Clarity | What is a brand?
In this blog series, we’ll attempt to bring clarity to some of the dynamics of building a strong brand.
Before we go any further, let’s clear up some misconceptions and answer a question that many of us have never asked because we assume we know.
Exactly what is a brand?
To bring clarity to the matter, a brand isn’t just marketing. It’s not just not a logo or a set of fonts and colors. It’s a representation of what an organization values that should inform every strategic decision. You must establish brand clarity before you can begin to understand how to market effectively. Companies with the greatest market share are also the companies with the greatest brands. Professor of marketing, J.C. Larrech’s research articulates how strong branding doesn’t come from marketing alone. Statistics show that marketing spend doesn’t actually determine growth. Between 1985 and 2004, Fortune 1000 brands that decreased their marketing spend actually delivered higher growth in market capitalization (80% greater than the Dow Jones). Those companies operationalized brand. It became core to their business strategy.
Here’s one example:
Brand is everything your audience thinks it knows about your offering.
Your logo exists factually; people can see it. It’s fixed. But what your brand stands for emotionally exists only in someone’s mind.
If brand isn’t marketing, then what is it?
Glad you finally asked. Your brand is the sum of every interaction people have with your company, organization, or person. It has extreme value because it’s the manifestation of your reputation. A corporate name and logo doesn’t mean anything without the context of the strong brand storytelling and the perceptions you create in the minds of your audience.
Understanding your brand is the first step to uncovering its power to inspire action.
We believe you can change the world with your brand. We can show you how.
This entry is part of a six week series exploring answers to critical brand building questions:
WHAT IS A BRAND?
HOW TO TARGET YOUR AUDIENCE
KNOW WHAT YOU ARE SELLING
ENGAGEMENT & TIMING
STRATEGIC PLANNING & ROI
MAINTAINING A HEALTHY BRAND
1. The Percolate Blog, 5/15/2015, http://blog.percolate.com/2015/05/defining-brand-identity/
2. Forbes.com, 12/21/2011, Jerry McGlaughlin, http://www.forbes.com/sites/jerrymclaughlin/2011/12/21/what-is-a-brand-anyway/