Branding types

Branding is connected with brand image, positioning and reputation. It is the result of an endless list of marketing and design strategies.

Daniela Del Pino, author AuthorDaniela Del Pino Followers: 41

Joel Alejandro Villarreal Bertoldi, translator TranslationJoel Alejandro Villarreal Bertoldi Followers: 29

Branding strengthens a brand, since it provides better references to the client about the product or service offered by the entity that stands behind it, as well as positioning. The meaning of the term «Branding» has evolved through time. Its origin is located in a time where livestock was branded to identify the owning ranch. In English, bran means «to burn»; it refers to the fact of burning cows with fire. That particular way of branding livestock fulfilled purposes of identification or differentiation.1

According to AMA,2 a brand is «a name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of these, whose purpose is to identify assets or services of a seller or group of sellers, in order to differentiate them from their competitors».

Complications for brand survival are increasingly greater. The amount of beauty products or exclusive clothing in the world is high, and that's why companies try to exploit their attributes, advantages and «differentiations» that somehow make them special. The connection between customer and branding seeks to create an emotional interaction between product and consumer, in order to gain the client's attention. This is why we talk about Emotional Branding or Emotion al Brand. But are there really different types of branding? During a research I made for my master's thesis I needed to analyze strategies, actions, among other things in brands, but I couldn't find a tool that allowed me to reach certain criteria; therefore, I found out that in market, there are three types of Branding:

Sustainable Branding

«Design is to branding what jazz is to music».

Marc Gobé (2007, p. ix)3

Branding isn't to create or to design a logo. Design is bound to the innovation that strengthens Branding; in the case of Sustainable Branding, it's about generating responsibility and environmental consciousness, even economical ethics consciousness. Sustainable Branding's target is to make the brand sustainable and viable through time. For example: products that are dismissive of packaging and use of chemicals, reducing costs and environmental impact.

Strategic Branding

It's focused on positioning the product based on its added value or its value proposal. What happens today, unquestionably, is to incorporate added value to the product or service, since speed has substituted stability and intangible assets are currently more valuable than tangible assets. According to Gobé (2005), companies have taken notice of new opportunities in a market where the applied technique isn't cost reduction, but creation of new income lines with innovating ideas. The constitution of added value includes creativity, that goes next to the ideas that come up every day within organizations. This is seen daily throughout the media, where brands aren't only attempting to offer and sell their product, but to give away an idea, an emotion and a feeling (it is difficult to explain what does a brand makes us feel).

Emotional Branding

Emotional Branding has made companies to innovate the way people perceive them, creating new marketing techniques and strategies. Thus, they interact in a better way with the client to achieve rapport with the brand and the product, with a direct contact that constructs loyalty and immediate purchase. Following up on Gobé (2005) —a highly praised author in the subject, author of books about the effective focus on how to loyalize consumers—, «Emotional Branding contributes new credibility and personality to the brands that may touch the human being in a holistic way; it is based on audience-facing trust». A few years ago, it was said that in the last fifty years, the base of economy has passed from production to consumption. «It has gravitated from the sphere of rationality to the realm of desire, from the objective to the subjective, towards the field of psychology».4

Customers are related not only with products or services, but also with feelings and emotions. We have as a precedent the change among times, we have evolved from an industrial economy, dominated by machines, to a people-based economy, where the customer has the power. In Klein, we can find some of the social repercussions derived from Branding's publicity impact: «Brand multinationals can speak much about diversity, yet despite adopting polyethnic imagery, commercial globalization doesn't yearns for diversity; quite the opposite, its enemies are national traditions, local brands and specific tastes of each region».5 Emotional Branding offers the means and a methodology to connect products with consumers in a deep emotional manner.

The next table, a part of a branding study, highlights the key elements of each Branding type and how they combine with each other to achieve contact with the customer:

Branding Strategy Type Sustainable Branding Strategic Branding Emotional Branding
Sustainable Branding   Transformation
Added value
Social, cultural communication
Value Chain Map
Human Capital
Strategic Branding Usage
Graphic Support
  Brand Value
Internal and external factors
Emotional Branding Environmental
Manufacturing Processes
Form and Function
Raw material
Semi finished
Locality Map
Sales Point

Intersecting elements among all three types of Branding:

  • Audience

  • Quality Assurance

  • Distribution

  • Investment

  • Techniques

  • Time

In this changing world, in order to stand out and survive it is vital that brands study their customer, get to know him, approach and get involved, for in this way results can be favorable and increase sales. Recently different types of studies have been designed to analyze consumer behavior and then identify his needs. Gobé (2005) highlights what is needed to discover is «where is the most fascinating aspect of the human character; the desire of transcending material satisfaction and experience emotional fulfillment». Brands can achieve this goal since they have the advantage of tapping into human motivation's underlying urges and aspirations.

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  1. Llopis, Emilio. Branding and pymes (p.19).
  2. American Marketing Association.
  3. Gobé, Marc. (2007, p.ix).
  4. Gobé, Marc. Branding Emocional el nuevo paradigma para conectar las marcas emocionalmente con las personas. España. Devine Egg Publicaciones (2005).
  5. Klein, Naomi. No Logo, Picador USA, E.U.A. (2002, p.24).
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