Why do I need a brand?
Good question! It’s one we’re often asked because it seems that somewhere along the way, ‘brand’, ‘logo’ and ‘branding’ became confused.
It’s critical to understand that branding is NOT marketing or design but the bedrock strategy supporting and directing your whole business so your brand strategy is fundamental to your business’s success, longevity and ongoing profitability.
Strategically-minded business managers realize that to create a properly valued brand, they must present customers with emotionally based, engaging, and compelling brand experiences that go beyond the service or product on the shelf.
Why Do I Need a Brand? Because Brands Add Value
It’s worth pointing out that a brand adds real value….now and in the future.
Dave Bookbinder, Director of Valuation Services at EisnerAmper, writes, “Like most things in valuation, the value of a brand is a forward-looking exercise, where the value of the asset today is equal to the present value of the asset’s cash flows in the future. In the case of a brand, the ‘cash flows’ are typically sales.” 
A brand adds asset value beyond tangible assets such as inventory, machinery, buildings, and land. Intangible assets are valued as intellectual property.
According to Investopedia, “…A company’s brand can be one of its most valuable assets. Brand value is intangible, making it difficult to quantify, but common approaches take into account the cost it would take to build a similar brand, the cost of royalties to use a brand name, and cash flow of comparative unbranded businesses.
Nike Inc., for example, owns one of the world’s most instantly recognizable logos, the “swoosh.” Forbes estimated Nike’s brand to be worth $29.6 billion in 2017, despite that fact that – in a world devoid of brand perception – taking the swoosh off Nike’s shoes and apparel would change nothing about their comfort or boost to athletes’ performance.” 
Brand Action Points for Entrepreneurs and Business Owners Who Are Questioning ‘Why Do I Need A Brand?’
Step 1: Once you go from having an idea to creating a product or service, you must also create your branding, aligned with your business strategy. This is what provides direction for all marketing, communications and design, both internally within the business itself and also on the customer-facing front. (Note: design alone is NOT branding!)
In fact, a product or service is merely a generic entity until it is given meaning in people’s minds—through a brand.
Step 2: Build your brand using the brand codification process—mapping out your brand strategically to attract your ideal customers. As with any plan, it’s important to look down the road ahead.
We’re all busy so building the bedrock brand strategy supporting and directing your whole business to ensure it’s growth and sustained longevity may not be your top skillset. If you’d like professional branding input and want access to a detailed overview of what’s key in the brand strategy context to grow your business then get in touch? Alternatively book one of our transformational workshops, brand building intensives or masterclasses.
The Persona Brand Building Blueprint™ Mastermind empowers you to build your brand strategy, raise the visibility of your brand, increase profitability, reduce customer acquisition costs and position your brand as the №1 choice for your customers.
Creating a Brand…and Everything That Embraces
Your brand needs to be thinking with its heart because emotion wins the battle for a customer’s wallet.
Branding involves a wide range of fundamental concepts. Most importantly, your brand is the cornerstone and foundation that your business is built upon.
Watch: “What is Branding?”
Related: Use Psychology in Your Brand Strategy to Create Irresistible Brand Experiences and Increase Sales
Think about Dove soap. There’s really nothing inspiring about a bar of soap to wash your hands and face; wouldn’t any inexpensive no-name product do the job? Yet, Dove sells more $4 billion worth of soap around inspirational brand pillars such as “Real Beauty.”
Think about Patagonia. They make jackets for outdoor activities to keep you warm, amongst other things. However, what’s a key factor in driving increased sales? A brand foundation promising to protect the environment, fight global warming, keep their carbon footprint to a minimum and do minimal damage to the planet while making the products their customers love. This mission is central to the Patagonia brand foundations and consequently attracts customers with similarly aligned values. Their continuous endeavours and brand activism are what also help maintain customer loyalty and referral amongst a like-minded community.
Note that just because something exists or can be found on the shelf doesn’t make it a brand; ‘enhancing’ it by slapping on a logo doesn’t create a brand either. Therefore:
- A logo is an identification via a recognizable mark or symbol.
- A brand is the emotional experience someone feels when they interact with a product or service because emotion drives purchase.
Remember: A brand on its own is not a logo.
Your logo is merely your visual identifier, not your brand.
When we think of a logo as the ID card in your wallet, there’s no confusion about the role it plays—and cannot play—when compared to the actual individual it represents.
