Brand is often spoken of, and frequently misunderstood. However, it is the single best way to create a business that can gain loyal customers, ask higher prices, and make business decisions simpler.
What is a Brand?
It’s not your logo or advertising.
A brand is made up of two distinct factors:
- How you present yourself – Your image, actions, attitudes, reliability, trustworthiness, professionalism, etc.
- What others think and feel about you – Based on their experience with you, interactions you have with each other, what they hear about you from others, how they are treated, etc.
Ultimately, people will form their own opinions about your brand based on the tangible assets you provide, and the things that they see, hear and feel about your brand.
The old model of brand was based on the logic of factory management. The company created the brand, the brand attracted customers and customers supported the company. The new model of branding is similar, but with one important difference: the order of events. Instead of creating the brand first, the company creates customers, the customers create the brand and the brand sustains the company.
This model takes into account a profound and counterintuitive truth: a brand is not owned by the company, but by the customers who draw meaning from it. Your brand isn’t what YOU say it is. It’s what THEY say it is.
– MARTY NUEMIER, The Brand Flip, 2016, p. 5
What is a brand identity?
A brand identity is the visual and sensory elements of your company. The logo, design of your web site or print marketing, the material of your products–everything you can see, hear, smell, touch or taste. Your brand identity will influence the way people feel about your brand in a good or a bad way.
Well, then what is branding?
Everything that affects a person’s gut feeling about your brand is a customer touch point. The management of those customer touch points is branding. The difference between great brands and mediocre ones is the wise management of every customer touch point. Every possible point of contact with a client or potential client affects the way that person feels about you, and helps them determine whether or not to trust you, hire you or buy your product.
Why should I care about my brand?
You have a brand, whether you know it or not. If you manage your brand well, you will have loyal customers, make more money and have a long term strategy for success. If you manage your brand poorly (or not at all), it will lead to inconsistencies in customer experience, design and marketing messages that will keep you struggling to not only succeed, but to also survive in a marketplace filled with companies and services just like yours.
Strong brands make higher profits, can ask higher prices, and make the life of their competition harder. Building a strong brand by combining great business strategy with great design will help you grow your business, lead to more sales, and help you to leave your competition in the proverbial dust.
A strong brand can earn higher profits, can ask higher prices, and make the life of their competition harder.