What is ‘Brand’?
You can build a powerful brand and build brand equity by appealing to and keeping the attention of your target audience and then going beyond that to increase resonance. ‘Brand’ is about garnering, earning, sustaining love and loyalty. It’s about passion and principles, positioning and purpose, people and process. It’s about all of the values running through what you do, why you do it and what it means or should mean something to your tribe of customers.
Most importantly and much overlooked, is how it all translates to how you do what you do and contributes to your brand reputation.
Branding is the expression of your what constitutes the intrinsic difference and unique nature of your company, part of the activation of the outworking of an idea and the embodiment of a perception. There is no underestimating its power, as this article explains, whether you are engaged in responsive website design or development or undertaken operational change.
‘Brand’ is the synthesis of everything your consumer believes and feels about your business, your offering and why you exist and it’s why they gravitate to you, engage and transact with you and keep doing so. It’s everything to do with the brand position they accord you in their minds. Brand experience, for the customer, defines the brand because ‘brand’ is an emotional construct that savvy businesses can influence.
How we can help build your brand
Iconify combine creative brand consulting and design with innovative business advisory and implementation to help clients build powerful brands that are resonant and fit for the ever-changing competitive and technologically dynamic modern business landscape.
We help to build a powerful brand by:
- developing a brand strategy and focus on enhancing the experience and optimising engagement.
- leaders discover and define the purpose required to be resonant with naming and creating straplines or taglines,
- idea generation for marketing and communications, industry and competitor research and the attendant data analytics, positioning and strategy, design, internal engagement and operating model redesign, digital and social media campaigns and risk management.
- consider how to improve your customer journey and raise the likelihood of a favourable experience and to anticipate possible areas of risk to your reputation and optimise readiness to deal with adverse events, always with an eye to sustaining brand equity.
Building Your Brand Equity
Building brand equity is what you are doing if you take steps to protect your brand, to extend you brand’s reach, foorprint and customer satisfaction. Brand equity is the value of your brand to your company. Keller describes a process for building your brand equity that creates the ideal conditions for increasing the value of what your business does through the perception of your customers. We believe you can do this through blended branding and things like strategic website design.
Beyond the features of your service or product, your brand is built and held and sustained in the minds of your customer. It is constituted of all feelings and ideas and perceptions born of engagement, exposure and experiences that a consumer has with your brand.
Brand equity can’t exist outside of customers because they must be persuaded to buy into your brand. Which means you must target the right customers. Equity is a gift that can net your business recognition, the benefit of the doubt and scribing of authority, goodwill and intentions just based on perception and the consistent brand experience you offer to your customers.
The key to building your this lies in building awareness, communicating your brand’s reasons for existing and purpose to actively influence or change your customer’s perception of your company and maintain a deep and personal bond with customers.
Quality products and services matter – the features matter but they are not the most important thing – delivery and engagement count far more because decisions are made mostly based on emotion as emotions ultimately drive and build powerful brands.
Which came first – brand reputation or brand perception? Did reputation give rise to a certain perception or did perception make people act in ways in relation to the brand that gave it a certain reputation?
One thing is certain, to control reputation, we must control brand perception, from the get-go.
Because in the age of social media which has changed the game, one ill-judged tweet can do a lot of heavy lifting in trashing hard-won reputation and even equity. Control for reputation now rests with stakeholders to a degree it didn’t in the past. Still, a focus and consistent reference to the building blocks of brand strategy, particularly around brand purpose, can stave off many of these pitfalls. This is dependent upon a crucial brand dimension – people – your internal customers and how they have internalised your purpose and their role in it. Not only does brand experience rely on it, but increasingly, reputation, as your staff will speak as much for you and about you as your customers and could have a greater impact at critical moments.
Brand strategy should be central to business strategy
You’ve successfully built the brand and a tribe around your offering who are incredible advocates generating referrals, word of mouth and enviable online buzz. You’ve built an asset. If in order to protect your business and give it the best long term chances of survival and competition, you decide to undertake significant business change, would your brand strategy not play a part in the business strategy? Yet, everyday, businesses make this critical mistake of not putting it at the centre of their endeavours. We can help you to do this.
Web and Online Strategy
Web and online strategy can help you build visibility, authority and of course build brand equity. The design and build of a website go beyond a critical digital presence and done well, can help you better engage with your core customers and use to great effect the messaging derived from the brand strategy process.
The Role of Differentiation
The objective of brand building and the process of doing so successfully is based around the concept of differentiation, which is isolating the concept, feature (of product/service), channel or method of delivery that allows your business to position as unique, a leader or in some other way differentiated.
What is Brand Purpose and Why Does it Matter?
Let’s look at Why Brand Purpose Matters, first.
Brand purpose matters because it connects with your customers on an emotional level, the level at which engagement, purchase and attachment decisions happen. Now, we all know, customers today are savvier, more politically and socially engaged than they used to be and see the connections in their buying choices in a way they didn’t in the past, for example, their connection with protecting the environment or views on sweatshops. So your purpose is critical for them, and how your brand relates with them.
It’s also critical for you as a business because it should define why and how you make particular decisions about the directions you choose to go in and how you implement initiatives and those decisions. When your actions and stated purpose are in conflict, they create a schism that presents as a dissonance to your customer who then perceives your brand as somehow inauthentic. This causes a disengagement with the brand over time and a drop off in purchases, referrals and advocacy and must be avoided at all costs.