What is a Brand?
A Brand is an emotional connection.
“A brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room”. A great quote from Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and a great way to start a discussion about what a brand really is.
A brand is the way people understand a business, service or product and what they would say to describe it. It’s what a customer has taken away and remembered about a business after they’ve been exposed to it. It’s an emotional connection. It’s what a customer ‘feels’ about a business rather than a description of the tangibles or services.
Take the classic example of Apple (as many of us in branding do because so many people are familiar with it… as they do such a great job of branding). Really, they make computers. But that’s not the way any of Apples fans would describe it. Of course everyone would have a slightly different take but fans would describe Apple as innovative, creative and challenging. Beautiful design with a simplicity that makes everything it creates so easy to use… for people who like to challenge boring or the status quo. That’s a feeling, not a description of a product. Apple thinks different … and that’s what you remember.
If you built computers – wouldn’t you prefer to be remembered for that emotional connection rather than the amount of RAM you included in your latest product? It’s certainly easier to remember and guess what… next time Apple puts out a new product, they won’t have to educate fans about the product, because of this emotional connection. The established emotional connection means that most consumers will trust that Apple will be delivering the kind of product they expect of them.
Emotional connections provide competitive advantages.
From a business point of view having a strong brand that customers can emotionally connect with provides competitive advantages:
Helps customers remember to more easily get a brand
on the customer shopping list.
Simplifies the customers decision making process.
Creates trust and loyalty.
Can help command a premium.
Helps save you money when you don’t have to re educate
customers about you (from scratch) time and time again.
It gets staff and key stakeholders on the same page.
And finally, a strong brand becomes a business asset.
So does your business have a strong brand? Is it emotionally connecting with your customers? What do people say about your business when you’re not in the room? If you want to change what they’re saying OR start them saying something at all… time to start thinking about your brand and a plan to get your customers connecting emotionally.