There has been a lot of buzz in the past few years about branding. What exactly is branding? And why is it important?
I was just this morning speaking to a client who was putting together a media kit with some sponsors we needed to add. These sponsors had just paid a significant amount of money to have their company image displayed in variety of marketing materials. So I asked if they were sending me their brand in a high quality file. And it happened…again. “the sponsor said just pull it off their web site…that will be fine”. This is a classic moment of disservice when a brand is degraded and devalued. Don’t let this happen to your brand. This is just a small example of an instant when the reproduction of a brand is not protected to maintain quality and consistency. So what’s the big deal, right?
Why is your brand so important? Because it is you, your business and it’s the symbol that represent everything you stand for…it’s your story. If your products, services, reputation, your vision and business philosophy are important to you and the success of your business is important to you…then your brand should be protected and treasured. It’s like the big “S” on Superman’s chest. And not just the “S”, his entire costume is his brand. What if his logo, the big “S” was cracked and peeling and partially missing…and his costume had stains and holes in it and was faded? And worst of all, what if he had a “beer gut” and he was wearing flip-flops instead of those cool boots, and he forgot to put on his cape that day. Would Superman be so “super”? He would still be the same super-strong and super-fast great guy, but his image would be diminished and tarnished. The perception that we all hold of him being this perfect symbol of strength and freedom and justice might be somewhat degraded. The consistency and unwavering standards and values that he represents may be not so slightly be diminished. He is still good guy and all that… but maybe in a crunch we’d call Spiderman for help because after-all, he has the coolest outfit, right? I’m just sayin’ that we all love a cool package when we see it. And if it is going to help us and it’s really
cool…then that’s the one we want. This is human nature, especially in this hyper-paced, super-tech, social media, pop-culture driven world that we are all trying to get ahead in. Who doesn’t want to be a member of the “popular crowd”? You certainly don’t want to do or say or wear something that will exclude you from the possibility of of being liked or followed. And who is going to buy a product or service that may work fine and look “OK” when they can have a fun, cool-looking product or service for the same cost…or even pay more.
So, if your brand(logo) dosen’t truly represent who your are and what you are trying to do, then it may be working against you. Yes, as if business and the marketplace wasn’t hard enough, now the very thing that you love and have been using for years and have put on every hat and coozie and any specialty item you could think of, is telling the world that your competitor is so much more “hip” and fun. It may be showing off how stuck in the 90’s and low-tech and “out-of-style” your company is..and that it’s just a matter of time till you’re not around any more because they just can’t picture a future with you in it. Ok, I might be getting a bit dramatic. But you get the picture. The biggest and fasted growing demographic in America is…yes you guessed it, the Millennials. They love tech, they love choices and they want it now and on their phone…and it should be really cool because they love cool, hip things, especially if it makes them feel like they are helping someone who is cool and is like them. Millennials and what does a good brand look like…that’s for another post, another time. See ya!