We have all heard the term “branding”, in many different forms and explanations of what it is. So, what is a brand?
To me, a brand is not just a logo, but a presence, a feeling, or better yet, an experience. A logo is just one of many visual aids to be used in the branding process. Taking on a new logo image is not necessarily creating a new brand, it is at least creating a recognizable vehicle for a future brand hopefully. We hear the term all the time, in fact i think it may start to loss its meaning to the general public soon unfortunately.
When you walk into a store, what brought you there? Was it a specific need that only they can fill? Among all the competitors out there with all the different products, what brought you to this particular company? A brand….perhaps. A brand is built on various levels as you experience a company or product. The smell of the store, signage, customer service, restrooms, product reliability, website and even the cleanliness of employees build brands. Yes the product itself is what you are after, but the brand is why you purchase a particular product, or eat at a specific place.
Companies can spend fortunes trying to build a brand and a reputation but in the end, creating a personal relationship with every customer is the most important piece to build a brand. This is done by taking a needed or wanted product and making it something people can’t live without. There are a few corporations that can drive a market just by saying it is newer and better when in fact it is just a different color or minor changes that really have no need to replace whats in your hand, but the brand screams to its customers to “come and get it”, and they do.
Brand building involves many steps, some tangible and many intangible steps, but nonetheless, if your company does not have a brand building process in place, its time to start thinking about the future!