I hear the term bantered around and I simply bite my tongue. “I’m just advertising to build my brand,” “It’s just for branding,” and “That brand is really strong.” Just to be clear, what is really being referred to here is logo and/or company name recognition or awareness. Market familiarity with a company name and or its graphical representation is a good thing, it’s much better than none.
But this has nothing to do with brand. I know people think of “brand” as an identifier, a mark. But to think of your company’s brand as merely your logo is very short-sighted and will allow you to neglect what really matters. Instead, and in a thumbnail, think of your brand as the way your market perceives what your company name and/or logo represent. Do they think of full-service, over-the-top, exceeding of expectations, and the first (and most likely last) place to turn? Or do they think only of one place to shop for price?
This initial response when encountering your company name or logo is what I would call your brand. It’s the result of every bit of contact the market has had with your company’s messaging, staff, product, procedures, — everything from your parking lot access to your return policy.
Q: Everyone throws around the word “brand,” but what is it really?
A: I’m going to put on my Brand Anthropologist hat to answer that question. A brand is a complex bundle of feelings. It’s how you’d like the people in your world (customers, tribe, clients) to feel about you and your business. So a brand infused with an irresistible luster is going to make your customers’ hearts beat a little faster. If they’re confused or baffled by your brand, they’re not to going to buy. Zero in on that scintillating spark in your business and bundle it up.
Mary Van de Wiel, founder of The NY Brand Lab
snipped from “Branding For Small Business: Does It Really Matter?“
My wife and I often remind ourselves and our kids that everyone is the sum total of the choices they make. This really applies to identifying what you can do to manage your brand.
So now that you have a new definition of brand, how’s yours? It starts with market awareness, but what are they aware of? That’s where you get to take control.
Companies I think have strong brands (they draw more business, promote word-of-mouth referrals):
Companies I think have weak brands (people have learned to avoid them):
What do you think about these lists, agree or disagree?