Branding: How and Why?

You can find hundreds of blogs, websites and books on branding, with topics like “5 ways to brand” or “ten tips to brand your business”. Some topics may start like this one. I will try to simplify matters for the layman.

After some time studying branding and brand management, I have collected sentences that make sense and give an opportunity to really (re)think about what needs to be taken into account.

stephen-king-quote

While writing my thesis, I need to study the case and create discussion about my findings, so here we go and please bear with me!

Brand ingredients:

1. A unique name
2. A personality
3. A logo
4. A designed identity
5. A potential reputation
6. A provenance
7. Emotional meaning to the owner and customer
8. Consistency
9. Producer pride
10. Availability
11. Value greater than an unbranded product.
(Hall, 2012)

Ok, this is not a sentence, but a really good checklist and makes you re-think about everything your brand is about or needs to be. As an exercise, imagine your brand as a person and describe in details everything about that individual, how is this person different from others? What makes him/her unique or stand out? Why do people like that person?

Culture creates deeper content than marketing slogans. Building a brand culture is much more authentic, long-lasting, believable and interesting way to brand , than through advertising campaigns.
(Sounio, 2010)

Consumers want to engage and be able to communicate with and through the brand. You can think them as brand-fans. Does your brand have that “WOW!” factor? Remember that authentic and creative communication is almost half of the brands value. Strong brand culture means, that by purchasing the product, not only does the consumer know what you stand for, but it also means that it tells something about the person who buys it!

Brand represents promises that we expect from a product, service or organisation. It is what we expect from the people behind the brand and how they deliver it.
(Pringle, Gordon, 2001)

Your brand has to stand behind its words and show that it really cares about its customers. It is also one of the key elements that makes you different from your competitors. Know what your products/services are and what benefits they bring to people who buy them.

Self-confidence leads to satisfied customers. Include it into your brand identity.
(Pringle, Gordon, 2001)

If you believe in your product and yourself, then everyone else will. It will reflect on your staff and they will continue down the line to your customers and hopefully beyond.

Great brands don’t let you down; they are part of your life and are more than just functional products.
(Hall, 2012)

Try not to brand your products, as the point is, that you should create entire world around them. Simple logo, about us page and great pictures don’t make you stand out as a brand. You need to get more creative by adding emotions and inspiring process into the package.

If you are a fashion designer, you need to represent your brand. What you wear, what you eat and where you go is an extension of your brand identity.
(Gehlhar, 2005)

In many cases it is important that the brand owner lives the brand life. If you are a start-up company, it is more likely that you are the face of the organisation and who you are and what you do tells everything about it.

A strong brand not only appeals to the brain but to the heart as well. It offers functional and emotional benefits.
(Uusitalo, 2014)

It is not about how many likes or followers your brand has, or how useful and great your product is (like any other product on the market), it’s more about the emotions your brand creates when potential customers see your products. If your brand represents happiness and a good time, that might be the emotion your buyer is seeking!

branded-stamp

I hope you have found something new and useful and stay connected for future posts!

References:

Gehlhar M., The Fashion Designer survival guide, 2005
Hall R., Brilliant Marketing, 2012
Pringle H. and Gordon W., Brand Manners, 2001
Sounio L., Brändikäs, 2010
Uusitalo P., Mainostajien liitto, 2014

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