A brand is required to identify the unique experience your product or service delivers and its key points of distinction from the competition.
Why Do I Need A Brand? Because It’s The Entity Through Which You Articulate Your Brand Positioning and Messaging To Attract Your Ideal Customers
The important considerations are:
- Whether or not your brand has a foundation to underpin the bedrock of your business
- What exactly are the pillars of that foundation supporting your business and,
- How is it communicated?
Looking a bit deeper, to ensure the clarity of a brand, the real questions are:
- What does your brand stand for?
- What does your brand promise to new and existing customers?
- What’s your brand for?
- What problem does your brand solve?
- How is your brand different?
- How does your brand make people feel?
If you think you might benefit from some professional assistance in building your brand, take a look at our popular “Brand Building Workshops.”
Feel free to get in touch.
Why Do I Need A Brand?
10 Reasons Why Branding is a Must-Have
A brand is the mark of ownership and a symbol of its guarantee. A brand is not anonymous, it doesn’t hide behind a no-name white label, because:
- Branding creates customer emotion, connection and experiences
- Branding defines expectations
- Branding makes and consistently fulfils a promise
- Branding promotes recognition and recall
- Branding reveals your DNA, the essence on which your whole distinct offering is built
- Branding carves a standout position for your brand, product or service, in the market with its own unique selling points
- Branding tells your distinctly compelling story
- Branding attracts your ‘dream team’ and cultivates a positive internal culture
- Branding generates word-of-mouth referral and cultivates brand ambassadors, inherent champions of your brand
- Branding creates value and drives sales growth
In this video, Hallmark Business Connections explains why connecting with customers through empathy is critical.
Why Do I Need A Brand? Because When the Bottle is Empty There is NO Brand, No Underlying Asset Value, No Longevity, No Premium Price Points
If the vision for your brand is not centred in a rich emotional connection with customers your brand may be visible, but it will lack personality. But a brand without personality is a brand without a soul — it’s just an empty container. As such, it fails to resonate and it cannot stimulate a purchase, no less a repeat purchase or ongoing growth.
Branding is the core DNA of your company – what makes it tick, the driving purpose behind everything you do and how you express your stand out brand personality at every touch point to engage your customers emotionally. Branding is the glue between your business and your customers.
Why Do I Need A Brand? Because branding is the Secret Sauce That Sells
We can agree broadly that:
- Cola is a refreshing drink
- Aspirin relieves a headache
- Cologne smells nice
Which one of these soft drinks would most people reach for on a grocery shelf? And why?
Which one of these pain relievers do most people reach for? And why?
Or given the choice which one of these perfumes would most people prefer? And why?
Or insurance brokers?
The Un-Branded Generics
Cola, aspirin, cologne, and insurance are all useful consumer products. But none can stand on its own without communicating as a brand. A generic cola, aspirin, cologne and insurer lack the critical emotional factors that underpin and drive customer purchasing behaviour.
Nonetheless, the no-label packaging delivers a message in itself…if you’re thinking cheap lower price, you’re correct. A lower price is an excellent example of brand differentiation. However, pricing on its own is just one aspect of brand building and a race to the bottom unless you have very deep pockets and a very large mass market, high volume sales strategy.
To survive, grow and thrive, every brand needs an identity—and that is so much more than just a design, logo, and packaging. Here’s what is still missing so that your B2B or B2C product or service strongly stands out and resonates with your ideal customers, attracting them to purchase.
- Brand mission
- Brand meaning
- Brand values
- Brand positioning
- Brand personality
- Brand promise
- Brand story
- Brand purchaser personas
- Brand hierarchy structures
Do you want to make your brand stand out as a highly recognised, memorable and much-loved name? The Personality Profile Performer™ System is the perfect on-demand solution for you because it’s a step-by-step process empowering you to build your brand yourself and become more profitable. Get the Personality Profile Performer™ Programme here now so you can make your brand No.1 in your market. Discover more here.
Why Do I Need A Brand? How A Great Product or Service Delivers Via Branding
In the consumer product and service illustrations above, the branded products “talk” to us. There’s an emotional connection that goes way beyond the packaging. We feel we trust these brands and “know” them…and that our parents did, too.
