First, the question we get asked a lot. What is brand?
Contrary to what you believe, it is not your logo. Please, please, can we stop calling a logo a brand? A logo without brand is just a lifeless symbol, sitting there alone crying into its wine for someone to pay attention to it.
A brand is a living thing. It communicates, it changes, it tells a story, it is the ambassador of your company. A brand makes your company come to life.
It uses all the marketing tools—colour, design, logo, copywriting, social media, advertising, websites, packaging, online stores, and more. It speaks not just to your customers, but to your employees.
It is the voice that identifies your why, it’s your vision, your direction, your core values. It’s relatable, authentic and clearly presented. It’s your number one sales tool, the reason why people choose you, and your first contact point. And it’s valuable. Hecka valuable.
In fact, brand equity is a measurable thing. In 2013, Apple’s brand equity was worth over $98 billion, the most valuable brand in the world.
I mean, none of us will ever be Apple, but still. If you could create just a small amount of brand equity, you’d have a more valuable company. Something to think about, right?
These are five things a brand can do for your company:
1. Gives you life.
A brand has a personality and it gives life to your company. Are you boring, bland and beige? I think not. Your brand shouldn’t be either. Use it as the face and voice of your company. Sassy and smart? Show it. Quiet and humble? Work it. Determined and feisty? Own it.
2. Differentiates you.
You know what shouldn’t be cookie cutter? Your company. Remember how I said a brand has personality? Well, just like people, that personality is what makes you different from everyone else. And I’m going to let you in on a little secret: You are selling the exact same widget or service as the other guy down the street. You know what that other guy doesn’t have? You got it, your brand.
3. Engages people.
Then there’s this connection thing. People (aka your customers) really crave connection. And when they feel like they connect with you and what you stand for, they feel more engaged. But if you can’t communicate what you stand for, how will they know? Give them a reason to engage and connect by throwing down those authentic vibes.
4. Creates trust.
By being transparent and authentic with who you are, whether that’s sassy (like me) or reserved (like you?), by being real with people, whoever you are, you create trust. Stop hiding behind words like professional, customer service and fast turnaround. That’s not a brand, that’s just company policy. A brand shows your character.
5. Helps people decide.
Once people know your personality, your character and your values, they have the information they need to make a decision. If they connect with a brand, no matter whether it’s higher or lower cost than the competition, they are more likely to choose the company they connect most with, the one with the relatable brand. Is it yours?
There’s a whole lot more to discuss than these five points, but I hope this bite size blog helps you decide if you should start the journey to create a vibrant brand for your company.
I hope your answer is yes.