Branding Association was the result of a concept
originated by a group of established Seattle-based
designers and brand managers who sought discussing
employment options shortly after the dot com
collapse; a crisis which hit Seattle very hard.
Since founding its first chapter in
it has blossomed into a behind-the-scenes resource
aspect of the branding process imaginable.
Though our main focus is assisting those
wishing to educate themselves on branding,
we additionally consult to those wishing to
hone or develop brands. Since we feel that
if the field
widely understood, everyone needs
of effective branding.
Not solely kept aside, or espoused
upon later being deployed by a select few
of branders via esoteric brand-speak; Although
there is certainly a logical place for that
within the industry itself, our approach consists
of a from the ground up strategy.
To act now in connecting students, copy-writers,
translators, government agencies, and
to market their products overseas.
In short, the ABA is a networking hub for
all things branding for whomever may find benefit.
Long prior to the launch of
our site, the
ABA proved itself as an invaluable
asset in connecting branding knowledge, skill,
and expertise to U.S. businesses.
Every penny the ABA receives,
goes back into making these assets available
to U.S. businesses and citizens who possess
a desire to learn more about the effectiveness
of practical branding methodologies.
So why Seattle? Apart
from the fact this is where our organization
originated, Seattle ranks as the most educated
city in the U.S. and is continuously voted
as one of the most livable cities in America.
The Pacific Northwest in general is very easy
to fall in love
a native, or have relocated from Boston,
York, Atlanta, Chicago, D.C.,
L. A., or beyond,
one thing is apparent -we have it all. Beaches,
lakes, mountains, wildlife,
a vast saltwater sound, majestic natural landscapes,
excellent colleges and universities, fresh
rain forest on Earth, and
some of the most well-established super brands
on the planet. In addition, not only do we
a long proven standing as a progressive
where designers are renowned for pro-environmental
print solutions, Seattle also happens
to be the gateway to the Pacific
Rim; And the
largest and closest port in
the U.S. with ties to overseas
manufacturers & suppliers in China, Japan,
Taiwan, India, and Korea. Additionally, the
U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Gary Locke, came
as prior Governor of Washington
So why an association
focused solely on branding?
While many believe
that practice and familiarity with branding
is prevalent throughout the United States,
the sad fact is, it is not. We meet with CEOs,
Presidents, VPs and entrepreneurs every week
who have no idea what to do, or how to go
helps the business community
what makes a brand effective; then if they request
it, direct them to firms or other resources
who will best suit their
What led to this? Our community
was often asking itself, "While most senior
claim to know a great deal about
branding, why were they not the majority of
our clientele? Nor seemingly the majority of
other designers worked with?
Were they just too embarrassed to admit the
truth?" Example, when we purchased the
for this site, our representative
(who's the co-owner and supposedly "ultra brand-savvy")
asked us, "Do you guys actually brand
sheep?" -And he
Adding injury to insult,
in September of 2008 Google erroneously removed
our indexing while we were uploading new content.
When we contacted them, their
us "Yeah, you're right, you're not coming
up. Does your site promote cruelty
to animals?" We were completely taken
aback, "You've GOT to be kidding."
What really happened was that as we were uploading
updated content, their crawlers came in and
read our domain as vacant.
But the fact that they thought' branding' was
solely some sort of animal tagging business
substantiated our discouragement. Were Google's
A company whose root purpose is in the promotion of brands? If so,
American business was in big trouble. In fact, as much commerce as the U.S. engages
in, by comparison to Europe and the UK, we
are sorely behind.
Do you still
think branding is widely understood and commonplace?
depends on one's exposure. Although the term "branding" in
its current meaning has been around for quite
having gone through the buzz word circuit,
have no idea what branding is, nor how to
ensure a brand's healthy proliferation. Even
seasoned branders cannot come to an academic
conclusion for its definition. Even so, this
was a term that
by graphic designers
entire system for a business's identity -Not
just the look; but the sound,
feel, scent, shape, color, language,
and name -the persona of a business.
Many designers were taking on these tasks without
a name attached to it. When it became realized
that such efforts went above and beyond the
scope of traditional "design", the
term branding came into common use for a service
that went beyond
scope of creating aesthetics.
In addition to this, we all
agreed that so much more could be done in moving
• We didn't
have to spend hours in meetings trying to explain
the basics of branding. How nice it would
be if all of our clients engaged a shared vocabulary,
and were familiar with what it was
we were attempting to convey. Thus, equating to less decision paralysis.
• Branding was something
discussed outside corporate marketing meetings,
during the creation of brand guidelines, or
persuading our clients that, "Yes, you do
need to stick to the guidelines. That's what
they're there for."
• Branding education
was easily accessible to small businesses
and schools. And mandatory for all MBA and
• We weren't spending
hours trying to locate new vendors to meet
a project's green reqs.
• We weren't talking
on the phone with students who were asking
we thought they should attend. There are very
few branding programs in the U.S. If you know
of any PLEASE contact us.
• Having to
explain to corporate heads who became
stupefied as to why their
were failing, after they placed their CMO/Marketing
into the role of Brand Manager.
While it is true a few well
respected branding firms offer prospective
clients reading materials on
it is often alluded that such materials are
prospective paying clients), and not the general
Which frankly, we thought unproductive. So
what about the rest of the public who
are prospective business owners?
We felt there should be a non-bias, free-source
The American Branding Association
feels that to
science/art of branding
to everyone, not just businesses, we will
further the public's desire in promoting
change, progress, and stoking the
fires of passion
for nationally grown commerce. Whether on
a commercial focus or to promote social
change, the ABA will do everything in its power
to extend the importance of effective branding
to the American community at large.
With your support,
the ABA will assist in making our nation
a leader of progressive branding once again.
But to accomplish this, there needs to be
a ground up approach. We have a tremendous
amount of intellect and talent
Help us put more of it to good use.