• James Haldane

'Branding' explained

Updated: Nov 1, 2020

Branding is a Structure that does not change.

However its contents can change. 'Same but different'.

Here’s is an explanation of Branding using an advertisement that appears monthly in a magazine.

Imagine it's a 1 page Ad, divided into 4 squares

  • Quadrant 1 is always a headline, it changes monthly

  • Quadrant 2 is always a photograph, it changes monthly

  • Quadrant 3 is always details, it changes monthly

  • Quadrant 4 is always Business and Contact details; never changes

In this example the format (branding) stays the same and the content changes

If a Brand (meaning a Business) changes its core focus (its Brand) too much, the whole Business can collapse. E.g. A chain of Bookstores that adds gift-ware, coffee and food … so people get confused about 'what it is'. Is it a Bookstore or a Cafe and they don't return.

If it launched as a Bookstore/Cafe maybe that would have worked

If a Brand makes additions (flavours), too distant from it’s core focus, they may fail. E.g. Coke adding different flavours that didn't catch on

It’s all a delicate balance.

Branding has 3 elements


‘Who’ is your Business? What’s your Point of Difference? What Movie Star would your Business be? What type of Music would your Business be? A good place to start is the overlap of your Strengths, Interests and Target Market.


‘What’ do you do? Is it Crystal Clear to your customers, what you do? Simplify, don’t Mystify.


Having the same look and feel across all platforms.


The Oldest form of Marketing is Storytelling

From Complex Stories e.g. Shakespeare, to Simple Stories e.g. TV Commercials, the best Stories are Entertaining, Informative, Inspiring and Poetic.

Don’t be afraid to reveal your stories.

Your customers need to know you, to trust you.

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