So what exactly is a brand?

A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or company. It’s a GUT FEELING because we’re all emotional, intuitive beings, despite our best efforts to be rational. It’s a PERSON’S gut feeling, because in the end the brand is defined by individuals, not by companies, markets, or the so-called general public. Each person creates his or her own version of it. While companies can’t control this process, they can influence it by communicating the qualities that make this product different than that product. When enough individuals arrive at the same gut feeling, a company can be said to have a brand. In other words, a brand is not what YOU say it is. It’s what THEY say it is. A brand is a kind of Platonic ideal – a concept shared by society to identify a specific class of things. To use Plato’s example, whenever we hear the word “horse we visualize a majestic creature with four legs, a long tail, and a mane falling over a muscular neck, an impression of power and grace, and the knowledge that a person can ride long distances on its back. Individual horses may differ, but in our minds we still recognize their common “horseness. Looked at from the other side of the equation, when we add up the parts that make a horse, the total is distinctive enough so that we think HORSE, not COW or BICYCLE.

A brand, like Plato’s horse, is an approximate – yet distinct – understanding of a product, service, or company. To compare a brand with its competitors, we only need to know what makes it different. Brand management is the management of differences, not as they exist on data sheets, but as they exist in the minds of people.

Trust creation is a fundamental goal of brand design….Trust is the ultimate shortcut to a buying decision, and the bedrock of modern branding.

Why should I invest in my brand?

A strong brand is invaluable as the battle for customers intensifies day by day. It’s important to spend time investing in researching, defining, and building your brand. After all, your brand is the source of a promise to your consumer.

Your brand is a foundational piece in your marketing communication and one you do not want to be without. Branding is strategic and marketing is tactical and what you use to get your brand in front of consumers. That’s why it carries a great deal of importance within a business or organization as well.

Brand serves as a guide to understanding the purpose of business objectives. It enables you to align a marketing plan with those objectives and fulfill the overarching strategy.

The effectiveness of brand doesn’t just happen before the purchase, but it’s also about the life of the brand of the experience it gives a consumer.

Did the product or service perform as expected? Was the quality as good as promised or better? How was the service experience? If you can get positive answers to these questions, you’ve created a loyal customer.

Brand not only creates loyal customers but it creates loyal employees. Brand gives them something to believe in, something to stand behind.  It helps them understand the purpose of the organization or the business.

A Basic Checklist to Evaluate Your Brand

Branding can be confusing, so how do you know if your brand is strong enough to give you the internal and external value that you need in your marketing?

  • Does your brand relate to your target audience?  Will they instantly “get it” without too much thought?
  • Does your brand share the uniqueness of what you offer and why it’s important?
  • Does it reflect the brand promise that you are making to who you are targeting as well as to your internal audience?
  • Does your brand reflect the values that you want to represent as a customer?

Let these questions serve as a guideline in the development of your brand.  If the answers are not clear you may want to return to the drawing board and refine the branding process.  A brand should be an instant “ah-ha” it should require very little thought and contemplation.

"It is amazing when you see the transformation from your old material to the new. I thank these guys for helping South Dallas Battery to look better for the years to come."

Les ButlerOwner, South Dallas Battery

"We have worked together very closely with BRAD to achieve what we wanted. I knew I was in good hands even before we started. I am glad we picked the right people to be our partners."

Patricia BausoneOwner, To Have and To Hold

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