Branding is whatever people believe to be true about you, your company or your products and services. Note that we said whatever they believe to be true, not necessarily what is true.
How people perceive you to be becomes reality in their minds. If people think negatively about you, then they are going to stay away from you, whether you have the best company in the world or not. Alternatively, if they think you are the best, then you can have a lesser product and still come out on top.
Proper branding can help you dictate what the perception of your company is going to be. It is building an identity that demands respect and states positive messages to the marketplace.
Make no mistake about it. You will be branded. Whether you take the steps necessary to properly brand yourself or whether you let the consumer form his own opinion about you and your company, one way or another, you will be branded.
Thank you to Chris and Jim Howard of Branded For Success for your contributions to this post.