Is your brand really a brand…or just a name?
Brands all have a variety of attributes—intended and otherwise. They have distinct personalities and structures…ideally as a result of careful planning and nurturing. Some brands also ‘weather the storm’ of market ups and downs better than others. How? Well, similar to a well built home or other physical structure, it has a lot to do with the ‘architecture’ of their design.
The strongest, most durable brands all have certain things in common. They are, generally, based on a simple, timeless promise…an ideal or core values that never go ‘out of style’.
One of the best examples of this is shoe giant Nike. Did the brand reach its mythic stature by focusing on its shoe designs, features, or physical characteristics? Not by a long shot. It did so after realizing that the brand was best served not by focusing on what it was MADE OF, but what it STOOD FOR. Nike’s brand is about celebrating great athletes, athleticism, and achievements born of single-minded determination—standing the test of time like few ever have. Why? Because Nike aligned itself with a simple, core value and enduring sentiment embodied in the simple expression ‘Just Do It.’ Simple, elegant, and powerful.
Simple, timeless, and centered around strong, universal values. The best brands share a common architecture. So how do you build one from the ground up?
A few words about branding…
Ahh, branding…perhaps one of the most misunderstood and incorrectly defined terms in the lexicon of marketing. A proper understanding of what it IS, ironically, needs to begin with what it is NOT.
For starters, branding is NOT simply the use of your logo. While the word branding has its origins in the application of a distinctly shaped, red-hot piece of iron slapped to the buttocks of livestock to indicate ownership, to conclude its definition there is as short sighted as being too busy driving to stop for gas.
In fact, the concept of what defines a ‘brand’ relative to its many ingredients, might be best illustrated by looking at our portfolio.
A BRANDS ESSENCE…
‘How customers see, feel about, and interact with your business.’
A BRANDS STRENGTHS…
‘It’s kind of like how people talk about you when you’re not in the room. The stronger it is, the better things they say. ’
A BRANDS VALUE
‘How much extra people will pay, how often they’ll select, or identify with your brand vs. its alternatives.’