Blogs, brands and friendship

Hello and welcome to my first blog.

I will be using this blog from time to time to vocalise random thoughts and musings on the subject of brands and branding.

So, what is a brand?

For those of you who already understand and have mastered branding, this will feel a little like ‘teaching grandma to suck eggs’.

But, I set up Brand Satellite to help businesses become brands. I have twenty plus years’ of experience, many of which working with some of the most famous brands in the world. And I now want to use that experience and what I have learnt to help smaller companies benefit from thinking about themselves as a brand.

Today, I enjoy working with businesses that have either never thought of their business as a brand before, or have a brand that isn’t performing to its potential. I find real satisfaction in creating brands and witnessing the effect it has on these companies.

Anyway, back to the question of ‘What is a brand?’ When mentioning the word brand, the most common response I receive is “We already have a logo.”

A logo is not a brand. A logo is a symbol (or in the true sense of the origins of the word; logotype, is a typeface) that helps people to recognise a company.

So, let’s call a logo ‘branding’ – a way of helping your customers to identify your brand.

Branding goes way beyond just the logo. It includes colours, tyepfaces, and a consistent way for presenting everything; company publications, marketing literature, advertising, stationery, signage, uniforms, vehicle signage etc.

Consistency has one huge advantage – recognition. With recognition comes familiarity. With familiarity comes trust and confidence.

But, what is a brand?

A brand is created from the experiences your customers have with your business. These are a combination of both rational and emotional experiences.

The brand is what someone ‘feels’ about your company, service or product. We are all human beings and however hard we try to be rational, most of the decisions we make on whether we like someone, or something, are emotional.

As a business, you can influence many of those experiences, but you never have full control over your brand. Your brand is ultimately determined by what your costumers think and say it is.

You do have control over the way you present yourself, the way you act, the way you interact with your customers and the way you respond to certain circumstances. You don’t have control on what your customers say, or tell their friends, about you.

Creating a brand is about taking control of the experiences you can influence. Determining what you stand for, what makes you different and, most importantly, understanding your target audience, what makes you relevant to them and how you tell them that.

Having a brand can differentiate your business from your competitors and drive customer loyalty.

And, as I mentioned earlier, creating a brand is about consistency. And reliability.

Becoming your customer’s preferred brand, is like becoming their friend. And with friends, you know exactly what you are going to get.