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Basics of Branding Today

A Brand is MORE than a Name or a Logo 

A Brand is EVERYTHING, and everything is a Brand.

A Brand is your STRATEGY for EXPERIENCE.

So what to do? 

Brand is no longer what the ad agency says about your product or service but what customers say, share and experience about your company. That means how your retail staff interact with customers or how your marketing team creates conversations at your events is more important than what's said in an advertising campaign. This is the reality of the sharing economy today. Experience is only real when shared and if customers aren't sharing your brand, you might as well be invisible. 

Here is a branding manifesto for today's sharing economy:
  1. Engage your Audience through Visuals
    65% of online audience are visual learners.
  2. Keep your Tone Friendly
    73% of customers stick with a brand because of friendly customer service.
  3. Colours Bring Life
    Colours increase Brand Recognition by upto 80%.
  4. Flaunt the Typeface
    For the past 50 years, Helvetica has dominated design.
  5. Whitespace Sells
    Whitespace increases the perception of information by 20%.
  6. Establish your Brand's Voice
    45% of a brands image can be attributed to Who Says It and How It Says It.
  7. Invite Trust
    54% of people don't trust brands.
  8. Be the Market Leader
    Top brands outperform the stock market by 120%.
  9. Focus on Content Strategy
    49% of brands do not have a documented content strategy.
  10. Personalisation is the Key
    74% of online consumers expect a brand's web content to be personalised.

Okay but what do customers what out of a brand? 

Eighty percent of companies think their brands have superior experiences. Unfortunately, only eight percent of their customers agree. It’s time for brands to tackle the experience gap – the gap between how consumers want to experience brands, and what brands are actually doing.  It’s not just a marketing imperative; it’s a business imperative. 

Here are the best brand experience principles:
  1. Invite participation.
    Great brand experiences are design-driven: simple, accessible, easy and inviting to the participant.
  2. Build around users.
    Brand experience learned it from the web: people want their experiences to be relevant and feel customized to their needs. Even delivered at scale, experiences should “fit” the user.
  3. Make it shareable.
    Experience sparks recommendation; experiences should be designed to tap into technology as well as our primal human desire to share.
  4. Create community.
    Beyond fueling recommendations and referrals, experiences should be designed to connect people around brands—to leverage the few to inspire the many.
  5. Make it useful.
    It should go without saying: any experience should add value to people’s lives.
And here are the top trends that people term as "great brand experiences":
  1. Honesty and transparency are valued
    “The sales staff were knowledgeable and helpful [in] understanding my needs and aspirations. They were also prepared to provide better prices and throw in extras. A great and pleasant experience.”
  2. “[The] benefits of the product are exaggerated 
  3. during purchase, but claim settlement is complicated 
  4. and slow… We [had a] very bad experience and 
  5. will hardly choose this company again.”
  6. Individual treatment and respect are expected
    “One dealer in particular inquired more about my personal needs to help look for what I really needed. He showed me the features and benefits of each car. Asked if overall price or monthly payment was more important. Took me for a test drive and also told me I could return it no questions asked in 30 days”
    “When they put your name and number into a computer system and you have a different person calling you back every day for weeks, it’s rude and completely impersonal” 
  7. “Above and beyond” experiences are remembered (so are their opposites)
    “She sent me a thank you card mentioning something I had said while I was there. She actually listened.”
    “I was in the showroom looking at the vehicles and no one would approach me. So as I walked past a desk I took down the phone number. Then I called the number to get [the salesperson’s] attention... You should have seen his face when I waved to him.”
Finally, here are steps to better the brand experience:
  1. Map the overall brand experience.
    Assess all the touchpoints that add up to brand experience to understand gaps, white spaces and areas for improvement. From a customer journey perspective, this is an invaluable step toward “plugging the holes” at which people defect or get distracted.
  2. Improve existing experiences.
    Do the work of elevating existing experiences, with particular attention on drivers with the highest levels of impact, like customer-facing staff, partners and other people that represent the brand.
  3. Invent and innovate.
    With so few truly differentiated experiences, brands have a huge opportunity to stand out and be special. Look at the tremendously low current performance scores for the extra, discretionary experiences brands create—and take advantage of that white space.

Branding is Dead. Long Live Brand Experience.

Wait... What???

Welcome to the sharing economy...
…a world where everything 
 gets shared
all the time… 

 every conversation 
…every moment
…every story
…creates an experience
…which becomes your brand

So what works Today? Branding? Brand Experience?

Branding is…
…Tell ‘em you’re cool
…Tell ‘em in a BIG way
…Keep telling ‘em
…but Branding doesn’t work 
 like it did 30 years ago
Branding is dead…
Long live… Brand Experience

Brand Experience is…
…customer storytelling
…stuff worth talking about
…creating value
…creating events
…creating memories
…joining the dots
…reconnecting communities
…asking “what’s broken”?
…fixing pain points
…taking risks
…creating touchpoints online
…and touchpoints offline

Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.
which means… 
your brand is what people say about you and…
you can’t always be in the room…
they will soon forget what your brand said but they’ll always remember how you made them FEEL

Traditional marketing was a Branding based approach: positioning, awareness, campaigns. 
In the 21st century, marketers need to focus on Brand Experience 

Branding use to start outside the company: agencies celebrities, campaigns. 
Today however, Brand Experience starts inside with the intersection of your people, culture and metrics.

Welcome to TODAY!