YOU HAVE NEVER TOLD ME HOW AND WHY I SHOULD EXPECT MORE
Marketing gurus talk a lot about brand and branding. This is an area of business and society in general that attracts a great deal of interest and a number of gurus.
I am interested but lack the genius required to be a guru.
Despite all of this interest and all of these gurus I have found few people who can offer a simple and robust definition of the words ‘brand’ and ‘branding’. This is interesting in light of Einstein’s suggesting that – ‘you do not truly understand something until you can explain it in terms that anyone can understand’.
I would argue that a brand is nothing more or less that a ‘summary of an audiences expectations’.
I would argue that branding is nothing more or less than ‘creating the desired summary of an audiences expectations’.
Your personal brand is a summary of what people expect of you. A products brand is a summary of what people expect of it’. A businesses brand is a summary of what people expect of that business.
Clearly the expectations of an individual, product or organisation can be many and varied and can vary from individual to individual. Equally there can be a range of expectations on a number of levels – which may in turn be true or untrue, accurate or inaccurate.
Branding is simply about defining the key audiences recognising the potential for a gap between the current and desired expectations and then setting about the process of bridging any gap and creating in the minds of members of the audience – the preferred expectation – true or false – accurate or inaccurate.
By creating the preferred expectation in the preferred group branding adds value to an individual, product or organisation – with a view to maximising the likelihood of purchase and the price that will be paid. Branding adds value to an individual, product or business.
The process of branding actually varies little according to whether it is the expectations of an individual, product (or service) or organisation that is being addressed.
I would argue that the best definitions of brand and branding are no more complex than this – although the process of branding or creating an optimal brand is a whole lot more complex.
Like marketing in general however branding still involves understanding and managing human behaviour. It is as much a science as marketing in general.
Of critical importance to effective branding is managing the behaviour of the individual, producer or organisation – as creating a brand is much more about defining and living than it is about communication.
It is essential to define the brand. Having done that it is essential to live the brand. Indeed, living the brand is the best form of communication and no amount of communication will create a sustainable brand if that brand is not lived by the individual, producer or organisation concerned.
Indeed, Branding is much more a human resources issue than it is a ‘creative pursuit’. An brand has to be tangible to be sustainable.