Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Manuela Šola, Abrakadabra, director
When talking about the subject of branding, most people tend to instinctively think of a brand’s visual identity (colors, logotype…). This is to some extent understandable, because the visual component of the brand tends to stick with us more easily, but this is nonetheless a narrow definition, which in turn may result in neglecting equally important aspects.
In a nutshell, branding conveys the message that you have the right product or solution for people’s needs. Sounds like a bit of a stretch? It’s not. A strong brand is an invaluable tool in everyday business and it is how you will be able to differentiate yourself from others in the same industry.
My brand is extremely important to me and if the same applies to you, you are spot on. Never be afraid to invest in it – you will have a return on your investment for sure. But if you believe that only the visual aspect of branding is worth investing in, you will lose before you have even begun.
What is the real power of a particular brand?
Brands separate the things we love from those we do not. The reason for this is, believe it or not, a physiological one. Parts of our brain can be trained to choose the preferred brand, instead of one that is superior to it or one that you actually like.
The most famous example of this, and one that has been cited many times, is Coca Cola. If you ask people which soft drink brand they prefer, the majority will say Coca Cola. Research has shown that in fact a large percentage of them actually prefer the taste of generic brands and Pepsi. So, what is it that makes them identify Coca Cola as their preferred brand in spite of what their taste buds are signaling to them? A Study that was conducted several years ago at Baloy College in Texas, researching the parts of the brain that are involved in this process, came up with some surprising results. MRI was used to determine their function while at rest and at the time of activity. When unaware of the brand they were consuming, it was evident that people enjoyed other soft drinks. But the moment they were informed they were drinking Coca Cola, the parts of the brain involved in this process were activated and it appeared as if they actually preferred Coca Cola. What is even more interesting in this case is the fact that people were made to believe it was Coca Cola they were drinking, when in fact they were not.
This example best illustrates the real power of brands. Brands discern between our likes and dislikes, and also have the ability to alter the way these are perceived. The Brand is what stirs our emotions and triggers reactions, positive or negative.
The brand is the mirror image of the way it is perceived by your audience
Contrary to what you may believe, the image of your brand depends on what your audience thinks of your brand. But what to do if this difference is imperceptible? The only thing you can and should do is make sure you deliver on your brand’s promise. As long as these two are in accordance, you have nothing to worry about.
Your brand is the promise that you make your customers and good branding has to fulfill several goals to do that. It needs to communicate your message clearly, create an emotional bond and motivate your followers/users/clients, as well as ensure their loyalty.
This is true of every business and industry. No matter what your marketing approach is, your promise to your clients must always be the same and adhered to. For that reason, branding needs to be planned well ahead and integrated in your strategy, which is then mirrored in everything you say or do.