Defining Your Branding Identity

Mind Mapping probably sounds like something out of Star Trek, but it is a key exercise in understanding how brands are viewed or wish to be viewed in the marketplace. Carlson’s School of Management at the University of Minnesota presented an example of the Nike mental map at a summit on branding. mindmap

The cognitive identity of Nike, according to Carlson, is formed via the brand identifications in this example and are used to determine Points of Parity (POP) and Points of Difference (POD). It is in the POD that will determine brand ranking and whether that brand will live or die in an extremely crowded marketplace.

Branding begins with identity – name, logo, color scheme, message – it is the first step in establishing, consciously and unconsciously, where it can be positioned in a particular target group’s mind.

You are a brand, with or without your permission. Whether you strive to create a cognitive brand identity or not, you will have one. Human nature dictates a need for understanding, so your identity and messaging are filed away mentally by every person you meet, making it crucial to provide key POPs and PODs for every interaction you engage in with your industry peers.

The most important brand that you will build is your own. On Tuesday, June 18th from 2p-3p ET, Robin fingerprintLanda, Professor at the Robert Busch School of Design at Kean University, will provide a 10-Step outline on how to Build Your Own Brand. Robin is a successful brand strategist and author of Build Your Own Brand, Graphic Design Solutions, Advertising by Design, and Take a Line For a Walk.

Build Your Own Brand is just $29.99. You can also include her book with the Live Design Tutorial for just $10 more at $39.99. Even if you already have an established brand, Robin’s design tutorial can help you expand and develop your personal brand in the competitive framework of your industry. Register Now for her book/design tutorial combo.

logocoke What’s the most recognizable logo in the world? Most research will tell you it’s Coca-Cola, but Apple and Google run a very close second and third. Logos are the foundation of any brand and HOW celebrates their uniqueness each year with the HOW Logo Design Awards. We encourage you to enter. The deadline is coming up July 1st. Get recognized and add peer accolades to your personal brand identity. There is no specific time frame for when the logo was created. Enter Now.


HOW offices remind me a little of Santa’s toy shop around this time of year. With just nine days to go until HOW Design Live opens in San Francisco, everyone is putting the finishing touches on what will no doubt be our best year yet. You can hear the emotion steadily growing from silent whispers to an almost roar. For creatives, there really is nothing like mixing with our fellow creatives. Way out ideas that sometimes get stares of fear from colleagues are instead met with immediate understanding at the HOW Design Live.

There is still time to register and we hope that you do. The conference is the best in the industry, and the connectedness that comes from our audience is unmatched. We want you to be a part of it. Register Now.