What is a Brand - Part 1
Take a moment and think about a logo you really like. Have one in mind? Once you have one in mind, think about it a little more. Are you in love with its shade, colour and form?
Let’s be real, unless you are a designer geeking out, you really don’t care that deeply. You likely picked your favourite logo more because of how you relate and connect to a company you enjoy. And that is what you are really drawn to—a strong brand.
There is a lot of buzz around the word branding these days and many business owners have a sense that they need implement strong branding for their business. They often come looking to solve their brand image concerns by just switching up their logo or visual identity. But the brand of your business encapsulates so much more. The reality is—you don’t fall in love with a logo, you fall in love with a business that is meaningful to you. The logo simply connects you to that brand.
So, if a brand is so much more than a logo - what is it exactly? We will look at the first aspect here:
A brand is what a friend tells another friend about you. It is your reputation.
You have a reputation and a brand for your business whether to choose to manage it or not, but the truth is that you can choose to help manage how your business is understood and perceived.
Just because you have a logo, website and social media platforms in place, does not mean you are in control of your brand. Marty Neumeier in The Brand Gap sums up brand as “a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or organization.” This means the brand goes significantly beyond the look or logo. Brand is every interaction a consumer has with your business. It is the thoughts, feelings and psychological relationships associated with every experience they have with your company, from the way the phone is answered, to your website, to the delivery of your product.
Your brand is the sum total of your customers emotional association with your brand and their understanding of what you do and represent.
An exceptional brand story is one that is created with intention, and that frees your business to focus on providing excellent value in what you do best, resulting in satisfied customers who are happy to act as brand advocates.
An intentional brand fosters trust and credibility with your customers. Today more than ever, people are more design savvy while also expecting a higher level of transparency. Your brand story needs to feel authentic and powerful in order to appeal to the right clients for your business.
If a brand is your reputation - what are some tips of where to begin?
Know Your Customer
Have a unique profile in place to understand your customer and the problems they are facing.
Know Your Unique Value
Understand how you are uniquely positioned, and skilled to solve your customers unique needs.
Know How to Communicate Your Value Clearly
Speak your customers language, stand on their level and seek to be their advocate in solving their unique problem.
People can smell marketing tactics a mile away. And no one likes to be sold to. Talk about the ways you can truthfully help customers solve solve a unique problem that they are facing.
Refine your branding to build the reputation your clients need to understand, in order to value your offer.