You get the drift. One important thing this article will help you understand about branding is: The way you say or do anything is the way you do everything. This is not only true for corporations and business organisations, it’s something that everyone must feel on a personal and individual level.
Branding is how people distinctively perceive you. It’s everything that goes on in their mind when they see or hear your name.
Today, identity goes deeper than what name, age and address it says on your driver’s license. It’s what you stand for, what you believe in, and how you go about communicating that promise, with consistency.
Some of the biggest brands have perfected the art of branding, some better than others. Nike’s Just Do It will live forever. It just will. It took Nike three words to say what they mean, and they have stuck by them. Love Sex is another classic in the making, from Durex. No other brand comes to mind when you hear those words. And nothing else will.
It is remarkable how just some words can make such a powerful impact in the minds of consumers. Think Different is an old campaign line used by Apple. It doesn’t seem to go away, even if the brand itself doesn’t use this line anymore.
But branding isn’t just about some words plastered on a wall that makes passers by read them and say “Whoaaa”. It’s deeper than that. There will often be layers and layers of research behind it. The important questions to keep in mind for branding are:
This is where we start, always. Not every product or service is meant for everyone. It’s great when everyone wants it, but there is always a core group of prospective customers. These are identified by their age, gender, where they live, their jobs, their salaries, whom they live with, their habits and lifestyle. These parameters help us arrive at the target audience, the people who we talk to.
Everyone buys potatoes. But not everyone buys a smartphone that features innovative technology which comes at a premium. The idea is to present value that is relevant to our target audience. Some people love taking selfies. Others enjoy gaming and music. The idea is to reveal the Reason To Believe (RTB) that the product or service you’re selling is of great benefit to your audience.
Remember the significance of words that make people go “Whoaaa”? When you understand your target audience, writing or designing for them is not that difficult. Focus on the trends they are surrounded by, their interests, and anything trivial from their world. Pick any group – Millennials, Gen Z natives, they all have certain habits and trends they look out for. Infiltrating into these spaces makes brands relevant to their lives. This also transmits into the tone of voice for your copy, design and helps establish a communication strategy.
Art imitates life. And sometimes vice versa. While brands aim to market on culture and current affairs of the world, very seldom, they can create content like a tagline, ad film, or even imagery that can disrupt the way we see content. “Got Milk?” was one such campaign, and Budweiser’s “Wassup” ad film will always be the benchmark of how creating something different yet relevant can benefit a brand.
The purpose of creating something like this is to have a voice, which people pay attention to. When Kylie Jenner tweeted that she doesn’t use Snapchat anymore in 2018, shares of the app lost 6.1% in market value, around $1.3 billion. Simply because those who follow her, were influenced by her statement. That’s how her brand could affect the value of another brand, in this case quite literally.
If you don’t like what’s being talked about, change the conversation. And if you have something to say that goes with your promise, shout it from the top of a mountain (although it is best advised to stay home and find other means to say it). The power to influence consumer behaviour is not easily found, but with great consistency and efforts to organise your business around your promise, anyone can become a brand. The difficult part is to find what makes you different and more authentic. Trust is a big asset, which can take brands to different heights.
Finding this difference which can be built into a promise is essential for rebranding as well. Remember, find your truth and change the conversation around it. Stay committed to your promise and build value for consumers. And hopefully then, you’ll find a new and better way to talk about your red apples.
Art Madness has been recognized as a leading design firm on DesignRush, for the exceptional brand strategy and management, we’ve provided for our clients since 2013.