Branding is not a new concept—it has been around almost as long as marketing has been a business discipline. But branding is a sexy term to toss around. Almost everybody is using “branding” in some form (brand identity, brand voice, brand management, brand awareness, brand building, brand essence, brand equity—you get the picture). The problem is that with so many people using it, the meaning and value of “branding” is being lost and misunderstood. The brand has become a clever advertising or communication idea—a quick fix. Subsequently, it has been boiled down to a cool logo, a graphic standards manual, a public relations tactic, a television campaign or a website. And yes, while these elements combine to contribute to your brand, they are not the foundation for a successful one.