Do I have a Brand?

I think we all ask ourselves this at some stage. Some of us reckon that if we have a pretty logo with our company name on it that we’re sorted. Isn’t it just supposed to be something that helps people recognise my company or one of my products/services?

If that’s how you want to define your brand, than that’s fine – but it could mean so much more…

Businesses that build really powerful brands, brands that are actually worth money approach their brand differently. They view their brand as a symbol that represents the sum total of all the experiences that each of their customers, past and present, have had with their company, product or service. Every positive experience that customers have had, adds to the value of the brand, and every negative experience that customers have had, detracts from the value of the brand.

This is a significantly different approach to the first one mentioned, isn’t it? Through this approach, we can see how brands like Google, Microsoft, Coke and Nike have been built up into the hugely valuable brands they are today. By continuously seeking to add to their brand’s value through delivering positive experiences to customers, over and over again, they have built themselves into icons.

However, this approach is not one that only massive corporates can buy into. Any size business can aim to make every customer experience a positive one -in fact, it should be easier shouldn’t it? Less customers and more management involvement should ensure we are doing this – isn’t this what we management should be ensuring as their main focus anyway?

Let’s also define “customer experience” here. I am not just referring to the customer enjoying the artisan bread loaf they have just bought, or being happy that their lawyer just won their lawsuit for them. Those are important positive experiences to have and are pretty key. However, there is so much more that defines the customer experience: how easy it was to do business, how they were treated personally when doing business with you and more – these all add up to the total customer experience and can affect your brand’s ultimate value positively or negatively. If you view your brand in this way, it not only acts as a reminder that whatever you place your brand on must always replicate that positive experience you are aiming for, but also ensures you are focused on building that sum of positive experiences at each and every turn. Your business can only benefit in delivering excellence to your customers, and your “brand” will become a valuable asset over time as well.

(Image belongs to Andybutler.net)