What is a brand and why is it important?
Quite simply, a brand is a form of strategy for your business or organization. It is communicated visually and in other ways to communicate the personality and core of an organization and it can also be a strategy for a person. The brand is at the forefront of communicating products and services. The value of an organization can exponentially grow or drop because of the amount of equity in that brand.
So, you can see brands can be very powerful business tools. Brand can make you original, unique and amazingly energized.
Don’t mistake a logo for a brand. The logo is simply part of the visual representation of that particular brand.
There is a science to brand strategy. It is a organizational challenge which requires a lot of thought and perhaps research. History has been littered with examples of people who have ripped off successful brands to try to steal some of the original business’ thunder and draw from it to create market awareness and customer interest. Not only does this make the business look like a poor imitation of the original, but it’s highly unethical. The brand strategy must have some originality, which partly comes from the organization’s personality, which should be unique in itself. Just as, people are uniquely different, organizations are as well.
There is an art to brand strategy. The art is how you coordinate shapes, colors, fonts and so on into a logo, brochure, website and signage, which all effect the way your organization is percieved.
When the science and art successful converge, you have the elements of a powerful brand.
From time to time, brands must be reassessed and revisited for strategy, mainly because:
The times and styles have changed
The products and/or services have changed
The brand is tired or has been severely challenged in the marketplace
The brand has been damaged through mismanagement and poor or inconsistent use
Some companies which have successfully re-invented their brand over the years are:
Some of the things your brand must do:
Create an attractive relationship or affinity with your ideal customer
Accurately and positively project your organizational image
Project a desired feeling with the potential customer (it’s not how you feel about your company, it’s how your ideal customer feels about it that’s important)
It must lead the target audience to a certain place where they feel, think and believe something about you which is desirable. They want to be in partnership with you.
Think about it this way. Anyone can get and wear a T-shirt. But why do people want a shirt with Nike, Under Armor or their favorite sports team on it? Because they want to be in partnership with that brand.
Quick to-do list for your brand:
What experience do you want your customer to have with your brand?
What can the customer do?
What can the customer get?
What do they see?
What do they think?
What do they feel?
Then use those same questions and ask:
What outcome do you want to create with them in each of those questions?
Answer that and you are on your way to evaluating and assessing your company’s brand.