Corporate Eye

4 Faces of Branding

Every brand wears multiple hats, meaning it portrays a slightly different face to different audiences.  Typically, there are four main faces of branding that every brand portrays to the different audiences that see it and experience it.

Your Brand’s Face to Your Business

Your brand represents a specific image, message and promise that supports your overall business.  Analysts, investors, reporters, shareholders, business partners and so on typically see this face of your brand.

Your Brand’s Face to Your Employees

Your brand represents a specific image, message and promise to your employees that makes it meaningful and motivational.  This is the face of your brand that makes people want to work for your company.  This brand face is particularly important for companies that grow through mergers and acquisitions and need to integrate multiple sub-brands under a single company brand umbrella.

Your Brand’s Face to Your Customers

Your brand represents a specific image, message and promise to your existing customers that makes it meaningful to them and helps them develop an emotional connection and relationship with it.  This is the face of your brand that makes people want to buy your products and do business with your company again and again.

Your Brand’s Face to Non-Customers

Your brand represents something completely different to non-customers who have not yet experienced it first-hand.  This is the face of your brand that requires a significant investment in terms of developing awareness, recognition and expectations for it in order to drive non-customers to action and turn them into brand users and eventually loyal customers.

Take some time to evaluate the four faces of your brand.  Do they match?  If not, is there a valid reason why they’re different?  The strongest brands represent a consistent image and promise across all four faces with targeted messaging that enhances that face but doesn’t change it.  What do you need to do to make sure the four faces of your brand are consistent across all touch points of your business?  Making the necessary changes now will strengthen your brand in the long term.

Image: Flickr

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.

Very insightful. Gives a completely different view (or rather 3 more views) to what branding signifies

Very informative, very useful.Thanks.

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