Building a brand – how does it work?

Why does it sometimes seem that a kind of magic veil has formed around companies? People see a logo or hear the name and they know. No one has to explain to them what the product is all about and everyone has a certain opinion about it. Often this seems totally irrational. Because sometimes the opinions are already there without having any personal experience with the product. Whenever you experience something like this, it is because someone has formed a brand. But how does something like this actually come into being and how is it forced?

How do brands come into being?

Since the digital world has become internationalised, designers from low-wage countries can easily create logos for pennies and give companies a professional appearance. Today, you see many SMEs and craftsmen driving around with their delivery vans printed with a nice symbol. However, this has not yet created a brand. Appearance alone is not the decisive factor.

Brand is created from a mixture of celebrity and associations that form in people’s minds. For this, it is not enough to print logos on everything. Instead, there must be a holistic concept of marketing and communication. Because this is something that affects every department in the company, it is important to establish a brand workshop in which the most important people are involved.

In such a workshop, the strengths of the company are worked out together. In other words, all those qualities with which the company wants to be associated. Here it is important that a difference to the competition is immediately recognisable. Even for small local companies this is possible:

  • We are the eco-painting company
  • Our guarantee is valid for 5 years
  • We only use good ingredients
  • Reliability is our trump card
  • Affordable living in a beautiful area


Subsequently, every single advertising measure is geared towards communicating exactly these things. The message is repeated again and again. At some point, a critical mass of people will have absorbed it. So awareness, in conjunction with certain characteristics – that’s how brands are formed.

Practical example

A typical example of how it works was a case of real estate from my circle of acquaintances. At a building site, signs from company X were hanging everywhere with “Affordable and beautiful living here”. Acquaintances of ours pointed out that they had “heard” that new flats were being built at construction site Y, which were probably available at a good price. It seems to be a great company. Test called and no, the prices per square metre were the same as everyone else. However, the marketing had ensured that many hundreds of residents of the city already thought that low-priced housing was being built there by a company offering “fair” prices.