This is the sixth post in what we intend to make a weekly series, brought to you by the Hub Communications Lab. The idea is that you have questions about marketing and communications, while other Hub members have access to answers. Submit your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and then watch this space. And if you need more info, let us know and maybe we’ll put together a workshop if there’s enough interest!
A brand is the summation of all that your business stands for, emotionally and practically, in the hearts and minds of your customers. A brand is built based on your business capability and vision. A brand strategy itself is all encompassing and acts as a navigational tool across the spectrum of the decisions that you and your team need to make. Ultimately, a brand sets you apart from the competition and should enable your company on its mission to impact.
The components of a brand include the statement (strategy itself incorporating what your business is doing, in what category, and for what audience to what benefit) and the visual and verbal elements that include your logo, tagline and marketing content (driven by guidelines crafted specifically so that you can manage how your brand is perceived).
The importance of a brand cannot be underestimated. Brand recognition is invaluable and could be the difference between your next customer, your next investor, your next in-field partner, your next exclusivity deal – or your competitor’s.
A brand works to create value for your business. The art of design together combined with practical psychology and the fundamentals of linguistics works in the brain to establish pattern recognition. In a day of information overload, simple and consistent messages (which is not to say over-simplified concepts) make earlier marks on the brain. As humans we need a lot of pattern reinforcement for messages to sink in before we unconsciously embrace them and allow meaning (emotional glue) to attach. Credibility and trust are emotional connections built on top of the acknowledged functional attributes of your business. The sooner your customer recognizes what you stand for, the sooner they can move through the courtship process which includes expectations (that your product establishes) and subsequent reliance (on your product).
Whether you are appealing to a mass consumer audience or a field of professionals in an undeveloped niche field, establishing distinguishable brand recognition will be instrumental in your business growth.