We live in a noisy world where we are exposed to thousands of brand messages daily, making it impossible to retain all the information that is heard or seen. In spite of that we have a set of preferences and feelings that drive us to pick a product or service. What leads us to make these choices? Why are we attracted to a brand? As business owners, how do we differentiate our brand and make it appealing to our target? What does it take to be the gold standard in a congested market?
The answer lies in building a strong brand that has a purpose, a reason to exist, that is sustainable and stands for a set of ideals and values that consumers believe in and relate to.
Very often the term – ‘brand’ is misused or confused for a logo, symbol, advertising campaigns, media spends or other tangible aspects. These aspects are the benefits that accrue from having a strong brand and do not solely constitute its foundation. The real sense of a brand lies beneath the surface of these tangible markers.
In essence, a brand is a set of unique values & beliefs that the company stands for – a sense of passion, confidence, belonging, love and security. It entails choosing and using symbols that reflect what you value – it is not showing the world how great your product is; but showing the things you believe in and stand for. It’s about making the consumers see the world through your eyes – the way you perceive greatness or love, and in doing this, making them believe in the same vision.
Relating to brands is a lot like relating to people when you first get introduced to them. In the latter, you start forming impressions about them like, “he is smart”, “intelligent”, “witty” or “charming” and over time these impressions get amplified, diluted or deleted. It’s the same with brands – every interaction is an opportunity on how you can build your brand.
If a brand has to become timeless and sustainable it must evoke qualities of human soulfulness. When a company finds and codifies its brand purpose into a positioning platform – just like Nike has done with ‘Just Do It’ – it then becomes possible to exude a level of humanness in brand interactions.
The core of your brand lies in its personality, values, beliefs and voice – aspects that drive every tangible touch point of your brand. Remember, great brands are born out of passion and belief to build the present and the future.
So, the next time you come across your favourite brand, ask yourself – What’s in a name?