Back -to-Basics: What Does 'Brand' Mean Anyway?
I get asked this a lot.
And with the term being used ubiquitously to describe everything from your corporate color to your logo to the smell customers encounter when walking into your physical location, I thought it might be fun to refresh a blog post that I wrote in 2009.
First – what it’s not:
It’s not your logo
It’s not your corporate identity
It’s not your tag line
It’s not advertising
Those are tactics. All meant to reinforce your brand through communications.
IT IS the perception that a customer has of your product / service and company – and the value that you deliver to that customer’s inherent need.
In simple terms, it’s what customer says about you when you are not in the room.
For internal teams it’s strategic, cultural, and operational.
Strategic, because it requires a deep understanding of your customer and how your offering impacts their unmet need.
Cultural, because EVERYONE in your organization must buy in, live the values, and embrace the execution by which you will achieve your desired brand perception.
Operational, because there must be process and role clarity for each department and individual stakeholders to achieve brand objectives.
Think about it.
What is the impact on your brand of having an item in stock that your customer is trying to buy when they are ready?
Think of those employees that interact directly with customers. What if they are aloof or uncaring? What if they are helpful, knowledgeable, and provide great service?
One positive or negative experience can shift consumer perception in an instant.
Your brand is the totality of EVERY aspect of your organization and the ability to deliver and meet or exceed the customer expectation.
Want to quantify it?
Brand perception and awareness have a huge impact on conversion.
When evaluating brand marketing, consider what would happen if you are buying paid search ads and “down-funnel” buyers don’t know of you or perhaps worse, know you are a brand that does not treat customers right.
On the positive side, what if you are well thought of in the market and your word-of-mouth has been positive.
In both instances, what’s the impact on your paid search budget and conversion?
This seems really hard.