Brand, or branding are two words widely misunderstood.
Ironically, both terms have a branding problem.
In this article, we’ll pull the words apart and clarify, so you can build on your knowledge and start applying this in your business.
From our research, the term brand is understood by the masses. Most SMEs see their logo as their brand, and they really don’t see how a logo can change their business. To most business owners, it’s decoration, and a nice to have.
To start things off – here’s a quick breakdown so we’re on the same page.
There are many definitions of brand out there. At Smith, we believe it’s your brain tattoo. It’s the thoughts and feelings people have about your business. These are brought to life by a compelling identity and how you behave as a business. The things you do and how customers experience your business.
The thoughts and feelings people have about you generate perceived value. That perceived value turns into better margins, better conversions, more clarity and helps you attract the right staff.
If your brand is a brain tattoo, then brandING is activity to bring this to life.
Branding is reaffirming those ideas.
It’s Dove investing in tackling the beauty problem that young women have.
It’s AirBnb opening homes in times of crisis.
It’s Red Bull sponsoring events that are pushing the limits.
Branding is packaging for a business idea.
We always say that whatever you are putting out there, has to sell what’s inside. Everything you do has to align with your brand.
Your logo then, is purely a mark. A way of identifying something that’s owned by a company.
At Smith, we wouldn’t design you just a logo. We’d create an entire identity. An entire system of how you show up in the world. A logo in isolation for a small business will indeed help, but it’s not going to move the needle. What you really need is to design all the touchpoints that customers see. You need to design the packaging for your business. And that packaging needs to be aligned to who you are, and where you are going.
A logo won’t solve that problem.
How do brands make money?
When brand is understood, embedded into an organisation and fully leveraged, it’s a strategic management tool.
Brand is at the heart of value creation, and influences how a business makes money.
The brain tattoo we mentioned earlier is about building equity in people’s minds. Changing how people think, feel and act.
Branding is about consistently building a brain tattoo. So when people think of a certain category or product – you are more likely to come to mind.
Trusted. Recognised. Liked.
And based on all of the above, that drives your bottom line.
Over the years we’ve worked on hundreds of brand projects, and we’ve seen effects that have truly transformed our clients businesses, and in some cases entire markets.
Some of the examples are as follows:
– Recruitment is easier – because you look more attractive as an employer.
– Clients have been able to price their product or service higher – because the perceived value has increased.
– They’ve increased sales conversions – because people trust you more.
– Insurance premiums have reduced – because insurers see the company as less risky.
– Productivity has increased internally – because culture has improved.
– It galvanises a company culture – because people become clear on the why.
– It’s easier to sell – product portfolios are made clearer and the sales force find it easier to push out to the market – because clarity means more people get it.
– Clients have been approached by investors. Interestingly they have remained the same company, but are seen differently. Because there is an aura around the company.
All of these points are influenced by increasing perceived value.
When you think about branding, think about value creation. You are capturing value and making it visible to the world. You are reinforcing why you are better than others.
Do you feel like you are having brand problems? Drop us a line.