This is an age long question – is branding an art or a science?
According to one school of thought, its an art. It deals with emotions, raises certain feelings in people’s mind, cannot be quantified 100% and can best be explained as that “X” factor for which people choose one option / product / company in place of other.
According to another, its pure science. It deals with certain input in the form of promotion and others and can in return generate measurable amount of output in the form of mindshare, sales and revenue.
But probably the best way to define Branding is its part art part science. Meaning? Here is a very interesting way of defining branding
Branding = Beautiful Strategy + Solid tactics.
On a broad level, branding is about developing strategy. And strategy, to a large part deals with unmeasurable attributes. A good strategy paves the way for achieving the brand goal, but it does not crystalize the small details that can give an idea about the ROI. That is where the tactical plan moves in. The brand tactical plan will follow up on where strategy has left, and take all the beautiful words and turn it into harsh number crunching reality.
Thats why on a strategic level, branding looks like a glorious artwork. But on tactical level its science at its best. Since effective branding can’t live without either the solid framework of strategy or the practicalities of tactics, branding is definitely part art, part science.