There are many myths in our midst today. Bigfoot is roaming the Pacific Northwest. The Loch Ness Monster is swimming in Scotland. Elvis is still alive and eating donuts in a coffee shop. While those are somewhat innocent or goofy folk tales, there are serious myths when it comes to branding.

And just like the Myth Busters had to set us straight when it came to what duct tape can actually do it’s time to bust a few myths when it comes to branding.

Here are four branding myths:

  • Branding is visual—When most people think of branding they think of logos, colors and pretty printed materials. While all that is well and good, those should be the last steps in a branding effort. Research and strategy are far more important when you are studying ways to improve your communication efforts with consumers.
  • Branding is external—When you embark upon a branding or rebranding effort much time is spent on your target niches. While that is certainly critical to your success, it’s important that you begin with an internal look. What is your vision? What are your core values? Why do you exist as an organization? Branding requires you spend a great deal of time looking inward.
  • Branding is a one-time project—As Tom Asaker, author of A Clear Eye for Branding, says,“There is no such thing as a branding ‘project.’ Branding is an ongoing process of renewal.” To some degree you will always be doing branding at your credit union or bank. In fact, the most successful brands today (think Apple, Amazon and Starbucks) promote and focus on their brand much more than their products.
  • Branding is marketing’s responsibility—Let’s make this clear: everyone has a role to play in branding. In our trademarked branding process, we say executives and managers lead your brand, employees live your brand and consumers love your brand. If you don’t spend a ton of time with your staff on brand training, your branding efforts are destined for failure.

Obviously, there are key aspects to branding that are visual, that are external, that are one-time efforts and that mostly involve marketing. However, to believe those steps or those parts are the keys to branding is to believe in a branding myth.