The brand your company represents is basically how the world percieves it. It’s the sum of of what you tell them and how you act on it. For long years, big companies have been studying the possibility of managing how peopleperceive them. This way emerged the art and science of branding.
There are innumerous techniques, hacks and tricks that can be tested and implemented depeding on the industry. However, there is a visible pattern that has been used by market leaders and you should consider looking at them:
1. A mantra
Not to be confused with a slogan, a mantra is a short, usually 3-5 keyword description of a brand. It captures it’s essence and its almost never used for publicity purposes. Examples of a mantra:
- Dove- Real beauty for real people
- Nike- Authentic athletic Performance
- BMW- Ultimate driving machine
2. A story
Storytelling is art. It’s by far the best way a brand can communicate to the audiences: how they came about, what’s their mission and ultimately why people should choose them. When applied correctly it is a powerful tool to inspire, influence buying decisions, inform, entertain and engage with prospects. Here are some great stories:
- Two degrees- Will and Lauren (old friends and entrepreneurs) came up with a new way of fighting child poverty. The created a food company that sells delicious snacks in order to feed disadvantaged children.
- Out of Print Clothing- it’s a company that “celebrates the world’s greates stories through fashion”. They produce t-shirts with logos taken from classic, rare or out of print book covers. And for each book sold they donate a book.
- GoPro- lauched primarely as a starup, go pro is an example of perfect timing. They came out exactly when the social media and the sharing culture was gaining momentum. According their about us page, they produce “the worlds most versatile cameras”. Today cameras are a huge success and somewhat of a standard for extreme sports video shooting.
GoPro helps people capture and share their lives’ most meaningful experiences with others—to celebrate them together
See the GoPro about us video
3. A targeted market
Saving the whole world is impossible. For a brand to thrive it must have a well defined, specific group of people that will most likely buy. A good example of this is the 2014 “Shoes are boring” campaign by Converse. It targets young people and “disqualifies” shoe users (usually adults) by positioning them as “unstylish””= in a humorous way.
4. Showing, not just telling
The story a brand represents is not only about what it tells. it also involves what it does. For instance: the way in which an employee from company xyz attends a customer, can have a profound effect on how the customer perceives the whole company. Each and every decision a brand makes should always be a reflection of it’s story. A single mistake is able to squander decades of branding.
Relationships are about trust which implies being credible. For brands to achieve the goal of having long lasting relationships with customers they must “practice what they preach”. Ever wondered why most of us during a road trip at some point will stop by Mc Donald’s? Because we all know that no matter we’re we go, the value we get from Mc Donald’s is always, exactly as we predicted. So we trust them!
5. Represent a Benefit
Think of Nutella. Ummm! Yes, we all do react the same way for this one. A brand represents the reason why customers ”ummm” at something. Is it ”ummm fast internet” you stand for ? Or ”ummm no more headaches at the HR department”? Find it, create it or tweak it when necessary because if your company does not represent a benefit your brand will never exist.
Photo credit: CC flickr via Flazingo Photos