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What’s In A Brand?

It’s true to say we all have our favourite brands. Whether it’s food, clothing, electronics or cleaning products even the most thrifty of us will still choose the branded product we’ve always used because no other will do.

Many companies invest a lot of time and money in keeping us loyal to their brand through advertising, marketing and promotions that remind us of the reasons why we should continue to spend just that little bit extra on their products. Often this leverage uses perceived quality, nostalgia or even implications as to why we might mistrust the alternatives.

It’s common amongst SMEs and start-up businesses to think that a brand is merely a clever logo. A favoured font and a colour scheme which they apply to their products and company website then assume their branding efforts are complete. And, to be fair, if you have done this, this could be considered a reasonable and sensible first step which, if done consistently, will ultimately help to develop your brand.

However, this would be to ignore some crucial sub-benefits that can come from a more holistic consideration of your brand.

If you think about your favourite and perhaps most effective brands they will all have several distinct qualities: Good brands provoke an emotional response from the customer. All will have a functional aspect delivered through the product or service’s design and features, but only the very best examples will have a definable personality.

Think about KFC: The emotional response will be around the wholesome feelings derived from the enjoyment of eating deep-fried crispy chicken prepared to a traditional secret recipe. All washed down with a hint of indulgent naughtiness. The functional element is freshly prepared, convenient food.

The personality, in this case, is the well-recognised Colonel Sanders; the patriarchal figure who, years later, still guarantees the same quality and tradition every time we visit.

If all businesses considered their brand in these terms, carefully dissembling how these elements apply to their products and services it should be of great help in orienting the management and staff to identify how coherent their brand currently is, or areas further work may be required. The following are examples of where this thinking could have an impact:

  • Are your staff trained and motivated to deliver your product or service according to your brand values?
  • Do your existing and new products fully uphold your brand aspirations?
  • Is your tone of voice on literature and messaging in keeping with your brand?
  • Does the promotion and marketing of the business help to maintain these ideas?
  • Is your business set up to create the right emotional response from customers to drive repeat business?
  • Are your internal processes adequate to deliver the brand consistently time after time?
  • How are your brand characteristics holding together as the business grows?
  • Is it the right brand ethos for your business or does it need a re-think?

Even considering a few of these brand-related factors should give most businesses clues as to where they can make improvements, understand their company better and, crucially, start to develop good, long-term relationships with customers borne from firm beliefs and values.

Arguably, doing this work, even at the early stages of a business, will be of great help in creating a solid foundation from which an organisation can grow while remaining centred on their original aspirations.

Most important, it will undoubtedly contribute significantly to the long-term development of managers, staff and customers who are concerned with making your business an ongoing success.

And as you develop your brand if you need some finger-licking business copy for your new website, sales literature or press release, do get in touch on 07905 383312 or email and the I&D team will make sure your spanking new words are as tasty and delicious as they can possibly be!