It’s believed that branding dates back to the Early Middle Ages, taken from the word brandr, meaning “to burn”, and was used as a way to claim ownership of one’s possessions. By using fire to burn a brand onto livestock, farmers found a way to identify their stock clearly and irrevocably.
While ethical opinions of livestock branding have evolved, there’s no denying the brilliance of the concept. It’s that brilliance that evolved into the business world, helping companies around the world to distinguish themselves, and their products and services, from their competitors.
For many businesses, organisations, entrepreneurs, and celebrities, their brand is everything. Think of the most successful companies you can, and you will probably be able to visualise their brands quite clearly.
Even people have brands. Some of the most famous celebrities (alive and dead) are so well-branded that they will continue to make a fortune off their brands for many years to come. Elvis Presley, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, and Oprah Winfrey all have personal brands that uniquely identify them. Not what they sell, but who they are.
Strong brands help companies and celebrities to emotionally connect with their customers or fans.
So, how do they do it?
The strength of a brand lies in its consistency. Just as farmers used their brand to signify ownership of their possessions, companies must use their brand as a tool to take ownership of their business, services, and products.
Every time someone interacts with your brand, there is an opportunity to convert them into a customer. The science behind purchasing decisions indicates that, contrary to popular belief, decisions are made at a subconscious level. How people think and feel often contradicts what they say, making a purchasing decision emotionally driven.
Historically, it has been suggested that consumers must see, and engage with, your brand at least seven times (the rule of 7) before making that vital purchasing decision. With competition in most markets growing, and the digital age well and truly upon us, this number has most likely increased, with some suggesting it is now as high as 13.
A clear, consistent brand increases familiarity – often, consumers are happy to work with brands they know rather than new brands. It is important to have a good product or service, but it is even more important to increase brand awareness. When customers are familiar with your brand, they trust you and perceive you to be dependable, which in turn increases word of mouth marketing.
Unfortunately, many companies struggle with their brand. Time moves on and companies evolve. Sometimes a brand must evolve along with it.
It can be a tough decision to redevelop your brand. It takes guts, and often a concerted effort from a team. Be comforted by the fact that many companies have successfully redeveloped their brands to stay relevant.
At HGB we know what it takes to market a brand to its full potential, and our team of experienced designers understand how to create and develop a brand that is unique to your business.
If you’re struggling with your brand, or believe it doesn’t speak to your current position in the market or where you want to head in the future, maybe it’s time to reach out to the experts in brand marketing. Get in touch today.