I have been a student of branding and brand strategy for a few months now, so I want to share with you what I have learned so far. My best teacher about branding who shaped my concept is Marty Neumeier, (author of The Brand Gap). So in this post, I want to explain from that concept, what the term brand means in the simplest way possible for clear understanding.
Let’s start by what he says a brand isn’t, first. In his book, The Brand Gap, Marty Neumeier states that the term brand is not a logo, nor an identity, or even a product. Many people think when they design a logo, boom! That it is! They now have a brand. But Logos, identities, illustrations, and all those little prints are visual elements (or visual identities) of a company or product. They are the elements you see and sometimes touch.
“A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or organization,” Marty Neumeier. Gut feeling here is the reputation a company or an organization has out there to the world. With that definition, a brand is not what you or anyone in your business or organization says it is. You don’t describe it. It is what happens inside the heads of other people. It’s not visual, but emotional.
What do people who use your product or service say about you? What is the feeling they get when they come in contact with the product you offer? What is the first thing that comes to their minds when they see it? Answers to these questions define your brand.
All of that stems from everything that companies or organizations do. How the product design, messages, interactions with customers/clients affects the lives of people out there? What is the impression is that creating on people?
To go a bit more in the concept of a brand, here is a little story about my experience with apple—the tech company I mean.
I had my first experience with an iPhone in 2014. When I held the phone in my hand and keenly observed it, I knew I was holding something different. The phone was well-designed with rounded corners and a smooth touch interface. That triggered a feeling inside me that Apple is the best company that cares about design.
Since then, anytime I see any of their products, the feeling of trust for them in terms of quality, efficiency—you name it—is triggered in my emotions immediately. I don’t even need to have any experience with it.
Do you see that? That’s the gut feeling about a product, service, or company that’s called a brand. Think about it. You don’t tell people what your brand is. Or do you? People have to tell you what it is. They feel your brand in their soul. All that you are thinking about yourself or your business as your brand is a false mental picture; what people are thinking and saying is the real image.
Well, you might say, “but people think differently.” Yeah! You are right. People think differently. But if you’re giving real value to people and helping them solve their problems by delivering the product or service that they want, they will trust you. They will even put you in a nice spot in their hearts. They might not feel or think the same way, but they know you make their lives easy.
I hope you learned something new today. Please leave your thoughts below in the comment section, I’d love to read them.
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