4 Things I Learned About Branding in One Summer

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When I first got the call from my employment agency asking if I wanted my resume to be sent to “Sunburn Create,” I instantly asked, “What exactly does this company do?” When the person on the phone told me they specialize in sales and communications, I assumed they were making and selling their own sunscreen.

Imagine my surprise when Mara called me and introduced herself as co-founder of Sunbird Creative, a branding agency. This made a lot more sense, as I was pretty sure I had asked the employment agency for a job in marketing and communications, not the sale of lotions. Even though Mara ended up clearing that part up to me, I still had a lot of questions. Such as: What exactly is branding?

Here are 4 things I learned about branding from my 6 week internship:

1. Branding is way more than just logos.

Prior to my internship at Sunbird, the word “brand” made me think of the Nike symbol and McDonald’s famous golden arches. That’s all I thought a brand was: a name and their iconic symbol to match. However, branding is so much more than that. Branding is shaping, communicating, and reinforcing a business’ unique identity. A brand is all about who you are as a company, your values, and your ethics. It’s what will make people fall in love with your business.

2. A Style Guide matters.

I never realized how confusing it is when you go to a company’s website, then check out their social media, and it looks like a completely different company. It makes you question if you’re even looking at the right account. Consistency is so important to build trust amongst your potential customers and make them feel safe. They should see those particular colors and fonts and instantly know that it’s you.

3. Building a perfect brand is a long process.

After watching Mara and Bianca spend countless hours on one client’s brand identity, I found a new appreciation for the branding process in general. It starts with a lot of questions; Who are you? How do you want to represent your business? What does your business stand for? Sometimes talking about yourself can be hard, and these questions end up stumping clients. Mara and Bianca have to make sure they get to know their clients well, so that they can help them build a brand that is perfect for them. It involves a lot of collaboration and trial and error, but in the end, the client ends up with a brand that is uniquely theirs.

4. Branding is not marketing.

Although branding is a branch under marketing, they aren’t the same thing. Branding is who your business is. Marketing is how you choose to promote your brand to potential clients. Marketing is an umbrella term for anything that has to do with understanding your market and getting them to do business with you.

 

Bottom Line:  My 6-week internship at Sunbird Creative taught me that branding is authentic and important to success. I’m so grateful that I was lucky enough to land such an awesome internship. Going into this pretty much blind, I learned so much about branding, marketing, and business in general. Mara and Bianca are the best bosses anyone could ever ask for, and I can’t wait to continue working for them as their new Executive Assistant.

[Note from Bianca and Mara: All opinions expressed herein belong to Alicia Galan. We did not solicit these lovely statements!]

Alicia GalanComment