Branding – What Does It Mean?

Branding. What is creating a brand, staying true to a brand, building a brand? What does it all mean?

I recently was putting some thought into what a brand is. The word itself seems harsh to me. Branding as if once branded, we can never change. As if we are permanently tattooed with that brand for the rest of our lives. We need to decide that thing that is the most important to us and say, “Yup….not doing anything else unless it fits within that little box of which my brand is contained.”

The problem with that is that we never explore what is outside of that brand and evolve into something new or different.

To me, brands are no different from the labels that we put on each other to neatly confine each into their own little bucket, their own small tribe. We can then make assumptions about them based on those labels and classify them neatly in little groups. So yes, branding and labeling limit us from what we could be.

What do I mean exactly? Well, through my life, I suppose I have had many different “Brands.” I was a competitive swimmer at one time and loved camping, acting, and doing ceramics. I am a wife and mother, a sister and a daughter. I am an artist and a writer. I am a runner and biker. I am a friend. I am many things that those in my corporate life would know nothing about. There I am a Project Manager and a Systems Analyst. I have been a Leasing Agent and Apartment Manager. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and love math, numbers, and patterns as much as I love words that have deep meaning when strung together simply.

When I try to consider what a brand means to me, I struggle because we are all unique. So maybe my brand is that of human uniqueness. I am not one thing or one label or one brand tattooed for my lifetime. I am evolving, observing, learning from those around me. I am piecing together the many patterns I see in life to try to determine where I fit. I recognize that where I fit in the past may be different from where I fit in the present or the future and that I need to be open to those ebbs and flows in life. Enjoy the stage I am in and know that a new path may present itself.

So yes, branding seems harsh because it does not open the door to opportunities and evolution into what makes us human. So, for now, I’ll continue to be the #artfulbeing that I am until new talent presents itself.

Perhaps I have made it to that which we struggle to determine when we are young. The age-old question of “what will you be when you grow up?” Or is it “what will you DO when you grow up?” Do we ever really grow up, or is it just an evolution to becoming the person we were meant to be as children? Something to ponder a different day, I suppose, because, for today, I’m a runner, a painter, a writer, and a wife. Come Monday, I’ll still be all these as well as a co-worker, a systems analyst, and a project manager/worker bee.  But above all, I will forever be, an #artfulbeing.


Raissa Urdiales
Raissa Urdiales
Raissa lived most of her life along the shores of Lake Michigan in Wisconsin. She currently lives in the quiet city of Tega Cay, South Carolina, just across the border from the very active art community of Charlotte, North Carolina. Raissa has not always considered herself as an artist. She spent a great portion of her adult life staring into computer screens and managing computer system implementations and upgrades in the traditional corporate setting. It was through a chance paint night that she discovered her passion for painting. On her 51st birthday, she treated herself to some acrylic paints and brushes and has not stopped painting since. She balances her passion for creating with her day job as a systems analyst. In the wee hours of the morning, you will find her painting before she immerses herself in the technology that is consuming the world today. Although Raissa does not have formal training in the arts she is very conscious of the benefits it has on the human psyche. She holds a Bachelor's of Science majoring in Psychology where she focused her studies on Organizational Psychology. Through her corporate career, she has learned how to strike a balance between that which provides monetary reward and that which fulfills us as humans. For her, this balance is obtained through painting, writing, and exercise. She is currently a member of the Guild of Charlotte Artists where she exhibits select pieces during the quarterly art shows in and around the Charlotte Metropolitan Area. She has also submitted and is featured regularly in the Light Space & Time online gallery. When she is not painting or working with computer systems, she is writing. She currently has a column with BIZCATALYST 360° named “Artful Being” where she writes on topics both in and out of her corporate life to help others gain balance on what it is to be human.

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