I’ve been thinking about branding recently, and it struck me how it’s something that is so important, yet often overlooked.
On a societal level, we’re obsessed with brands. The right clothing, the right car, even the right brand of cereal to buy, are all things that we, as consumers, are intrinsically aware of. It seems obvious that dressing in Louis Vuitton versus Old Navy sends very different messages, but why? What is it about a certain brand that communicates so clearly what we like, what type of lifestyle we have, even what type of person we are? Of course, an easy answer is price. Goods that are more expensive are bought by those who live more luxurious lifestyles, but it goes beyond that.
Because there are people who are not living luxurious lifestyle who will spend months saving up for a certain type of car or a certain pair of shoes, not just because they’re expensive, but because owning a certain brand suddenly becomes an extension of their person. Past being able to afford a luxury item, it’s about what the brand represents.
Take clothing for example.
There are countless designer brands – Gucci, Fendi, Givenchy, Burberry, Lanvin – but each one has differentiated itself using branding. Even if they cost the same, wearing a Gucci suit and wearing an Armani suit can say two very different things.
It’s all about how the company branded itself. Brands have become anthropomorphic; they have a personality and a lifestyle type. They have likes and dislikes, favorite cities, and favorite foods. These are all things that the consumer – either consciously or subconsciously – embodies.
But how does this apply to the everyday business? Past the world-famous brands that everyone knows, how can your business benefit from branding?
Honestly, I believe it’s the same way.
It might not be on the same scale, but your company brand defines the way your customers see you and your products. It’s everything from your logo, to the colors you use, your font choice, and how you communicate. And in a market that’s driven by competition and an overall standardizing of quality, a consistent and distinctive brand is what can push you ahead.
It’s not enough anymore to just have a good product and it’s never too early to start developing your brand. Think beyond what you want your company to do and think about what you want your company to represent.