What is a brand? Is it defined by your company logo? Your product packaging? Your advertising and PR campaigns? These are all elements of branding, but are by no means the whole story. In fact, the notion of branding is misunderstood by even the most marketing-savvy organisations.
Branding is a value proposition
Branding represents the intangible part of your business. Products are tangible. They’re made in factories and stored in warehouses; they’re things you can hold in your hand. A brand, by contrast, is a collection of intangibles – ideas, feelings and word associations. These intangibles reside in your mind.
A brand must stand for something larger than just a product benefit. It represents a value proposition. Consumers choose one particular brand over another because of this intrinsic value.
Because it incorporates the customer’s viewpoint, a “brand promise” differs from a mission or vision statement. It must focus on answering three questions:
- What business is our brand in?
- What differentiates our products and services from those of our competitors?
- What is superior about the value we offer our customers?
Branding serves as the link between your product’s promise and the consumer’s desire. The goal is to express a set of basic principles that can be understood by everyone who comes into contact with your business – customers, shareholders, employees, etc. The brand is your reason for being.