Branding is more than just a business buzzword. It creates, in the mind of customers and prospects, the perception that there is no “experience”—or product or service—quite like yours. In short, a brand offers the consumer a promise and then needs to deliver on it.
I recently came across this quote from an article on TD Bank’s brand evolution, “If the old marketing mantra was, ‘Nothing happens until somebody sells something,’ the new philosophy could be ‘Nothing happens until somebody brands something.’” In such a competitive and cutthroat marketing landscape, I couldn’t agree more.
There have been many times when clients come to us and say, “We need a rebranding!” Sometimes it’s a new endeavor based on a name change. Sometimes it’s a refresh or brand evolution; other times it’s to stay true to the current marketing climate, or their brand is simply outdated. In most cases, it’s an exciting way to play… with new fonts, colors, fun taglines and more!
After the appropriate research is conducted and this process is underway, it’s interesting to see how challenging it is for some clients to separate their own personal subjectivity from what they know the main goal is: Appeal to your target audience—not your internal staff, or even those who run the organization. Those you are trying to convert into your customers are your primary concern. Sounds simple and obvious, right? So why is it then, that some find it so difficult to put themselves in the shoes of their potential customers? What they like and feel and how they react to your brand should be priority. Not doing this could mean you’re short-changing, or worse, excluding those who matter most.
One of the partners here says, “If your logo makes you feel a little uncomfortable, it’s working.” Of course, your brand is more than your logo; it’s a collection of feelings and perceptions about quality, image, lifestyle and status. So whether your “style” is Converse sneakers, black pumps or camo hiking boots, when approaching a new brand, it’s imperative to separate your personal opinions and feeling of coziness, and put yourself in your target audience’s shoes. Your brand depends on it.