Most companies think that their brand building efforts should be focused on designing a fancy logo for their corporate image and then advertise their big fancy logo everywhere so that customers will notice and remembers it. A brand is not a logo. It isn’t about your trademark because this serves as legal property. What’s more a brand is not merely the same as a product or services because these are the tangibles.
So now what exactly is a brand? It is a person’s gut feelings about a product, a service or an organization. It is because people are emotional intuitive beings. Branding is the art and science of recognizing and satisfying human’s physical and emotional needs by apprehending their contemplation, imagination and emotion. It is defined by the individuals not by companies or markets. In other words, IT’S NOT WHAT YOU SAY IT IS, IT IS WHAT THEY SAY IT IS. Now, the next question is why branding is so important in the web 2.0 and why your company won’t succeed without one?
People are overwhelmed with too many choices and too little time.
Thanks to the internet and web 2.0, information is so abundantly available that it becomes an overload-more than anyone can digest. Now when you type in the keyword “weight loss” into Google search box, you search results returned you with 308,000,000 websites. It certainly overwhelms anyone who are looking for weight loss related products because you’re presented with too many choices but you only have limited time to search for the best product out there. When you give people too much choice, instead of being liberated, they get paralyzed.
“When people have no choice, life is almost unbearable. As the number of available choices increases, as it has in our consumer culture, the autonomy, control, and liberation this variety brings are powerful and positive. But as the number of choices keeps growing, negative aspects of having a multitude of options begin to appear. As the number of choices grows further, the negatives escalate until we become overloaded. At this point, choice no longer liberates, but debilitates. It might even be said to tyrannize”.
BARRY SCHWARTZ, The Paradox of Choice
Most offerings have similar quality and features.
Product development bring about countless of choices that they overload our ability to distinguish or select what we value-so how do we choose? Brands help us choose. It breaks through clutter and helps us in decision making. The justification in branding is it’s all about building positive differentiation that eventually leading to a predominant or at least a profitable brand shares. Marketers must be able to deliver the tangibles and the intangibles in the form that it is able to differentiate a brand among others. This differentiation not only needs to be perceived but also valued.
We tend to base our buying decisions on trust.
Intangible emotional associations are difficult to copy. Once an emotional territory is occupied by a well known brand, it is more difficult to replace the brand with a functional claim that can be beaten. A brand is something that is made up trust and relationships. Stories create the emotional context people need to engage themselves in a larger experience.
“You can say the right thing about a product and nobody will listen. You’ve got to say it in such a way that people feel it in their gut. Because if they don’t feel it, nothing is going to happen”.
BILL BERNACH, Founder DDB