The definitions that may change the way you market your business.
All too often I hear people talking about brand, but what they are really talking about is their logo. So here it is, let’s see what the definition of logo vs the definition of a brand is. It is understanding the difference that may change your views on how you market your organisation.
The term logo is short for Logotype, design speak for trademark made from a custom-lettered word (Logo is Greek for Word).
A person perception of a product, service, experience, or organisation; the art and science of brand building.
And now let’s go one step further and define the definition of branding…
A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service or company. You can’t control the process, but you can influence it.
Branding is not what you say it is. It’s what they say it is.
In essence, a brand is a GUT FEELING about a product, service, or company. It is a gut feeling because at the end of the day a brand is defined by individuals, not by companies.
We all have attended an event which is designed to network with other individuals. The networking is about finding connections with others, similarities, alignments and personal connections that give us feelings that this connection may be something that we can nurture together. In relationship to a brand, it is creating the same connections with individuals, however, the brand is not a person.
So, how can a brand connect with another individual in the same way?
When developing a brand, we must humanize the brand to align with the target audience’s ideologies of what they believe in, what they want to align themselves within their life, and who they feel is a good match for their personality. We do this by defining a personality for our brand. How a brand speaks, where a brand would hang-out, and what are the brand values in life. It is only once we have done this do we know the who, what, and where, and can start to create meaningful connections with our customers.
Forming meaningful relationships with customers.
I define our best customer relationships as the same as a relationship with a loved one. I would do I define our best customer relationships as the same as a relationship with a loved one. I would do anything for my wife. I will glamorize her, I will tell everyone how great she is, how she is worth the world. I am her ambassador to everyone I meet. If she was a brand, I would be promoting her without evening knowing I am doing it. Everyone I met would want a part of what I have.
If we could create that same relationship with our customers than we would have an army of ambassadors promoting our brand to others. Wouldn’t that be great!
The character of a brand defined in human terms.
A brand effects us on a subconscious level
Anyone who knows me would also know I love the Apple brand. I have used Apple products my whole life, from the moment I started a career 22 years ago. When I walk into a store to buy a new computer, I don’t think what computer will I buy, but rather which Apple product I will buy.
I recently tried to convince my best friend to buy an Apple. I talked the brand up so much I was sure he was going to buy one. When he told me he bought something else, I was so disappointed. But, really why did I care so much? I was not getting a commission from the sale, there was no real gain for me in any way.
Inadvertently, I had become an ambassador for the Apple brand. This alignment with myself and the Apple brand is no accident. It is carefully planned and considered. Perhaps that is why Apple is currently one of the best brands in the world.
Anyone who promotes the brand through interactions with customers, prospects, partners, or the media; ideally, every company employee
Anyone who evangelizes or protects a brand; a brand steward
Do we need to be qualified psychologists to understand brand?
The short answer is no, but to be honest it would probably help. However, we do not need to understand the In’s and outs of how the human brain works. But what we do need to understand is our consumers. We can gain this understanding through research and starting open conversations with our customers.
A lot of us are scared to have these conversations in the case we don’t like what we are being told. But, it is the good and bad of these conversations that help us to truly understand our business, what we do well and what we can improve on, and most importantly, what our customers really think. This is called insights. And insights are one of the most valuable tools a business can own.
By definition, brand insights are the result of a deep understanding of your customer. They serve as a guide for brand success.
A brand is what they say it is….
Yes, it is, and if THEY think it is flawed THEY will not engage with it. We may think we understand our business, product, or service, but if our customers don’t agree, what we think does not matter. And that is the core of branding – creating brands that DO matter!
What does matter?
Back to my Apple experience… Why do I LOVE the brand so much? Trust me I have been thinking about this for a very long time. I remember my first experience with the brand. I started off working in an IT company creating advertising. The IT industry – well they won’t touch Apple, so, I was using IBM or some other non-Apple brand. I was nearly ripping my hair out trying to get this thing to do what I wanted without having to restart it every 10 minutes.
Eventually, I changed jobs and sat down at my desk in front of an Apple. Wow, I thought to myself, as I looked at the computer which at the time had a lime green surround. Though, was this just another computer that would be equally as flawed as the last? I was so wrong. Not only did the Apple look cool, but it just worked!!! I loved my experience with the product and this experience started my love affair with the brand.
Since then Apple has created some of the most profound advertising campaigns in history. The one that I remember the most was the “Think different” campaign. It was designed to align the Apple brand with the people in the world that were strong enough to think different. Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King, Mohammad Ali, Bob Dylan and the list goes on. The thing about these iconic people was a lot of them had never even used a computer, but the point is, if they did, it would be an Apple. Wasn’t I one of these people too. lol. Probably not but I liked to think I could align myself with them.
See the story here… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=keCwRdbwNQY
Every brand matters. Brands create meaning, they create experiences, they create relationships, and in a language, everyone speaks… they create sales. Brands create equity in an organisation – the worth of a company can be massively increased because of the value of their brand in the marketplace.
Your brand matters…. they key is being able to find YOUR matter and let everyone know about it.