Why your brand has nothing to do with a logo or the colour of your palette

Why your brand has nothing to do with a logo or the colour of your palette

If you want your business to thrive, you need to build your brand. But how do you go about it?

By Matt Smith

A common misconception in marketing is that “brand” refers exclusively to a company’s unique name, logo and colour palette.

    ...really top brands provoke an emotional reaction. They make consumers feel something.  

This is understandable given that most definitions of brand all point in that direction. The word itself originates from the individual mark made on farm animals to identify them.

And of course there is huge value in the visual aspects of a brand. It expresses the core identity of a company, product or service. But the elements that contribute to a strong brand stretch way beyond the visual to encompass a host of other factors.

Brand is in the eye of the beholder

Strong brands have an abundance of personality, coupled with a healthy dose of reliability. They possess the natural ability to communicate their values in everything they do.

They have the depth and substance required to attract people, and the consistency and reliability needed to retain them.

But most importantly, really top brands provoke an emotional reaction. They make consumers feel something.

This is what separates successful brands from the rest – the feelings and emotions that someone will experience as a result of interacting with them.

And it’s worth highlighting that not all customer interactions revolve around the product or service itself. There are many touchpoints that occur before, during and after a purchase.

Why your brand has nothing to do with a logo or the colour of your paletteAd campaigns, social media engagement, pre-purchase information, after-sales support, even the way a complaint is dealt with. None of these touchpoints involve the actual product or service, but each generates an emotion or feeling. Good or bad, happy or sad, satisfied or frustrated.

And it’s the sum of those feelings that determines how a brand is perceived in our mind’s eye, encouraging either a positive view or a negative one.

Brands have to make you feel something

Think about your favourite and most memorable ad campaigns, and how they made you feel. The inspiration of Nike, the humour of Specsavers or the empathy and warmth of John Lewis. None of these approaches put any effort into promoting a specific product or service. Instead they trigger a feeling or emotion that attracts the audience.

Disney is without doubt the king of this domain. Whether it’s a movie, song, toy or visitor attraction, the product quality and customer experience is the same. So too are the feelings and emotions that each one of these media generates: hope, inspiration joy, happiness… all laced with a touch of magic.

    It doesn’t matter which end of the spectrum a brand lies, as long as it consistently delivers on what customers expect.  

Each one of these products, and the experience they offer, is perfectly aligned to the overarching Disney brand. Even the lyrics in Disney songs participate in its wider brand identity.

As a result, you can easily recognise a Disney product, with or without any visual branding.

Great brands exist at both ends of the market

Strong brands don’t always represent premium, luxury or status. It doesn’t matter which end of the spectrum a brand lies, as long as it consistently delivers on what customers expect.

Take a low-cost airline as an example. It may not always be known for outstanding customer service, but what it provides is cheap, no-frills, flights. And of course grabbing a quick and easy bargain, in the most convenient way, comes with its own feelings of satisfaction and pleasure.

The airline understands its customers’ expectations, and consistently delivers on them. No more, no less. As a result, customers know exactly what to expect, and their perception and confidence in the brand are high because of it.

So whichever end of the market you’re positioned, remember that there are many identifiable characteristics of a strong brand. A catchy name and attractive logo are only the start.

© 2020 Just Recruitment Group Ltd

Published: 20 February 2020

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