Believing Branding Is Only Visual
Your logo is not your brand. Your brand is a perception about your company, your products and your services that exists in the consumer consciousness. That perception is formed whenever and wherever consumer expectations meet your delivery on brand promise.
That promise is worth more than any product. Consumers engage your brand when they value the promise that it offers. Consistently delivering on your brand promise brings them back time and again. You distinguish and deliver through signals, systems and service that deepen the quality of the experience your brand provides.
How does your marketing engage consumers? Does your advertising interrupt what they’re interested in or become part of their interests? What is their experience within your retail space? How do they experience your brand in the social media space? How do they experience your brand within their personal spaces? Is your web site convenient or cumbersome? How do your products look? How well do they work? Is it easy for your customers to get support when your products don’t work?
Across these touchpoints – and many more – the goal is managing perception; providing a multi-sensory branded experience that informs, inspires, motivates and delivers on promise. When your brand delivers, you earn trust, build loyalty, and increase value.
Make no mistake; no matter how large or small, your business is a brand. People align themselves with brands they believe in; brands they can rely upon; brands that help them express who they are and who they'd like to be; brands that help them achieve their potential.
If your brand promise isn’t connecting with consumers you’re probably commiting the next common business mistake…
Not Connecting Through Story
Branding is part science, part art, and all persuasion. Storytelling is the most effective way of connecting with and motivating people to translate ideas into action. The need for narrative is hardwired into our brains. That’s why in branding, story is not optional; it’s essential.
Story imbues your brand with meaning, metaphor, analogy and wit. Such mnemonic devices help the brain encode perceptual experience. They evoke images and trigger memory – with all its rich sensory and emotive associations – engaging people both cognitively and emotionally. Story allows people to place themselves into the brand narrative to create, contribute, and co-author, not just consume.
“Do you want to buy something” pushes people away; “let me tell you a story” draws people in because the human brain requires resolution to a story. Branding with story engages the brain at multiple levels.
The left hemisphere synthesizes information and input to make sense of events. If no coherent story is obvious, we automatically fabricate one of our own, reinforced by emotions associated with previous events. Branding creates coherence, helping the brain make sense of experience.
Human consciousness experiences the present for only one and a half seconds; everything else is a memory. Branding with story shapes not only perception but also memory. Research shows that we remember details more effectively when they’re embedded in a story. Our need for story reflects the very nature of perceptual experience.
Of course, great brand stories aren’t built with words alone. Form, function, sound, touch and more all combine to create a comprehensive brand narrative. Forget that and you’ll end up commiting the common business mistake I'll address in my next post. See you again soon.