Strong branding is underpinned by a compelling mission statement that defines the company’s purpose and standards. Examples as follows:
- To refresh the world…
- To inspire moments of optimism and happiness…
- To create value and make a difference.
Science for a Better Life
“To be the Ultimate House of Luxury, defining style and creating desire,
now and forever.”
“To be the best…serving our customers by providing peace of mind and enriching their quality of life through our partnership in the management of the risks they face.”
Look closely at the logo for Allstate insurance. It symbolizes the tagline introduced in 1950 and in use ever since: “You’re in good hands with Allstate.” That’s a brand promise everyone can relate to.
Yet branding is so much more than just a mission statement or tagline. The answer to the question, “Do I need a brand or a visual identity?” is “Yes and yes to both.”
Small, Medium and Large Brands Matter
Size doesn’t matter. (Hint: But delightful customer experiences do matter.)
“Good stories give big voices to small ventures,” says digital marketing professional Neil Patel.
At Persona Branding and Design, our mission is to empower business leaders, business owners and entrepreneurs to build their brands. And in working across multiple sectors with leaders in different countries around the world we sometimes hear misconceptions like this one: “Big names spend money on branding, small companies just get on with the job.”
Whether your team is in tech, retail, consumer goods, construction, professional services or another sector, your brand is your voice and it speaks for everything you do; your reputation depends on it.
In fact, your brand is your reputation. Jeff Bezos (founder of Amazon) says it is what people say about you when you are not in the room so your brand is essentially what people think and feel when they see or hear your name, engage with somebody from the organisation who in effect represents your brand and the experience that entails in meeting and exceeding your needs — or falling short!
All Brands Start Out Small
All products and services need a “why.”
For two Airbnb founders in 2008, that “why” was a need for cash which they met by renting out an air mattress on the floor of their apartment to two strangers who couldn’t get a hotel room during a big San Francisco design convention. Crazy idea?
Watch: The Story No One Believed – Brian Chesky, Co-Founder and CEO AirBnB
It has to start somewhere. The living room floor, a garage in Silicon Valley, or the back of a napkin in a coffee shop—like Harry Potter author JK Rowling— is as good a place as any for ideation.
Unicorns, those rare startups valued at over $1 billion USD (like Uber, Spotify, Airbnb), evolved from ideas to hugely successful global brands. Airbnb’s mid-2017 valuation was $31 billion USD.)
“Unicorns often start as a brilliant technology solution to an unmet consumer need or they purposefully or inadvertently tap into a changing consumer trend,” counsels Kantar Millward Brown in their BrandZ annual report.
Online and Offline Branding
As a small business owner or manager, you know that your community presence is far more important than it is for big brands that can rely more heavily on larger advertising budgets.
You may have a consumer-facing bricks and mortar establishment, you may trade as a B2B, or you may run a small internet business. Either way, you know how important a vibrant community, on and offline, together with word of mouth is.
Small businesses have lots of opportunities to connect with customers, building a strong brand through online and offline communities. And through their employees, too.
Having a great product or service is only the first step in the lifetime journey of your brand. Don’t stop the nurturing that brings your brand to life and enables it to grow.
As you can see, a brand is much more than a logo or just design. To build your standout, highly profitable brand, join one of our transformational workshops and masterclasses. These workshops are packed with content that enables you to define, articulate, and differentiate your brand, as well as put the latest branding trends to use for growing your business. Check out the Persona Brand Building Blueprint™ Mastermind here.
If you want some professional input, feel free to get in touch.
Questions To Consider — in Addition to “Why Do I Need A Brand?”
Ask yourself a few key questions about your product or service and the brand representing it.
- Does your product or service deliver an emotionally rich customer experience via its brand?
- If so, how does your brand use humour, hope, empathy, or another deeper connection to reach customers?
- Does your brand have unique attributes to set it aside from others in its segment?
- Does your brand answer the “why” question at its very core?
- Is your customer-facing team comfortable communicating your brand’s purpose?
If you’re looking for a DIY solution to build your standout brand, our Personality Profile Performer™Programme is the perfect solution for you because it empowers you to build a vibrant brand and inject it with meaning and purpose to drive customer purchase, all based on the latest developments in the branding industry. Discover more here.
Imagine having 10.1 million sets of eyes focused on your brand story. That’s an audience any company would kill for, and it just so happens to be the number of people who tuned in to watch the season seven premiere of HBO’s Game of Thrones . Were you one of them? We certainly were.
