& how it can set your business apart from the competition
In a world full of infinite choices, companies try to find ways to connect with customers on an emotional level. They seek to become irreplaceable and create relationships to last a lifetime. A strong brand stands out from a crowd. People fall in love with brands, they have trust invested in them, they believe in their high quality.
Jerry McLaughlin of Forbes said it best,"Put simply, your “brand” is what your prospect thinks of when he or she hears your brand name. It’s everything the public thinks it knows about your name brand offering—both factual (e.g. It comes in a robin’s-egg-blue box), and emotional (e.g. It’s romantic). Your brand name exists objectively; people can see it. It’s fixed. But your brand exists only in someone’s mind."
The way a brand is perceived impacts overall success, regardless if it is a nonprofit, a start-up, or a product.
Primary Functions of a Brand:
Navigation: Brands help the consumer choose from the vast array of choices available
Reassurance: Brands communicate the quality of the service and/or product to reassure the consumer they are making the right choice.
Engagement: Brands utilize specific language, visuals, and entities to facilitate the consumer to engage and identify with the brand.
As discussed above, a brand is an emotional and sometimes philosophical concept, where brand identity is the tangible components of a brand that represent those concepts. Brand Identity appeals to the senses- you can
see it, feel it, hear it, watch it move.
Brand Identity includes:
Examples of Strong Branding
Apple's branding strategy focuses on the consumer's emotions. They focus on how an Apple product experience makes you feel. Their brand personality reflects lifestyle, imagination, liberty regained, innovation, hopes, dreams, & aspirations. They focus on the power their products provide people through their technology. Apple's brand personality is focused on simplicity to remove barriers from people's lives. Their products are people-driven by being a humanistic company with connections to their customers. With that said, Apple is a source to help people & businesses achieve their goals.
Nike's branding strategy is similar to Apple- they connect with their consumer through emotions.Nike does not simply brand itself as a shoe or athletic wear business. They advertise as the brand that encourages people to test their limits with their "just do it" slogan. Nike saw a need- people needed encouragement to get into shape. They focused on what often stops people from achieving their fitness goals, excuses. Nike decided nothing should stop you, no excuses, no limits, anything is possible when you gear yourself with Nike.
Types of Branding
Co-branding: Partnering with another brand to strengthen their positions within a given market
Digital branding: Web, social media, search engine optimization, driving commerce on the web
Personal branding: The process an individual takes to build a reputation
Cause branding: Aligning a brand with a charitable cause and/or corporate social responsibility
Country branding: Efforts to attract tourists and businesses
"Your brand is a story unfolding across all customer touchpoints." - Jonah Sachs