Branding: ensuring that the target group knows, or would like to know, your brand; strive for your target audience to love your brand. It is mainly about creating a Brand Identity in order to obtain a Desired Brand Image.
The English word “branding” comes from burning a mark on your product (or livestock) that identifies it and sets it apart from similar products (or livestock). Nowadays it is no longer just about branding a product, but also about branding a brand in the brain of the target group. That is why the communication expert must look at branding both inside-out and outside-in.
By being consistent in everything the brand does and says (in text and images), it can become a strong brand and it can acquire such a strong brain position that it can attach all kinds of products and services to the brand that originally had nothing to do with it.
Nike, for example, is no longer a producer of sports shoes. It is an organization that connects its brand to all kinds of products. It outsources production to producers. Apple also develops products and has them manufactured by others.
Value, mission, vision
If a strong brand associates its name with a product, the value of this product increases. The value of a product is not determined by the cost of materials and labor, but by what people are willing to pay for it.
The price of a product is what people are willing to for it; so make people crazy about your brand.
Value is a strange concept. You can express the value of a product in its price, but is this the cost price or the price that people are willing to pay? The difference between them can be influenced by the brand.
So people pay for a brand. But a brand is really nothing. A brand is above all “something” in people’s minds. “Something” they believe in.
A brand is mainly about intangible value. It is not about what material is in a product, but about, for example: how it looks, how it is made, who is connected to the brand, etc. It is therefore mainly about the story around the brand.
The core of this story are the mission, vision and core values: what does the brand say it wants to achieve? What gives the brand meaning? What’s the message? What makes the brand relevant?
A brand that is only driven by making as much profit as possible is uninspiring and motivating. Consumers are not going to buy products because shareholders want to make a return of 10% on their shares. Maybe they will buy products if it contributes to a greener and fairer world; or if the product contributes to their personal health or status.
Determine the sender
The brand largely determines the value of a product or service. The brand also influences whether someone pays attention to a product, service or communication message in any case. Similarly, if you have a full inbox, you also first delete the mails that are from an “unimportant sender”.
It is therefore important to link the right brand to your product, service or communication. A brand can also be a person, such as Ronaldo who is associated with Nike. Ronaldo makes sure that you start looking at the ad and that you get a positive attitude towards Nike.
In this example, Ronaldo is an endorser of Nike: he supports the Nike brand. Likewise, the Nestlé brand is an endorser of the KitKat brand. And if your dentist tells you that his patients who brush with Elmex have far fewer cavities than his other patients, then your dentist is an endorser for Elmex.
It is therefore important to connect the right brand to a product, service or communication. You can do this on the one hand by looking at which brands your client has in house (inside-out, look at, for example: identity structure, brand structure, brand strategy). On the other hand, you can research and analyse which people and brands are influencers of your target group (outside-in, analyse the Campaign’s Target Group).
Jim Heininger from The Rebranding Experts explains in his interview on Brand Driven Digital that Rebranding is used by many as a generic way to describe an identity change. Rebranding Experts focuses on:
- Refresh — updating the look and feel of a brand; modernizing.
- Reposition — positioning the brand with a new audience as Old Spice did a few years ago.
- Rebrand — a comprehensive revision of everything including a brand’s purpose.