Every business owner knows that building a successful brand is an essential part of marketing success, but what is a successful brand?
We are all familiar with the iconic brands that we see and consume every day. A mere glance is enough to instantly recall our own perceptions and responses to the brand. In some cases, brands that matter to us as an individual can trigger strong desires and emotions. But is the success of these brands due to design genius, or is there something more to their phenomenal influence over us?
The Coca Cola brand would hardly win any design awards in a modern business context. McDonald’s golden arches is nothing to get too excited about either.
Perhaps the most uninspiring is the Mercedes Benz three pointed star set in a circle, and yet this design has become one of the most prestigious and iconic symbols on the planet.
The images and symbols of a business are tremendously important, and form what is called the Brand Identity. Companies such as Coca Cola, McDonalds and Mercedes Benz vigorously defend the intellectual property of these images and symbols, but they are only part of the brand story.
The success of all these iconic brands is due to the enormous Brand Equity that has accumulated over the life of these respective company’s, and it is something that design alone can never achieve.
Brand Equity is accumulated through the story that is interwoven with the brand identity through ongoing marketing communications. It is the way they conduct their business and create a specific experience that is memorable and desired by their customers. It is the environment and business persona that customers feel immersed in. And it is the things a business does that differentiates them from their competitors.
All of these actions create a Brand Image, which creates a psychological response in the mind of prospects and customers, good or bad. Every business is evolving a Brand Image, whether they plan to or not, simply by existing in the marketing environment.
It’s like a personality – everyone has one, it just doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good one. When the evolution of a brand is managed, then the results can be outstanding. An unmanaged brand can spell disaster.
Building a winning brand
A brand is just like any human relationship. You can take a man or women, and put attractive clothes on them, a nice hairdo and even some makeup. They look nice, but they don’t mean anything to us until we begin a dialogue with them and start understanding who they are, their personality, and even how they may be able to add value to our life in some way. Over time we decide whether they are someone we would like to know more about, and so begins a relationship with that person.
A brand is exactly the same. The brand identity is the clothes, hair and makeup. It is what customers and prospects instantly recognize about the business, and prompts them to spontaneously recall the perceptions and emotions they have attached to that brand.
The personality of the brand comes from the experience you create for your customers, and the dialogue you have with your market through a planned strategy of marketing communications – the Brand Image. The prospect or customer then begins to form psychological perceptions about the brand. They may even begin to like your brand to the point that they prefer it over other brands when they are ready to make a buying decision.
This is when you know that you are starting to accumulate Brand Equity. This is when you know that your marketing really is working.
Unfortunately, many small businesses spend inordinate amounts of money on trying to achieve the perfect Brand Identity without ever creating a strategically managed Brand Image. If their marketing doesn’t work, they keep altering the Brand Identity in the belief that the design is why the brand is not connecting with their market.
At Butterfly Press, we can help you to create an effective Brand Identity and work with you to build your Brand Image into a powerful marketing tool for your business.
For more information, call Janet on 8278 2899, or email your enquiry firstname.lastname@example.org.