There seems to be a lot of confusion about what a brand actually is. Search Google, for 'what is a brand' and you get results like 'the emotional relationship between business and customer', 'the identity of a good or service' and 'the logo or symbol that identifies a good or service'.
Whilst the above definitions of a brand may well be correct in part, they do not fully define what a brand is. In basic terms, a brand is the personality of a business.
In summary, a 'brand name' refers to the actual name of a product or service and the 'brand' refers to how customers 'think and feel' when they see or hear your product or service.
Brand identity consists of a group of elements that provide consumers with the ability to identify with a brand. When creating the elements of a brand identity there are several influencing factors, such as the brand value proposition, target audience and long term brand objectives. These elements are fundamental to the overall branding process and are integral to brand communication. Typically, the elements of brand identity are as follows, and can be used in many different ways, collectively or otherwise, depending on the nature of the brand communication;
When customers are faced with a buying decision, brand awareness refers to how your brand stands out, to that customer, amongst competitor brands. It's the ability for customers to identify with your brand when faced with a buying decision. Strong brand awareness is achieved by a unified approach to all aspects of brand communication, ensuring all customer touchpoints communicate your brand in the same way.
When faced with a buying decision, if a customer is not aware of your brand, even if your product or service is staring them in the face, they will be less likely to choose your brand above a brand for which they have an awareness of.
Your brand could be amazing - it could also be the best-kept secret in the world, or you could be sending the wrong message - it's all about brand communication. Who are you talking to? What should you be saying? How should you be saying it? When should you be saying it?
A well planned and executed brand communication strategy is a solid investment. Following a strategy leads to improved interactions with your target audience, bridging the gap between interest and purchase.
Brand strategy is a long term plan that develops your brand to achieve predefined goals. A well planned and executed brand strategy will impact all areas of a business and is linked to the emotions and needs of your target audience and indeed your competition.
Before the implementation of any brand strategy, it's crucial to understand your business objectives and why you are planning work on your brand or indeed create a new one.