Among all the concepts of marketing, perhaps the most misunderstood one is ‘branding’. Seemingly you can hear the words “brand” and “branding” everywhere you turn, so, it must be extremely important. But the question remains, what it really means. And among expert marketers, there is only a little agreement about this.
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1. Difference in Two People’s Opinion
If two people in an organisation are asked about their company’s brand, most probably they will give two hugely divergent answers. For example, one will say that the “brand” is the name and logo of their organisation while the other will talk about the ad campaigns of their company. And some people even might say that their company really doesn’t have a brand!
The fact is that for the correct definition of ‘branding’ we have to turn to a branding and marketing agency like BrandQuest.
2. Consumers’ Opinion
In simplest words, a “brand” is the opinion of people about a company, whether good or bad. The average of these opinions creates the reputation of a company which is its brand. When consumers’ positive opinions prevail over the negative ones, the organisation is said to possess “positive brand equity”.
3. Companies Really don’t Know
The real problem is that every business today has a brand but very few actually know what it really is. They may think that they know it, but aren’t sure. Most companies don’t have any formal mechanism or system to measure what consumers think about them. There is only guesswork and wishful thinking in this regard.
4. Difference between Brand and Branding
There is a difference between “brand” and “branding”. A brand is what consumers really think (no matter whether you think the same or not or like it or not). Branding on the other hand is what you ‘want’ people to think.
5. Where You Stand Today and Where You Want to Go
Thus every company has a brand today but very few have branding strategies. Key question is that how you can reach where you want to if you have no idea of where you are standing today.
6. Brand and Brand Strategies
Branding is about using all the tools and tricks you have to influence opinions, perceptions and attitudes of people. And this isn’t centered around marketing. A real brand strategy should need decisions from all departments and divisions, and all staff, including back and front office.
7. Big Players too Struggle around Branding
If you are sad thinking that you or your teammates don’t really have the knowledge of branding, don’t panic. Even the big players struggle with branding! Brands are not built in 10-12 months, they take years to be built. Your brand strategy should survive all through these years. People’s (consumers’) perception just don’t change that fast.
Countless people claim to be an authority on the topic of branding, maybe they are from ad agencies or are core data processors. Examples of people having a mistaken, ill-informed insight about branding can be found everywhere from VPs of marketing to CMOs.
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8. Confusion if Both Parties Don’t Mean the Same by Branding
And all these insights are different from each other! So, a lot of trouble can be created for everyone if both parties don’t have a common understanding and definition of branding.
9. People Lacking Knowledge of Branding
When talking about branding, people generally refer only to the tactical application and execution of their brand. They may have a 25-page book explaining brand identity standards, but they are short of a comprehensive strategy on how consumers should recognise their brand.
10. Bottom Line
Branding is the management of all the variables like what you do, what you sell, how you look, what you promise and what you actually deliver as it is done while branding and rebranding Sydney from BrandQuest.
All businesses have a brand, but the one who plays an active, conscious role in its building is the smart one.