Very few concepts in the business lexicon are as misundetstood as the concept of brand. Often thought of as a company’s image as may be representated by its logo or possibly its logo combined with a catchy slogan, the brand is really much more. It is nothing less than a company’s identity as defined by its owners and principals and as percieved by its customers and clients.
Brand can be thought of as having two components. The first is image, the component created by the company and including the tangibles such as name, logo, slogan and marketing graphics, and intangibles including mission, vision and goals.
The other component, and equally, if not more, important is experience. This is how the company is perceived by its customers and clients. It includes such concepts as understanding, credibility, connection, motivation and loyalty.
The term brand, in and of itself, connotes neither good nor bad. Companies that have established a recognizable brand, either through planning and execution, or through simple longevity may or may not be regarded positively in the business and consumer communities. Companies with well known brands such as Apple, Google, Ikea, Nike and Mercedez Benz would be considered by most people as solid, reliable and worthy of their business. Companies with equally well know brands such as Lehman Brothers, Countrywide Mortgage, Circuit City and Blockbuster, on the other hand, not so much.
Therefore, when we talk about branding, we are really talking about positive, successful branding, creating an identity that is widely recognized, but also widely respected and appreciated. We all want to “Brand Out from the Crowd,” but hopefully in a good way.
BRAND = IDENTITY
I. IMAGE (Definition)
1. Mission - What you want to achieve.
2. Vision - How you plan to achieve it.
3. Goals - Steps in accomplishing the plan.
II. EXPERIENCE (Perception)
Quote of the day: “Success is not about being the best solution, but about being the only solution.”