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Branding is not just a logo

The Truth about Branding

Branding isn’t just about having a logo or trademark that identifies a company. It is a lot more than that. It is all about customer experience and how customers view your product or business. Branding is building how the world sees your company and how recognisable it is to all.
“Before the 1950’s there were not as many large companies as there are today.”  

How did Branding begin?

Company branding was originally a simple thing, with just a logo or a name, but these days it has grown to become big business with many concepts and is more of a science. Before the 1950’s there were not as many large companies as there are today so branding was not so important as everyone had heard of Belling, Rolls Royce, Vauxhall or Fairy Liquid. They were all household names and built reputation and trust by the fact people used their products over many years.

As the world became increasingly mechanised in the 50’s and travel became cheaper with the advent of jet air travel, so it became easier and cheaper to ship goods throughout the world and importing and exporting became a huge industry.

Due to this many hundreds of new companies and brands sprang up seemingly overnight and the bigger more established ones found they couldn’t just compete on name alone. Especially in the US this brought about the increasing use of Slogans and Mottos and the world of TV Advertising boomed as companies fought for recognition with smaller brands supplying cheaper mass produced goods.

By the early to mid 1950’s many large companies found their customers were forming loyal relationships with them and their brands. In the UK it was things like Fairy Liquid and Tetley. Branding was not just a logo or a name anymore, it was customers developing an affinity for a certain product or brand and using them in everyday life. The products and brands became part of the furniture. People grew to value and understand these brands.

The advent of modern branding concepts appeared with the dawn of the jet age and appeared almost overnight.

What is Branding Now?

These days you cannot just magic up a brand. The branding process does not happen in marketing meetings and by agencies designing a logo or two. Branding grows with time, out in the marketplace as customers become accustomed to a company name and its products. For branding to work your customers have to become emotionally involved in your company and its values. Ferrari is a prime example of this and so is Apple. Customers have to form a relationship with your company and this is where word of mouth happens and your brand becomes a household name as your customers tell others just how wonderful your products are.

A Brand can be defined as how your company is interacted with by its audience. It is how people view your company and its values. If there is not a consistent emotional attachment to your company you do not have a brand. If people cannot identify with your company’s core beliefs or the message you want to convey you also don’t have a brand.

Branding really is not a logo on your website or business card. it is so much more than that.

The important question is can you convey the information to your customers they require by having a mobile friendly site?

You also need to ask yourself what information your customers need to send to you. Can they use a Smartphone to do this? If you are in Manufacturing or Engineering it is unlikely you would be able to receive a CAD drawing or an advanced spreadsheet via a mobile. If you run a graphic design business you may not be able to receive a Photoshop file via a Smartphone. But then do you think that customers would be looking for your contact details on a mobile device?

How do you reach Brand status?

Famous household names have become brands by spending a great deal of energy placing themselves well in their chosen market and having a consistent set of values and core beliefs. They have taken these values and its message and made it stick.

They have consistently stuck to their message and communicated it to their customers at every opportunity over a period of time and stuck at it.

This does not mean they have to adhere to a strong set of rules but they have evolved the company message over time as fashions and outlooks change. As they gain more marketplace experience they have tweaked things ever so slightly to keep up with the times. Small changes are best as they allow your company to be true to its roots and gain a personality. It’s a bit like your favourite TV character or Sports Star; you start to care for them and want to follow what is happening to them. You become attached emotionally to them. If they suddenly change or do something bad you lose a certain amount of respect for them. This happened to BP with the oil spill. That single incident turned them from a household name into a company people did not like very much.

So a brand is not just a logo on a business card and it definitely is not a set of rules to follow or is a list of things to do to gain emotional attachment to your customers.

You can’t get your company to have brand status without being passionate about it, loving what you do, having some creativity, valuing and caring about your customers and doing well for them, analysing the details and you can’t go making sudden changes.

To build a brand takes many years of hard grit and not everyone can do it, but if you are willing to create one then not a lot will stand in your way.

Thanks for reading.

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