If you can confidently complete the next sentence in 10 seconds, you don’t need to read this blog.
A brand is _______________________ .
Not so easy is it?
But you know you need a good brand, right?
Everyone talks about brands. But what are they actually talking about?
Hold those thoughts for a moment, while I ask you another question. Imagine I sent you a bank transfer for $50,000, and you had to use it to buy a new car. Which brand of car would you buy?
I bet answering that question was easier, right?
Now, the reason it was easier to answer that question comes back to what a brand actually is.
Brands are what people think they are.
Walter Landor, the founder of one of the world’s largest and oldest brand consulting firms (where I cut my teeth on brand strategy) expressed it this way:
“Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind.”
What did he mean by...
Come on, admit it.
You know you’ve done it.
At least once.
Who hasn’t used the Apple brand as an example?
In a presentation. In a workshop. On a vision board. As an example of a brand your client wants theirs to be like.
And why not? Apple is the world's most valuable brand, with a brand valuation of $947.1 billion, according to BRANDZ rankings, growing 55% year-on-year and reclaiming its number 1 spot over Amazon.
But what does Apple stand for? What is their brand strategy all about?
What Apple have done, like all other leading brands, is answer some simple questions. The have crystal clear answers to:
1. WHY do we exist?
2. WHO are we and HOW do we do things?
3. HOW do we look, feel and sound?
4. WHAT do we do?
In my 20 years of brand strategy practice and research I've learnt that all of the world's strongest brands also...
As I sit in the UK on the first day of lockdown, I know that many of you, while feeling unsettled, may also be looking at this as an opportunity to step back and reassess aspects of your brand and businesses.
One thing you may be considering is whether or not to redesign your logo and website.
Perhaps you've been considering this for a while, or perhaps you see the recent slow down in business as the perfect opportunity to refresh what your brand looks and feels like.
But I will let you into the secret of how the world's most valuable brands will be approaching this.
They will not be changing what they look like, or what they say about themselves unless they want to signal that they are doing something radically different - or want to stand for something different - in their customer’s lives.