Your business is composed of employees, bank accounts, accounts payable, payroll, products and services, serving customers, lead generation, relationship management, sales, marketing, and among many other things, your brand.
Your brand is what personifies your company. It’s your identity. It’s the human element. It’s what your employees identify with and customers relate to. It’s your company’s character; what it stands for and believes in. It’s not your product; it’s what your product offers the world. It’s not your customer service; it’s how your customers feel after getting off the phone with their rep.
We outline below what makes a great brand, and how it translates to your balance sheet.
How to Build a Brand
Key components to a brand include a logo, slogan, and other collateral that conveys it, such as a mission statement, blog articles, and content marketing. These tangible brand components stem from intangible branding blueprints – the type of stuff devised in brainstorms and over drinks at a happy hour. This includes brand positioning, brand personality, brand image, and brand experience.
Brand positioning dictates how your brand identity compares and differentiates from competitors. Brand personality comprises the qualities of your company and the values it stands for. Brand image composes the ideas and perceptions that people have about your company. Brand experience denotes what it feels like to be a customer for your company.
What a Brand Does
An effective brand creates psychological associations. Take, for example, Coca-Cola’s 2018 “Food Feuds” ad campaign. The campaign featured ads that detailed how different people all enjoy Coca-Cola at various events like tailgating and eating cheeseburgers. This ad campaign creates the psychological association of drinking Coca-Cola while tailgating or eating a cheeseburger. It transforms Coca-Cola from a soft drink to something that’s part of every fun time enjoying food.
Now, when someone plans a tailgate party, hosts a barbecue, or orders a burger at the diner, they’re going to think of Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola’s tagline for the campaign reads: “Enjoy it with a Coca-Cola”. By associating Coca-Cola with fun events or experiencing joy, people will create that same association in their minds.
People don’t need to drink Coca-Cola; they want to drink it. It’s a discretionary choice; discretionary choices are driven by emotion, not basic human needs of survival. If someone’s driven by the need to survive, they’ll order water. People want to experience joy. By associating Coca-Cola with that emotion – and the desire to feel that emotion, people will desire Coca-Cola.
According to Forbes, Coca-Cola’s brand alone is worth more than $57 billion – sixth in the world (the total company is worth about $190 billion at this time). In 2017, 13 billion cases were sold around the world as it contributed to its company’s $35 billion in sales.