A common question is what is the purpose of a brand? In this movie, we explore the answer. A brand is really a way to trigger a psychological response. Brands are tied to emotions, beliefs, and attitudes, and when a consumer sees the brand… they’re connected to an experience. And this experience pushes them to decide one over the other. Brands create a reason to buy and a reason to stay loyal.
- Branding has its origins in differentiation. During the mid 1800s, mass production and the transportation of goods were in full swing. So producers placed their initials on their merchandise, or burned their mark into crates as a way to distinguish themselves. This allowed buyers to make repeat purchases, and over time these brands became symbols of quality. The better the brand perception, the higher the price the products commanded. This concept is just as important today as it was in the 1800s.
Without a brand, your product is served alongside the rest with no distinction. It's essentially a commodity. I tell you this origin story because it's important that you connect with the root of what a brand is. Imagine your product or service placed inside a crate, stacked on a ship with thousands of others like it. It's not just the mark on the box, it's what that mark stands for, it's everything that you've done to convince your buyer to select your crate over the next.
When consumers are faced with similar choices, brands provide the missing information. The brand is attached to the product or service, and a perception has been formed in the mind of the consumer. This perception may be formed instantly, or it may have been forged after many brand interactions. But perception is all about using cues to recognize concepts, and branding is really just communicating these concepts so that the brand may cue them. Put differently, a brand is really a way to trigger a psychological response.
Brands are tied to emotions, beliefs, and attitudes, and when a consumer sees the brand, they're connected to an experience, and this experience pushes them to choose one over the other. A brand will create a set of buyers for itself, and these buyers will have a certain degree of preference. The stronger the brand, the higher that consumer preference. One of the brand's most important purposes is to reduce a consumers switching behavior. Consider a recent commodity purchase.
You're looking at a shelf of Coca Cola and store brand cola. Is your affinity with Coke? But to what point? If the store brand cola is on sale, at what price point would you switch? The stronger your affinity with Coke, the larger that gap in price has to become. Now, this is a simplistic representation of a much larger theory, but I think you get the idea. The consumer preference of a brand dictates market share, and market share tends to demonstrate strength, and strength contributes to increased profitability.
So at the end of the day, it's your brand, and everything your brand represents, that truly defines just how profitable your business will be.
Explore best practices for researching, developing, visualizing, and managing your brand, and learn about incorporating your brand throughout various customer touchpoints and keeping tabs on your brand as your company grows.
- Components of branding
- Creating a brand strategy
- Conducting a brand audit
- Crafting your vision statement and selling position
- Evaluating brand visuals, colors, and language
- Enhancing brand touchpoints
- Measuring brand loyalty and equity