In the event that you work in any part of marketing if you possess any kind of business or even if you’re just about to open your personal business someday then you definitely know the value of creating a brand. But what does it really mean to build a “brand?” And how in case you start brand building? Brand building is a marketing buzzword that gets tossed around more than a fruit salad.
You sometimes hear business owners point to the value of a brand when wanting to justify an absurd valuation they placed on the company. More frequently than not, you hear branding as it concerns creating things like logos and slogans. Don’t misunderstand me: I’m not saying logos and such are unnecessary areas of a brand—but just because you’ve a nice logo, and a snappy slogan doesn’t mean you’ve built a brand. If you were to think that, well, then you’re leaving a complete lotta marketing mojo available, my friend.
So, in regards to understanding branding, let’s perform a little housekeeping, shall we? First up, what’s branding? Let’s get a solid understanding: Branding is relating the proven to the unknown. The known being a desirable benefit, the unknown being your company or brand. Put simply, branding may be the implantation of an associative memory in conjunction with a recall cue.
Here, I’d like to explain. Ivan Pavlov won a Noble prize for his research into branding in 1904. Day after day, Pavlov would ring a bell as he rubbed meat paste onto the tongue of a dog. The dog soon started to associate the taste of meat with the sound of the bell until salivation became the dog’s conditioned response. Now, you can find three necessary elements to branding: The very first is consistency. Pavlov never rang the bell without offering food. The next element is frequency or repetition, and thus Pavlov rang the bell day after day. And the 3rd element is anchoring. Anchoring implies that the brand new and unknown element—the sound of the bell or, in your case, your brand—needs to be associated to a memory that’s already anchored in the mind.
This memory will be the taste of meat or various other meaty desires. Observe how that works? That’s branding. Now, what about the target of branding? What are you currently trying to achieve? As I’ve mentioned many, many, often times before, the target of branding is always to become the business your prospective customer thinks of first—and feels best about—when his or her moment of need arises. See, you wish to convince YOUR customer before she’s a dependence on what you sell. That way, she only seeks you out, and not your whole product category. Now, you are able to avoid doing offers like Google roulette, or SEO King of the Mountain. Besides, that you do not want to try and predict the moment of need of one’s customer. As an example, when will Macy Rosso get engaged? When will Bill Heider need new furniture? When will Sue Porter desire a new pair of tires? I don’t know, and neither do you.
I’m not a mind reader. No body includes a crystal ball. Nevertheless when you’ve successfully branded your company, predicting your customer’s moment of need becomes unnecessary. Now, shifting, what IS a brand: A brand name may be the sum total of the experiences your customer has with you quite simply, that you do not build a brand with fancy logos, slogans and catchphrases.
That you do not just awaken one day and decide you’re gonna build a brand. As advertising executive, Bob Hoffman says, “Branding is a byproduct of accomplishing a lot of things right.” So what’re those things that build a brand? Speaking to your customer’s felt need—consistently over time—builds a brand. Relevancy and credibility builds a brand. Delighting your customer builds a brand. Logos and catchphrases do not. Branding is a by product.