What company really stands out in your mind? What sets them apart from others? Is it their impeccable customer service? A consistent product experience? An emotion you experience every time you interact with them? Or all of the above?
This is a brand. Well, now-a-days, this is what a brand is. Years ago, branding simply referred to the mark given to a product or service from a specific source. Think about branding on cattle to identify which ranch they came from. But as our experiences with companies shifts, so does the meaning of what a brand is. According to Hubspot Blog Contributor Carly Stec, “Your brand is not your product, your logo, your website or your name. In fact, your brand is much more than that–it’s the stuff that feels intangible.”
Intangible? How do we create an intangible feeling with our brand? Put simply, your brand is what your customers, prospects, employees, etc. think of when they hear your business name. Whether that is factual or emotional, the way people connect with your business defines your brand.
Often times, branding gets confused with marketing. Where marketing tends to push people, meaning it encourages a customer to take action, a brand tends to pull people, meaning it simply creates an experience. With a brand, if someone likes that experience, they can interact with it and support it. For example, marketing may convince you to buy a Ford F250, but the brand will determine if you only buy Ford’s for the rest of your life.
Now, think about your own business. Are the things that stand out to you about that ideal company we first asked you to think about prevalent in you own business? In the next few weeks we will introduce you to some topics around building a brand identity and how this identity ultimately plays a role in building your brand.