What Is & Isn’t Branding?
Branding is a formula. It is neither a name, a logo, or a nice email signature. It is the sum total of these elements, perfectly calibrated to achieve a desired impact.
I remember the first time I noticed a Coors Light billboard. It promised to be “The World’s Most Refreshing Beer” and “As Cold as the Rockies.” The shiny silver can, glistening with condensation from the frosty snow capped mountains—I just had to have one.
When I finally chugged a Coors Light, I thought it was gross. But I crave one every time I see it in the grocery store. Why?
Because they perfected the formula. The unique combination of photography, design, and packaging presented together makes me feel thirsty as soon as I lay eyes on it.
What is often misunderstood about branding is that it requires a high end logo or an original sounding name. Nope. In fact, there are many higher end, better tasting beers that don’t trigger the same response when I see it on the shelf. That is not to say they aren't great products, they just don't communicate their value effectively.
Creating a brand means communicating consistently across a variety of layers within the human experience. If you highlight the essential element of a product that matters the most to the people who need what you have, you will hit your mark.
Making a product look good is important but is secondary to making your audience feel a certain way about what you are trying to sell. So, the next time you think about branding a product or a service you offer, find someone who specializes in design but also in the human experience.
Ask yourself, “Do they have what it takes to make me feel a certain way?”