There are many different definitions and interpretations of what a brand is. One of our preferred definitions comes from Seth Godin, author of Purple Cow: Transform Your business by Being Remarkable:
“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. If the consumer (whether it’s a business, a buyer, a voter or a donor) doesn’t pay a premium, make a selection or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that consumer.”
The key idea here is that a brand creates value for the consumer – whether it's a B2B or B2C selling environment. There are tangible and intangible benefits to consumers, and it's up to us as marketers to clearly communicate the full extent of that brand value. Some intangibles include:
- peace of mind
- increased confidence as a leader
- personal fulfillment by supporting local agriculture
- the happiness derived from using a product to facilitate an experience – like a kayak to float down the river.
Brands are supported by key pillars – attributes about your product or service that when combined, create a Unique Selling Proposition (USP). In order to create a remarkable brand, you have to be clear about what is unique about it (differentiation) and who will find it remarkable (segmentation).
Indeed, a brand is the culmination of the logos, graphics, colors, tag lines and messages – but it’s also about the emotional experiences conveyed to consumers.
Is your brand creating loyalty? Does it create value for the consumer beyond just the price?