What is branding? The 3 pillars of branding: brand foundation, brand identity and brand experience

What is branding?

It’s time to get real. You’ve heard the term “branding” again and again. And maybe you have sort of a notion of what it entails, but the truth is, you’re kind of lost. Here I explain what branding is and why you should absolutely care if you’re looking to grow your business.

What is branding? The 3 pillars of branding: brand foundation, brand identity and brand experience
I have been working as a branding specialist + designer for over 10 years and the truth is that I know that branding is something that sounds pretty confusing. I can’t tell you how many clients of mine over the years have told me that they don’t really understand what it means when I say that branding is fundamental to their business. I get it, it’s broad term that leads to confusion. I mean, if you look it up online, it can probably just confuse you even more. Some definitions say that “branding is the marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products.” Others say that branding is “when you idea or image is marketed so that it is recognizable by more people.” To me it’s quite simple:

Branding comes to be from all of the different encounters people have with you. You see, everything that your business does is adding (or subtracting to your brand). You are either building your brand consistently through values, images and feelings, or you’re not. Simple.


The Three Pillars of Branding

What is branding? The 3 pillars of branding: brand foundation, brand identity and brand experience
To simplify this in a way that makes it A LOT easier to understand, branding is basically all about building your brand and differentiating it from everyone else from the inside out. There are 3 different pillars to a brand: The Brand Foundation, The Brand Identity and The Brand Experience. Let me tell you more about these three pillars.

The Brand Foundation

The Brand Foundation is all about defining and understanding what your brand is really all about and how you can leverage your uniqueness to make your business stand out. This is one of the things I focus on most with clients. I like to go deep in understanding what makes their brand truly unique. Once that is defined, we use it to our advantage in communication throughout the whole brand and website. The brand’s foundation is all about defining values, and determining the mission for your brand. Having a mission is extremely important because it gives your business a sense of direction and clarity about what to do in day-to-day decisions.


Another very important aspect of a brand’s foundation is understanding the experience of transformation that you’re achieving for your clients. It’s basically about the value that you’re providing for others beyond the products and services that your business is selling. The more you understand the problem that you’re solving for your audience, the more solid your brand will be. You can download this free guide that I have created to help you in understanding and discovering the foundations of your brand.
Branding Essentials: The ultimate entrepreneur's guide for discovering their brand's foundations | Mission + Unique Selling Proposition + Differentiation + Values | Branding + Design Fabi Paolini

The Brand Identity

The second pillar in branding is the Brand Identity. This is where I love to work on most. Your brand identity has to do with how your brand looks and feels. So, it all begins with your logo (of course). Now, one of the most important things to take into account in terms of logo is that your design has to be with a purpose. It’s not just about making your logo look nice, but it should be serving your business as much as possible. Your logo should be capable of reflecting what your brand is all about. It should take into account your personality and style. You can read more about how to design a logo here. Your logo is your business’ first impression, and it’s important for it to be the right one and capable of making a memorable and lasting impact. Other parts of your brand identity include color palette and fonts. There are lots of things to take into account in terms of color decisions. The most important part is making sure your brand personality shines through the color choices that you make.

The Brand Experience

Finally, the third pillar of branding has to do with building a brand experience. This means you have to make sure that you’re consistent with your brand in every single place. The first place where your brand needs to come through strong? Your website. A website should do more than just look pretty. A website is all about building your brand and getting you more sales. Your brand’s foundations should come through in the way that you communicate on your site. Remember I said that part of the foundation is understanding what makes your business unique? Well, your site is the place to bring that personality and uniqueness out. Your website should also carry your brand identity in a consisten way. Your logo has to be prominent for people to see who you are, the color palette and fonts need to be respected here as well. The Brand Experience is all about making sure your brand feels the same wherever people encounter it.


I love working on branding and have enjoyed building businesses and brands for the past 10 years. To be, branding is a lot more than design.


It’s about really building your brand inside out and making sure it comes across consistently in every step of the way. If you want to read on about WHY branding is SO SUPER important for your business and why it is probably one of THE most important investments you can make, read here! Here you can download a free guide that will help you in discovering the foundations of your brand.
Branding Essentials: The ultimate entrepreneur's guide for discovering their brand's foundations | Mission + Unique Selling Proposition + Differentiation + Values | Branding + Design Fabi Paolini

What is YOUR brand about? Where you clear on what branding meant? Are you clear now? Let me know below!


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