Your brand is not your logo. A logo is simply a mark that represents your business, much like a signature. Your logo must be well-designed, recognisable and memorable, but it is not your brand. So what is?
What is a brand?
In a digital age where information is readily accessible consumer choice is at an all-time high. Price, quality and value for money are at the forefront of consumers and business owners minds. However, one of the most powerful influences on consumer choice is often overlooked by small business. Your brand is your company’s most valuable asset, it is what separates your business from the competition. Competitors can try to replicate your product or service, they might try to beat your price, but they will struggle to mimic your brand.
Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room. – Jeff Bezos, Amazon
In simple terms, your brand is the reputation of your business. It is the sum of every interaction you have with your customers that shapes their perception. For instance, your last advert, the e-mail your sales rep sent, and your product packaging, all contribute to how customers perceive your business.
What is Branding?
Branding is the process of shaping the identity of a business. The objective is to create a brand (reputation) that is positive, memorable and distinct. Like any aspect of your business, you will need a strategy to create an effective brand.
A brand strategy is the long term plan for shaping the perception of your business in line with your business objectives. Your brand strategy defines why your company exists, the experience you offer customers and the personality you present.
THE GOLDEN CIRCLE, SIMON SINEK – HTTPS://SIMONSINEK.COM/COMMIT/THE-GOLDEN-CIRCLE
Start with ‘Why?’
How do you begin to make a brand strategy? You can answer this by asking yourself why?
- Why does your business matter?
- Why should people care?
- What is the goal or purpose?
Customers want companies to be transparent in their actions and follow through on promises. For this reason, your business must implement a brand strategy that reflects your purpose. Otherwise, customers will feel disillusioned and dissatisfied.
Here are some great examples from companies who have asked themselves why?
Bring the best user experience to its customers through its innovative hardware, software, and services.
To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
More than building machines, we stand for the timeless pursuit of adventure. Freedom for the soul.
Our mission is, To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world.
*If you have a body, you are an athlete.
Let’s take a closer look at Nike’s statement to better understand its objective.
“If you have a body, you are an athlete.” Nike describes who their brand is for.
“Our mission is, To bring inspiration” Nike want people to feel inspired.
“To bring inspiration and innovation” Nike want people to think they are innovative.
Nike’s statement tells us who their product is for, how they want people to feel and what they want them to think about their company. You can call this their goal, their purpose, their strategy or their why. Ultimately, the statement is how Nike want their brand to be perceived.
Making the brand real – How?
Branding is not a tick box exercise. Value comes from placing your purpose at the core of your business, shaping the way you operate, at the forefront of your mind in everything that you do.
To understand how to implement your strategy, we can take another look at Nike.
What are some of the things Nike do to show customers they are innovative?
- Invest in the innovation of their products
- Share insight into their technological advancements
- Build innovation into the history of their company
- Early adopters of new technology, placing themselves where their customers are
How does Nike inspire their customers?
- By working with influential figures that inspire their target audience
- “Find your greatness.” Nike’s messaging is emotive, their marketing campaigns align with their strategy.
- They are socially conscious, speaking on social topics that many businesses avoid.
How, and why, shape what you do
Nike is a success because they deliver on their brand strategy. As a result, Nike DO inspire, they DO innovate, and they ARE for everyone, that is why their customers love them.
Your business may not be as big as Nike yet. But by using the same strategies, you can create a brand that your customers love.
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