The term ‘Brand’ is now so widely used its purpose often gets misunderstood and can disrupt the ability to reach and engage with potential customers. Recent research conducted by IBM showed that 80% of customers feel the average brand doesn’t understand them as individuals.
Here are a few reminders of what the purpose and value of Brand is:
Brand is a differentiator. Historically, brand arose as a way for companies to distinguish themselves – like the signature of an artist, it helped people to tell the work of a master from the inferior product of a plagiarist in an instant. This is still a vital task today.
Brand defines vision. There is no consistent strategy without brand. An organisation’s actions should flow naturally from its principles and goals – and it’s impossible to formulate and cultivate these properly without a brand identity. Brand identity is also important internally – having a vision about who you are, where you are going and what positive impact you would like to make is vital to motivating everyone, from the managing director to the most junior employee.
Brand simplifies choice. According to the economic theory of Adam Smith, people are rational and they will actively seek out the best quality product at the best price. The problem is, that’s not a feasible approach in a modern business environment, buyers just don’t have the time to make a carefully researched decision about every purchase. Brands help people to narrow down the range of possibilities to just those products that are appropriate to them at the moment of decision.
Brand still drives loyalty and advocacy. It isn’t just about helping people to identify your products and services, it’s about helping them to identify themselves. The products that people buy allow them to make statements about who they are. That’s what the brand crisis is all about, after all – people make brand a part of their own identity, and feel hurt if the organisation behind the brand lets them down.
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