Any organization can benefit enormously by creating a brand that presents the company as distinctive, trusted, exciting, reliable or whichever attributes are appropriate to that business. A brand results from a set of associations and perceptions in people’s minds, then branding is an attempt to harness, generate, influence and control these associations to help the business perform better.
Absolute control over a brand is not possible due to outside influences, intelligent use of design, advertising, marketing, service proposition, corporate culture and so on can all really help to generate associations in people’s minds that will benefit the organization. Branding is a way of clearly highlighting what makes organization offer different to, and more desirable than, anyone else.
Effective branding elevates a product or organization from being just one commodity amongst many identical commodities, to become something with a unique character and promise. It can create an emotional resonance in the minds of consumers who choose products and services using both emotional and pragmatic judgments. People are generally willing to pay more for a branded product than they are for something which is largely unbranded. And a brand can be extended through a whole range of offers too.
Creating a connection with people is important for all organizations and a brand can embody attributes which consumers will feel drawn to. The big idea is perhaps a catch-all for a company or service. It should encapsulate what makes it different, what it offer, why an organization are doing it and how it going to present. The big idea is also a uniting concept that can hold together an otherwise disparate set of activities. Ideally, it will inform everything they do, big or small, including customer service, advertising, a website order form, staff uniforms, and corporate identity.
Generating a vision for a company means thinking about its future, where it want to be, looking at ways to challenge the market or transform a sector. A vision may be grand and large-scale, or may be as simple as offering an existing product in a completely new way, or even changing the emphasis of business from one core area to another. Like the word ‘brand’ itself, the term ‘brand values’ is perhaps a little over-used in design and marketing circles, but it does relate to important aspects of how people see an organization. It’s what stands for and it can be communicated either explicitly or implicitly in what organization do.
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