One of the biggest myths and misconceptions when it comes to Branding is the definition itself. People would immediately think that a brand is a logo, an identity, or even a product. But it is not. Let’s dispel a few myths on what branding is all about.
A good brand is built on the five greatest foundations. We redefine the meaning and essence of a brand by going through these five foundations.
First, let us define what a brand is. Like I’ve mentioned above, it’s not the logo, identity, or the product itself. Rather, it is a person’s GUT FEELING about that product, service, or organization.
Emotional elements play a huge part in branding. Why? Because people by nature, are emotional and intuitive beings. That is why we should always acknowledge the power that these emotional elements play when we connect with our consumers.
Brands are also defined by individuals, not by the companies themselves, the market, or the public. Branding has also become a trend in business for practical reasons mostly. Because people often have too many choices and too little time, and most of these choices and offers have similar quality and features, companies tend to strengthen their branding more. People tend to base their purchasing choices on trust, so it is also very important to build on the consumer’s trust when you’re establishing your brand. The best way to do this is to delicately balance reliability and delight by meeting and beating the consumer’s expectations.
Another problem that companies face is the wide gap between Strategy and Creativity. The way the brain processes information has a huge influence on brand-building. Because the left and right side of the brain functions differently, there is a struggle between strategy and creativity. When both sides of the brain work together, you can build a charismatic brand. So the next time you plan on creating your brand, find the balance between strategy and creativity.
Now after getting that balance, how do you determine if your brand is charismatic? Simple, when the product, service, or organization seems to have NO SUBSTITUTE. Any brand can be charismatic, even yours. But how? As mentioned earlier, you have to master the Five Disciplines of Brand-Building.
DISCIPLINE 1: DIFFERENTIATE
Our brains act as filters to protect us from too much information, so we’re basically hardwired to notice only what’s different. The easiest solution is to be different. When people are bombarded with choices, we focus our attention on the ones that stand out. Most products and services that come out have very similar features, and consumers usually look for qualities that make the product unique. Focus on your sole purpose and grow the value of your brand by reinforcing that focus on what you really intend to do in the long run. Knowing what you stand for makes you stand out.
DISCIPLINE 2: COLLABORATE
When you come together towards a common vision, you can create something bigger than the sum of what all of you can do. When one idea ripples toward another idea, the brand resonates with rich values. Choose to surround yourself with your own network that would help you grow. Choose a management style that promises consistency and ownership of the brand while leaving flexibility for management. It takes a village to build a brand.
DISCIPLINE 3: INNOVATE
Put traction in your work with creativity. Innovation should know no bounds. Ideally, you should create something progressive and lose the fear of being wrong. Choose the craft that requires you to break away from the norm. Dare to be bold enough to experiment on what works for your brand and what doesn’t.
DISCIPLINE 4: VALIDATE
Bring the audience into the branding process. There is more than just one channel for listening. You should be able to engage in 360 ° as the craft of your brand is a dialogue, not a monologue. Being open to suggestions and criticism especially from your consumers and partners will help you calibrate on where you stand as a brand in your market.
DISCIPLINE 5: CULTIVATE
A business brand is a process, not an entity. It is a pattern of behavior, rather than an external design that’s just for show. Brands can change their look and feel without changing their character within, just like how people change the way they dress every day. It is important to be grounded on what your business and brand were built on, even if you change the way you look on the outside.
Mastery of these five disciplines creates a virtuous circle that spirals higher. The higher it does, the higher the value of your brand increases as well. So after mastery of these five disciplines, what’s next?
Continue moving forward with continuing brand education program. Your progress should not stop. Mastery is a moving target, and you should be able to have the determination to chase it. Build a sustainable competitive advantage by investing in your real value. It’s also a large investment in terms of time and money to build a brand, so when you do, make it count.