What do we mean when we talk about Brands and Branding?
“Despite the ubiquity of brands and branding, and despite all the talk, surprisingly few people seem to understand what they are actually all about. This is partly because branding can encapsulate both the big and important and apparently superficial and trivial issues simultaneously.”
— Wally Olins, Chairman, Saffron Brand Consultants
We are all brand managers. The way we present ourselves, the clothes we wear, the food we eat, the way we speak, the car we drive. They are all designed to tell the world something about who we are.
Your brand is the human dimensions to your company or organisation. Simply put; a brand is any company or organisation which has a personality.
Brands inform our impressions, shape our instincts, and develop our emotional connections to an organisation. It’s how that company makes you feel, and what that company has come to represent. Branding therefore, is our way to influence those perceptions in a positive way. Helping people to understand who you are, what you stand for, and why you matter.
People’s buying decisions are becoming more complex every day. Issues such as health and well-being, the environment and global warming, fair trade, human rights and social justice are increasingly influential factors in consumer behaviour. People are making more informed decisions about the places they buy from, and the services they choose.
In a world which is increasingly noisy, it’s harder than ever to be heard. And the things that people remember are not prices and specs – which can change from day to day – but values. They want to know the story behind your brand, and how it aligns with their own personal values and beliefs. This is why communicating your brand story is so important. You have to be really clear on the things you want people to remember you by. These next few pages are about values, and which values can help your brand go from good to great.
Great brands are;
Visionary, pursuing a big idea against the odds
Purposeful, working every day to bring about meaningful change
Sustainable, protecting people and the planet
Social, valuing the relationships and connections people have with your brand
Simple, digging through complexity to deliver useful, relevant or entertaining experiences
Authentic, speaking and acting everyday with purpose and integrity