The series is addictive, one of the most-watched pieces of television in history, and it didn’t achieve that status by accident. As you may know, it’s based on a series of fantasy novels by author George R. R. Martin, which focus on a deeply complex, highly compelling plot that interweaves multiple families, locations and warring social groups.
Game of Thrones has become one of the most captivating series of our time—but how?
It all comes down to the story. As brands, we can take away six key lessons on brand story from the hit TV series (warning: mild spoilers ahead). If you’re struggling to articulate your enthralling brand story, feel free to get in touch and ask about our Stellar Stories™ brand-building service. It enriches your brand with meaning so you stand out, attract your perfect audience and build trust amongst your ideal customers. Meantime read on because the story building guide below will enable you to develop your brand story a lot faster and more effectively.
Top 6 Tips for Building a Great Brand Story
1. A powerful brand story has a central theme
Remember being asked to identify the theme of a work of literature back in primary school? This isn’t too far off from your theme as a business owner. The theme serves as the ‘why?’ behind the story. It’s a specific problem that needs solving, expressed through your brand’s unique lens.
Game of Thrones has dozens of distinct plot lines, but they all centre around a single unifying theme: the quest for ultimate power. It’s the common thread that ties the whole story together. Whether we’re watching the Freys and Boltons carry out the infamous Red Wedding or waiting on the edges of our seats as the White Walkers advance, it all ties back to the unifying theme.
For entrepreneur Noa Santos, that theme was creating a new business model for interior designers .
While Santos was working at a large New York design firm, he identified a highly specific problem: without a massive budget, many home and business owners were unable to afford design services. Similarly, smaller designers who were just starting out had trouble getting their foot in the door and couldn’t command the same large fees charged by the big design houses.
Santos set out on a quest to redefine the established service model in the industry and bridge the gap between these two groups of people. It became his brand mission, and the result was the founding of his company, Homepolish.
2. Circumstances set the scene for the audience in every strong brand story
The circumstances of your brand story are what help set the scene and draw the audience in for the narrative ahead. These are the where, when and how and that give your story context and help the audience relate.
In a series as complex as Game of Thrones, clearly defining these circumstances is essential to avoid confusion among the audience. The Wall is one such example.
On a surface level, it’s a physical place: a tall, foreboding wall of ice. On a secondary level, it also holds layers of meaning: it’s what keeps the White Walkers out of Westeros (well, it was) and it’s where the Night’s Watch do their bidding. All the viewer has to do is see The Wall to recall all the implications that come with it.
The circumstances in your brand story needn’t be nearly as dark and foreboding, but they should help set the scene in a similar way.
3. Characters build an emotional connection in your brand story
This is one of the most important elements of your brand story: characters. Without them, you’ll be hard pressed to build an emotional connection with your audience (which is what drives brand loyalty and trust).
The producers and writers behind Game of Thrones do an exceptional job using characters to draw us into the story and get us hooked. Fan favourites like Daenerys Targaryen build our loyalty to the series and keep us coming back to see what happens episode after episode.
The professional group of YouTubers known as ‘Yes Theory’ is a perfect example of using likeable characters to build a fan base3. They’re four guys who do crazy things like sneaking into Hollywood parties and jumping out of helicopters.
Innovative? Hardly. Guys have been pulling silly stunts and recording them since the invention of the video camera. But their characters are so likeable—almost always grinning—that the viewer can hardly wait to hit ‘play’ on the next video.
While Yes Theory is an example of using yourself as the central character in your brand story, you can also flip things around and use the customer as the character. In some cases, this can be even more effective.
Kubota Tractor Company pulls this off with flying colours, using the ‘everyman’ of middle America — farmers, growers — to define who they are as a company.
It’s worthwhile to note that it’s not just positive characters that work in a brand story; negative ones can be useful as well. Game of Thrones’ Joffrey Baratheon is one of the ultimate negative characters that helps to drive the plot forward and give the story meaning.
For your brand, the negative character might be an unnecessary middleman or an aggressive competitor. Use your brand story to show how you win out.
Give us a call T: +353 1 8322724 (GMT 9:00 – 17:00) to find out how we can help you with your brand building and brand story requirements or send us an email to [email protected]
If you’d like to develop and expand your brand story yourself, our brand building programme, the Personality Profile Performer™ provides a very effective step-by-step system empowering you to build your brand and its brand story so you can create a really compelling narrative that enables you to make your brand stand out and attract your ideal customers. Find out more here and watch here how to build your brand yourself.
