Patrick Hanlon of Conversation and CEO of THINKTOPIA reminds entrepreneurs to avoid the temptation of believing that their brand is their logo and their letterhead. Branding is so much more. Your brand is first and foremost your emotional appeal to the marketplace.
Your brand epitomizes who you are as a company; it is your company culture as visible through the eye of the marketplace. Your brand is emotional as well as tangible.
When the young Steve Jobs clad in sandals, shorts and a turtleneck (his personal signature image) set out to restore Apple’s faded image, he said, the way to restore Apple’s brand was “not by talking about speeds or megahertz or why Apple is better than Windows.” “A brand is the way the company resonates with people emotionally.”
Is it any wonder that Steve is credited with developing the “Apple Cult?”
Marketplace Responds to Emotional Aspects
When the enthusiasm and motivation build, others want to join. Nike did not form their tribe without a commonality and excitement to be associated with winners.
John Wesley – “Catch on fire with enthusiasm and people will come for miles to watch you burn.”
Zappos is branding themselves through their generous-to-a-fault customer service. The story has gone viral about the woman who repeatedly orders an expensive pair of shoes; she wears them all day and returns them to Zappos for a full refund. Zappos is branding themselves not for their shoes, but for their braggadocios customer service. Once again it is not the physical product or the company which is the focal point, but the emotional aspect which is driving the brand and thus the company.
Maya Angelou – I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Your brand is not your product, your physical company or even your public relations. Your brand is the emotional reaction to your company in the marketplace.
Business Branding 101
It is a commonly accepted fact that people buy based on benefits, not features. Sales 101 declares that emotions override facts as the buying trigger. If you question that conclusion, look at any woman who wants a new pair of shoes or a man who wants a new boat, motorcycle or sports car. Need receives far less weight in the decision than pure emotion.
Conveying your Brand in your Marketing
“The chance to make a memory is the essence of brand marketing,” stated Jobs. A brand is not about rational arguments; it is the way the company resonates with people emotionally.
Print marketing holds a significant advantage through its ability to convey colorful images of people in pleasurable settings. It is easy for the marketplace to picture themselves in that tropical setting or happy family scene.
High quality brochures are tactile. Rather than glancing at a website and clicking on to the next one, people retain brochures, business cards and colorful postcards. Use a high quality printer such as PrintPlace.com to ensure that your images are high resolution and your colors are vivid and accurate.
Convey the emotion you want the marketplace to feel about your company. It’s not about creating a marketing piece; it is about creating an emotional reaction to draw your customer to you.
Your brand is so much more than your logo and letterhead; your brand is the emotional reaction you create in the marketplace.