What is a brand?
Branding is such a well known and used term these days however most people don’t understand what branding is and what a brand encapsulates.
A brand is not merely a synonym for a product or service. A brand is created, and lives, in the mind of a consumer; it is a combination of all communication and experiences, both good and bad, intended and unintended, that are identified with a name or symbol and occur both in the consumption of the product or service and in the course of day to day life.
Brands incite emotional responses when we come into contact with them. Overtime we build pre-conceived idea’s feelings and expectations of what that brand is and is not. Take a look at the logos below and think about the thoughts you have about each company.
Logos are not brands, they are merely representations of brands. They are the entry point and the shortcut to the brand for your mind. Brands are not concrete; they are the thoughts, feelings, and psychological relationships between a business and a customer. And your brand is the foundation of all your marketing activities.
What are the benefits of a Brand
Building a brand for your business creates internal and external benefits. Inside your business it provides a focused understanding of what you are about. This is essential to engrain self awareness for the people working in and around your business which impacts their actions and decisions. All decisions including marketing decisions, need to be aligned with your brand which over time, will build a stronger business identity.
From the outside looking in, your brand acts as an identity that resonates with your customers. Customers form emotional relationships with your brand which is important because people don’t buy products logically, they buy with their emotions.
The classic example of this is the rivalry between soft drink giants Coca-Cola and Pepsi. In 2010 Coca-Cola sold nearly 927 million cases of its diet Coke, to Pepsi’s 892 million. Regular Coke remains far and away the most popular soft drink, selling 1.6 billion cases.
When Coke and Pepsi are compared in double blind taste tests, most people can’t tell the difference although will have a preference when the drinks are branded.