4. The audience wants to see you overcome struggle in your brand story
If it’s struggle you’re after (and yes, audiences are after it), Game of Thrones has it in spades. The series is chock full of conflicts and unexpected plot twists, which sometimes include the deaths of popular characters.
Humans are drawn to seeing conflict play out; that’s why it’s an important component of your brand story. It may take the form of conflict, fears, failures, uncertainties and frustrations. Maybe you succeeded as a challenger brand. Whatever the case, show the audience how you’ve overcome your struggles.
Erin French is the chef and owner behind The Lost Kitchen, a field-to-table restaurant concept in rural Maine . Each day, she designs the evening’s menu based on what’s available and what’s in season, using only ingredients from local farms and fields. Though popular, her dining room seats just 40 guests.
As renown for her cooking has grown, so has French’s popularity, which, for many a chef, would mean expanding and outsourcing and meeting the demands of whatever is considered “trendy” at any given moment.
Not for French, though. She’s remained true to her intimate, strictly-local roots despite the pressure to compete and expand. As such, it’s become a defining part of her brand story.
5. Transformational change is a good thing in your brand story
A good brand story isn’t static; it’s constantly shifting and evolving with your brand. Changes, catalysts, growth and revelations keep the audience interested.
In Game of Thrones, almost nothing remains consistent from one season to the next, and that’s one reason viewers keep tuning in. Season 7 brought a huge revelation—the true identity of Jon Snow—which sparked a social media firestorm and built anticipation for season 8.
A great real-life example of a transformational change in a brand story is that of High Brew Coffee .
Founder David Smith set out on a voyage not to build a coffee company, but to give his family a once-in-a-lifetime experience rafting through the Caribbean. From navigating unfamiliar waters to learning how to homeschool their children on the six-month trip, Smith and his wife needed something to keep them alert. In the hot Caribbean sun, though, a steaming cup of coffee didn’t exactly hit the spot.
The couple began making their own cold-brew joe on the boat, and the idea for High Brew Coffee was born.
How can your brand convey change? It may be by demonstrating how you’ve grown through the years, how you’ve defied naysayers, how you’ve exceeded expectations or helped facilitate change in the lives of your customers.
6. You must take the audience on a journey in your brand story
Any good story—be it a novel, a television show or brand story—has a clearly defined beginning, middle and end. The struggles we mentioned earlier culminate in a climax and the audience experiences resolution.
In Game of Thrones, each season stands alone as its own mini-journey while playing a larger role in the arc of the series as a whole. The ultimate resolution has yet to be achieved, which, again, is why we’ll keep tuning in.
Amazon Prime has an excellent example of taking the audience on a journey that includes a beginning, middle and end in the space of a single commercial. Watch:
It’s just 30 seconds long, and yet we meet characters (the family, the dog), understand circumstances (the parents just brought home a new baby), witness a struggle (the new baby doesn’t readily embrace the family dog), experience changes (the dad’s Amazon Prime order) and finally, achieve resolution (an adorable one at that).
Of course, there was an all-star marketing team behind this campaign, but it’s a powerful goal to aspire to when crafting your own brand story.
Just as Game of Thrones uses an exceptional story to draw viewers in and keep them hooked (seven seasons and counting!), so can you use your brand story to connect with customers on a deeper level and win fans for life.
Ready to become the number one in your market and stand out head and shoulders above the competition? Our Personality Profile Performer™ e-course enables you to develop a winning brand story that will attract your ideal audience and make your brand instantly recognizable. Find out how here.
Questions to consider:
- What’s the ‘why’ behind your brand?
- What circumstances (where, when and how) are important for your audience to know?
- Who are the central characters in your brand story?
- What key challenges or struggles have been overcome in your brand story?
- How have your characters or you changed since the start of your journey in your story?
- What is your brand’s beginning, middle and end?
Persona Branding & Design Consultants
Contact: Lorraine Carter
T: +353 1 832 2724
Sutton, Dublin 13, Ireland
Copyright © 2007-2020 All rights reserved.
Persona Design Consultants Ltd.
Registered in Ireland: No. 201997