Branding: It is what’s on the inside that matters
by Adwright, 13 December 18
“A brand is no longer what we tell the customer it is – it is what customers tell each other it is.”
The making of a brand
Marketing bridges the gap between being a product and being a brand. Marketing builds a relationship and a common story between the product and consumer. Brands are important elements in consumer culture, they represent communication of the symbolic meanings behind the products – who one is, what one stands for, what they believe in and so on. How others perceive us, or even how we see ourselves has a lot to do with the brands we wear and use. What the brands represent are also a visual representation of us to others; the ways in which we define ourselves are strongly tied to the brands we identify with.
Recipe for success: The difference between a good brand and an untouchable brand
Great brands are never only a product – they contribute to culture at large. Just look at how Supreme created the hype-beast culture and made themselves synonymous with the identity; everyone else is just playing a chasing game. A plethora of factors are behind creating a great brand but one thing that every great brand has in common is strong beliefs. Strong beliefs, strong messages they want to convey, something consumers can identify with or want to be. To create a brand that people want to interact with and want to buy because it tells a story about them is to create demand through understanding your consumer’s lifestyle and the context of your brand. It is then that you know, you are on the way to creating a super brand. Just like how Apple may not have the best smart phones but they sell a lifestyle people aspire for, Starbucks may have mediocre coffee but it has great ambience for people to meet. It is all about knowing what it takes to bring your brand to the next level.
Make no mistake, it is all about the consumer
The true advocates of a brand should not be brand managers but rather the consumers themselves; it is what consumers are saying about the brand that matters. In today’s society, iconic brands have become symbolic sources of identity.
Great brands are much more than a product or a category. As Ann Handley the marketing writer once said, “Even when you are marketing to your entire audience or customer base, you are still simply speaking to a single human at any given time.”. Marketeers must be wary of becoming too fixated upon the product and hence limiting the product’s meaning rather than focusing on what makes their brand appealing and relevant. The brand story needs to relate to individuals, not just a specific target audience.
It is time for brands to look inward to what they believe in rather than outward to what they are presenting. The time has come for brands to extend their philosophical attributes instead of physical ones. With a super brand, it makes it easier to sell a product with higher margins without actually having the best product within its category.
In summary, a brand needs to be inspirational and have a vision beyond the product. When a brand strives to claim a place in culture instead of only on the shelves, people who identify with it are going to like it even more, and they definitely will like it more than the typical “me-too” brand that drowns in the clichéd promises of competitors. People will talk and instead of being confined to the conventional thinking of product and categories, it will become an active part of the culture and that is the most relevant form of differentiation any product can have.
Having trouble communicating your brand beliefs or aiming to further strengthen your brand beliefs? Adwright has vast experience working with a range of clients, from local SMEs to global corporations, helping them to find what makes them stand out and differentiate themselves from the rest in the market. Contact us today to embark on a refreshing branding journey.