• Branding for Beginners

    Date Posted: 06/19/2014 | By: Courtney

    Branding 101

    Sometimes customers ask us what we can tell them about branding, since custom product labels are such an important part of getting a brand image across.

    In the old west, cattle ranchers would identify their herds using a branding iron. They would heat press a simple design into a steer’s flank to show they owned it. That way cattle from different ranches could graze together on the open plains.

    Some of the unique symbols in the ranch ‘brands’ became iconographic – they signified ownership but also represented the ranch and a bit of what it stood for. Fast-forward to the days of Mad Men. The typical ad agency’s graphic artists are creating logos that help differentiate companies – and convey what they stand for.

    What’s behind that logo, though? Branding is much more than the designed symbol! It’s what you are ‘about’ – your price positioning, your customer service standards, your product or service quality, the stores where you are distributed, how quickly you deliver, even your business ethics come into consideration.


    Branding is who you are and how you behave.

    This takes forethought and consistency throughout the organization. Even if you are a small firm, you still should think carefully about what differentiates you from your competitors and plan how to demonstrate that in your messaging and your operations. Growth is the potential reward for such early brainstorming and effort.

    Disney has a strong brand image. They are about fun and being carefree. They make sure you feel that profoundly when they do things like bring entertainment out to the parking lots, even before you enter the Magic Kingdom. And have you ever seen a dour Daffy? Happiness is fully integrated in Orlando, up and down the organizational chart. Down to the last mouse!

    What is your brand appeal? If it’s awesome customer service, then you answer the phone quickly. The voice at the end of the phone is always cheerful and helpful. You find ways to speed up deliveries and reduce frustrations. You metaphorically put out a red carpet in front of your store to show your customers the love!

    No matter how integrated you can make your brand, if you are selling a product at farmer’s markets or in Whole Foods, your label better speak volumes. It’s where you can proudly sport your graphic logo and describe your product’s virtues in a few mouth-watering words!

    • Does your product have a high price point? Communicate the feeling of luxury with label printing that is rich in texture and colors. Is your product designed for children? Consider fun shapes and bright primary colors.

    • Are you competing with many similar products? Try changing up the label format as the seasons change to reflect a commitment to freshness.

    • You can even use labels in a cause marketing campaign. For example, if your company is a strong promoter of a specific cancer research project, add a support ribbon icon to your label during the cause awareness month.


    There are so many ways to let your label speak for your brand. If you need some exciting ideas, give us a call. We are more than label makers – we’re small business advocates and our own brand promise is helping you succeed.