital marketing, brand communication encompasses an expanding number of channels. Utilizing engaging social media strategies, content marketing and influencer marketing, and other innovative techniques allows for creative new opportunities to expand the concept of what branding can be.
A background in branding can lead to careers in marketing, public relations, advertising, and more. Whether you aspire to be a brand manager at Nike, a digital content manager at Amazon, or a social media specialist at Facebook, an understanding of branding will help you to hone your messaging to connect with customers and audiences in a long-lasting and meaningful way.
If you are fluent in the language of images, then you could take a leading role in creating the visual assets such as logos that still comprise a major element of branding. Graphic designers create visual concepts to communicate ideas that inform, captivate, and inspire customers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they have a median salary of $52,110 per year and typically have a bachelor’s degree along with a portfolio demonstrating their creativity and originality. A background in branding allows graphic designers to visually marry client needs with customer preferences.
Absolutely! Coursera offers online courses and Specializations in branding and related topics like digital marketing, social media marketing, and brand management. Since the learner experience is essential to Coursera’s own branding, you can rest assured that you’ll receive a high quality online education taught by leading experts from top-ranked schools including IE Business School, London Business School, University of Virginia, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. You will be doing the same coursework for the same credits as on-campus students, with access to faculty via live virtual office hours, all while paying a significantly lower cost.
Before you start to learn branding, it’s important to already have a strong interest, skills, or experience in understanding the psychology of marketing, knowledge in how people view brands, some work in product management, and possibly elements of consumer psychology. Other skills that would be useful to have before starting to learn branding would include analytical thinking, solid communication and presentation talents, and possibly graphic design background. When you excel at some of these skills, you will have the right kind of experience to learn branding. Working in branding means you have insights into building brand awareness from a company-wide perspective.
The kinds of people who are best suited for roles in branding are creative professionals who can strategize creatively about a brand on one hand while using deep analytical thinking about the effects or impact that might occur from changes to a brand. Shoppers can get attached to brands, and it’s the role of a strategic, creative, and confident branding professional to communicate these concepts clearly and concisely. People who are well suited for work in branding are likely to communicate ideas well, show leadership qualities, and have good planning and organizational instincts.
If you are a person who loves to analyze brands while watching the Super Bowl commercials, for instance, then you might be a good fit to work in branding. Of course, you might also need to be passionate about brands and companies, know why brands exist in the way they do, and be open to explaining what benefits a brand might offer. Much of this work would involve good analytical ability, solid communications skills, good consumer knowledge, and smart internet literacy as well. If all of these aspects are in your interest levels, then learning about branding may indeed be right for you. Working in branding is a key role in many companies. If you have the enthusiasm and passion for the role, then it may be in your best interests to make that a career goal.