What is a brand? Perhaps you need to explain it to someone? Possibly your board, or employees? Perhaps you have a few questions about branding yourself. This video provides an excellent yet brief overview, examining what a brand is and what it isn’t.
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Quite simply, your brand is your reputation. It represents people’s gut feelings about your organization. Everything you do and say influences how people think about you, both positively and negatively.
Consumers are exposed to an average of 3,500 brands every day, including yours. We live in a brand saturated world. That’s why it’s so important for your brand to stand out.
[start] Did you know we are exposed to over 3,500 brand messages every day? If you think that sounds like a lot, consider this. Today, my odyssey through 3,500 brands started out like this…
The minute my Panasonic alarm clock radio goes off, it’s tuned to National Public Radio. I grab my Oral-B toothbrush.
Put some Crest toothpaste on it. Take a shower with Irish Spring. Use some Degree deodorant. Have a glass of Sunkist orange juice. A bowl of Cheerios. Get in my Jetta. And — of course — drive to Starbucks. Then I get to work. Dell computer. NEC monitor. Windows operating system. With an Intel Core 2 Duo process inside. And then there’s the cacophony of other brands we encounter daily. Energizer batteries. Robert Mondavi wine. DirecTV. CNN. The Green Bay Packers.
We live in a brand-saturated world. That’s why it’s so important for your brand to stand out.
But what is a brand? A brand represents people’s gut feelings about your organization. Another way to say it is that “your brand” equals “your reputation.”
We use brands as a form of mental shorthand. We create brands to summarize our attitudes about basically everything, whether that be people, places or things.
Brands represent all the things that pop into our minds when we think of a company or its products. For instance, WalMart is known for its low prices and wide selection. If I say “Las Vegas,” a subconscious rush of memories, experiences and associations come flooding into your brain. This is the Vegas brand. Southwest Airlines is regarded as “the cheap bus of the skies,” with a quirky, fun personality. Coach is associated with its high-end, luxury handbags. Apple is cool, creative, hip, intuitive, innovative and stylish.
How we relate to brands is a lot like how we related to people. The instant you meet someone, you start forming impressions about them — making little mental notes about how they look, and the things they say and do. As time goes by, we make adjustments, amplifying some attributes while adding or deleting others.
It works the exact same way with brands. Everything you do and say influences how people think you, and every interaction is an opportunity to build your brand. Every time they see an ad, swipe their debit card, or use online banking. And it takes positive interactions to build your brand.
So what is your brand? It isn’t your name, or logo, or tagline, or products, or branches, or advertising, or website. Your brand is all these things. These are the tools you can use to strategically shape and influence people’s feelings about your organization. Ultimately, your brand will be built by what you do — not what you say — and the experiences you deliver every day.
So what is your brand? Your brand is your promise. It is your pledge. Your commitment. Your brand is what you stand for. And it is your organization’s singular driving focus. [end]