Cattle. Branding irons. The sizzle of hot metal on flesh. “That’s my cow! It has my brand. It cannot be mistaken for yours because my brand is different from yours.”

That’s what branding started from. It’s pretty simple really. And creative businesses have similar issues to those ranchers. A lot of design firms or architects or film editors or fashion designers at first glance look the same as each other to a prospective client. But you want to stand out in this crowd, so there are a couple of things you can do: you can get people to take a second glance and see the differences, or better yet you can establish the difference in the first glance. Interesting right?.

When you understand your brand, you are like an author understanding a character. There are things that character would and would not do. When the author understands a character, the reader does, too. This character is what you want your audience to feel about your brand: so that they know it, understand it, and can have a relationship with it. If you are consistent in applying it and staying with it, then at first glance people will know something is yours and understand how to relate to it. The brand is the particular relationship between a consumer and the product/service. It’s not a one-way deal. The consumer gets at least half the credit for creating this relationship.