Chapter 1

Why & What

“You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology, not the other way around.” - Steve Jobs

There are quite a few misconceptions and misunderstandings that seem to follow branding around…

First off, a brand is not a logo. It is so common to hear people refer to their brand in this way, but a logo is just one piece of the puzzle. Branding is anything and everything that represents your company to the consumer. Psychologically speaking, your brand is the emotion that a consumer feels when confronted with your company, product, or service.

“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” – Jeff Bezos, Amazon

So what does all of that imply? Since your brand is really your consumer’s perception, it means you don’t necessarily control your brand… You do your best to conduct it in the right direction. It’s a reputation. Brands are powerful. They transform language or spoken communication. They represent so much with so little.

meme is this a brand?

This evolution of social media and digital communication technologies has changed the way branding works. We find that business owners tend to believe that it costs tens of thousands of dollars to build an identity using traditionally drawn out processes, big data purchases, and months of testing. But with the amount of resources and information at our finger-tips, the process has become much more user-friendly and efficient, as we can analyze our consumer’s reaction to brands in real-time and adjust accordingly. Thorough research can be conducted organically on social media or by utilizing social media research and tracking platforms.

Not only do modern technologies help with simplifying branding, but in general, branding is more about understanding principles and good design. If you set aside some time, you can learn how to build your brand effectively. And you can learn all of the necessary steps for creating and maintaining your brand right here in this course. Good luck, and MEP on!

82% of investors believe that brand strength and name recognition are becoming more important in guiding them in their investment decisions.

According to Reuters

What is a Modern Brand?

“A Modern brand doesn’t hand off the attributes of their brand identity to media. Instead, they build their identity in their networks, one experience at a time. They are identity networks. Modern brands are less about the company that created products and services, and more about the individual who buys them.” This is what has created the new era for branding – which is focused on the consumer and maintaining their perception of your brand. Factors that affect brand reputation include perceptions of “the clarity, credibility, consistency of the … brand signals, [and Differentiation]” (Wilden et al., 2010, p.56; see also App, Merk, & Buttgen, 2012).

The clarity refers to the extent to which your brand’s messages are received without ambiguity. The credibility is the believability of your brand’s messages, which is why this marketing education portal cites multiple peer reviewed research and scholarly articles. The consistency is one that we will stress within this course very often… and it refers to maintaining the same look, feel, and voice throughout everything your brand does. And the last point of your brand’s perception comes from it’s differentiation, which is defining what makes you stand out. Your brand needs to exemplify what makes you different in every brand piece, especially the website, making your brand more memorable. Before you can understand the perceptions of your brand, you need to understand what your brand is, its purpose, who your brand is for, and who you are competing with for those consumers.

Starbucks

Starbucks is a great example of a modern brand. They prioritize the consumer experience and have created a distinctive and consistent brand experience both inside and outside their stores. Sure, they make great coffee, but what really brings consumers back is the lifestyle created around the brand.

Before you move on, check out this video Trigger Communications shared with The MEP:

Chapter 2: Understanding Your Market