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What is a brand? What is branding? What's the difference?
When I ask business people what they think a brand is nine out of ten usually get it wrong. Over the years, the word “brand” has been has been used to describe all kinds of things that it’s not. So today, I want to bring clarity as to what this term really means and empower you to build a better brand for yourself, your company, your product or service.
I’m Richard Ensley, brand consultant and founder of Priest & King. Today, I want to clear the fog on the definition of brand and branding. Now these words get used pretty loosely these days — so much so, that most intelligent business folks can get a bit confused So let’s first eliminate a few common misconceptions.
A brand is not a logo — it is not a product. It is not a company — it is not marketing — or design. It is not packaging — is not colors — mascots or slogans.
Now, I can tell you that a majority of the companies That I’ve worked with believed these elements were the brand — To be fair — they were partially right.
These are products of a brand — but the brand is much deeper — Much more interactive — and much more human than these elements. So what is a brand?
Well I have found that many experts and agencies define “brand” In their own unique ways — it seems split between two different
school’s of thought. Many experts believe a “brand” is a combination of everything a company or service says and does — and the way they communicate it, express it or visualize it —
while other experts believe a brand is simply what the audience believes about the company — Their experiences and perceptions of that product or service.
I subscribe to both of these theories. At Priest & King, we believe that a brand is a story and a promise combined with actionable core values, beliefs, identity, behavior and personality to create a strong narrative. We also believe that the audiences perceptions, emotions and experiences of a company highly impact that brand’s story.
So what about brandING?
If your brand is a combination of your beliefs, values and personality — combined with your audiences perceptions and experiences of you — then brandING is simply the act of managing those perceptions and experiences — in a consistent manner.
Coca-Cola is one of the most recognizable brands in the world. When I say the brand name, the branding automatically triggers. A variety of sights, tastes and sounds right? You can hear the bubbles, see the red can with white script letters, you may have even just gotten thirsty. Many of you think of fun times growing up or other positive experiences as well. So the branding has triggered the brand — the name, the look, the sound — has tapped into your subconscious experiences and positive or negative perceptions of the product.
Did you know that at the root of every marketing campaign that coke produces is their core value “To inspire moments of optimism and happiness”? Their imagery is typically filled with smiles and people in situations where they are happy and having fun. Even their packaging says ENJOY coca-cola.
This is branding — shaping the customer’s perceptions and experiences through consistently every commercial, ad campaign, and user experience. Make sense?
So what’s the role of the logo? Or their colors? Or their unique bottle shape? These elements simply identify the company — they are basically flags that trigger your perceptions of the brand.
Now — you may be looking at your brand or the marketing you are doing and you be saying to yourself — yeah but that’s Coke — they're massive — they're a billion dollar company! —
How could I make my brand effective like that?
Well — the truth is — I work with businesses all of the time who are developing amazing brands — to stand out in their markets. Not only is it important to have effective branding — you don’t have a choice in today’s business climate — there is more competition than ever before — how are you going to stand out?
Would you like more expert advice on branding your business? I’ve recently written my first book. It’s called THE HUMAN GUIDE TO BRANDING. Today, I’m making it available — FOR FREE!
This book is filled with helpful keys that will educate you and empower you to build a strong, lasting brand.
To receive your free copy visit http://thehumanguide.com
Music: "We Sing" by Grande Baliad. Produced by Steve Dresser. https://grandebaliad.com/