What is a brand
What is a brand?
The swoosh, the jingle, the colour, the tagline, the service, the experience. All of the above?
As marketers and designers we have to realise that in general people don’t think about our brands at all! We think about ourselves. What am I having for dinner? What did she mean when she said that? Oh s*** is that a police car?
Friday 29th July 2022
We think constantly about our day to day minute to minute lives and every now when the time is right we think about products services and maybe a brand. But only in the terms of how they will best serve our needs. As customers, we don’t make marketing decisions, we make ordinary choices based on our needs wants and experience, and the experience of friends and family.
At the crucial zero decision time a conscious choice of ‘I prefer this brand’ actually occurs. But only when the choice is put front of mind. When we go deeper these choices are for the most part made in the sub conscious due to the internal monologue that continually runs in our heads.
Choices are based on the primal nature of the human condition. Will it keep me safe (fear and security) and/or will this make me look good to others, (building social status and to help attract a mate).
So how or why do companies spend billions of pounds building their brand if the customer just wants to know if they’re going to get laid?
Because the analysis of fear versus risk within humans is a survival instinct that has evolved over time. We are tuned to look for clues, signals to help us make the right decision. So anything that can help us make an informed choice quickly and with confidence means spending less emotional labour making the decision allowing us more time and energy to attend other issues.
If the choice is between a can of tuna you’ve never heard of and a can of tuna you have heard of you are more likely to choose the one you recognise. We are sub consciously programmed to do this through recognition bias believing that the one you recognise is less likely to kill you!
The pounds are spent to build brand recognition so that when we are in the consideration phase we choose a brand we know. If that customer’s brand experience is positive this builds Trust and Trust is the holy grail, the golden goose, the philosophers stone of a successful brand.
The logo, the colour, the jingle, the catch phrase, all of these help signify a brand and help to get it known but even these are somewhat interchangeable as long as the trust remains. Logos evolve, jingles modernise and campaigns change but as long as the product or service stays true to the fundamentals the trust will remain. Changing your clothes shouldn’t change you as a person.
So what is a brand? A brand is promise held over time, a promise that you will deliver what you say you will and do it repeatedly.