Many people believe branding is only the logo you create. After all, where did the idea of branding come from if not to burn the logo (brand) of the cattle rancher on the cattle, to protect their reputation and have their customers recognize the quality of the meat. Also to prevent thievery. Therefore, burning your logo into the minds of your public is considered, well, branding. While this is true, branding is SO much more than just a logo and it makes Google love you!
Think about all the famous and successful brands. What do they have in common? They all have created an experience that makes people keep coming back. What is arguably the most famous brand in the world, Apple, did this so well that people have come to expect a certain level of service and community.
Steve Jobs, being the genius he was, said everything mattered: the logo, brochure, website, packaging, lighting – even down to the screws that held their innovations together. Moreover, he went so far as to be fastidious on the internals no one would see (since they designed their equipment to only be opened by certified technicians). While some may argue it’s a bit extreme; no one can argue it set the tone for the company – it’s all about user experience.
Think of the last major purchase you made. Whether it was a home, car, computer, high-definition television, smartphone – it doesn’t matter. Now think of the experience you had during the research, purchase and post-purchase process. If it was pleasurable, not only would you buy from the vendor again, you probably refer all your friends and family. Some even become brand evangelists, because they fell in love with the sense of community and caring.
When it comes time to purchase another phone, car, computer, etc., what will conjure up the brand which did its job best won’t be the logo. It won’t even be the price. It will be the amazing experience, which burned itself into your long-term memory – and heart.
Marketing is part art and science. The science part looks at statistics, demographics, geographics, and things that can be counted and measured. The art part looks at the heart and mind.
While there are psychological studies that speak to the use of colors, space, fonts, images, etc. – what it measures is the experience you create for the demographic you want to reach. So the best place to start is with you! Look at your best buying experiences (not just products, but services like insurance and entertainment); what did you like about them? Then look at your worst experiences and ask what you hated about them?
By doing this, you’ve learned:
a) How you would like to be treated and…
b) What you won’t accept.
This is the subconscious rationalizing every consumer goes through. The decisions made do not only BRAND the companies that did well; it ALSO brands the ones that were abysmal. Therefore, one way or the other, you WILL brand yourself – but you may not like the brand you created.
So what makes the entire brand? It includes EVERYTHING!
All these add to the interaction with your customer; which in turn, provides a wonderful, mediocre or horrible experience.
The end result of all this is a happy customer who will:
In order for you to get this activity, you created a user experience on your website, to complement your entire infrastructure, which in turn lifts your page rank. How so? If you read Google Sets New Standards: Violate Them at Your Own Risk, you know Google has a team that eyeballs your website and ranks it based on user experience, quality, originality and consistent content. In the process of trying to be a world-class brand, you will meet the criteria Google set for good SEO. How’s that for karma?
Take your branding seriously. Make it the best it can be. Don’t cut corners, because you will pay for it through lost business regardless, and there won’t be many sales to cover the cost.