Why Brands Are Important to Customers
image credit: superunion
Brands and branding are the most significant gifts that commerce has ever made to popular culture. Brands have transcended so far beyond its commercial origins that its impact is immeasurable in social and cultural terms.
Long long ago a time brands were simple goods – soaps, coffee, shoe polish, mundane everyday products. It was a symbol of consistency based on logistics and features & benefits. All of that now stands on it's head.
As brands once stood as their own image. They now stand as our image. It's about association and involvement in a global village of sporadic soundbites. Create by internal marketing teams to seduce customers – to sell products by creating and projecting colourful but simple ideas, again and again. The mechanisms of brand was defined by modern communication techniques. But the brand idea has become more successful way beyond the dreams of its creators, even the most ambitious of them.
Brands have transcended so far beyond its commercial origins that its impact is immeasurable in social and cultural terms. It has spread into education, health care, sports, fashion, travel, art, religion, literature, regions, nations and virtually everywhere in and around our finger tips. Brand has been adopted by not-for-profits to develop structure. As well as for-profit to develop emotion. Both benefiting from a multitude of bottom lines. Being whole as an identity. These ambitious brands we all know and love. Other brands may one day discover the benefits that are inherently within and around the organization towards tried & true rather than expensive trial & error.
All of this really means is branding is not controlled by marketing people, despite their huge budgets, their research programs, and their panoply of branding, advertising, and event management satraps. Brands are controlled by us – the customers. When a brand is really successful it can take off in ways and at a pace which bewilders those who purposed to be in charge of. And when the brand is in trouble the opposite can happen. Look at Taxi which lost touch with the market place and tried to monopolize a service which customers had no choice but to use. People have choice. More than ever. And in an entrepreneurial culture it is only a matter of time where culture defines the strategies. It is very hard to stay on top.
Nowadays we take what we have for granted. We no longer live in a society where brands pay top dollar for broadcasts that customers have no choice to receive. As whole brands we must be responsible in listening to the messages our customers broadcast. And no matter time than with the multitude of low cost communication platforms from our predecessors of expensive billboards and people standing on buildings with a clicker every time a car drove by. Along with creeper banner ads that forcefully follow every steps you make.
Brands should be as natural as the wind and purposeful as the lives we live. They identify with their audiences. Not only by their features and benefits but by the innate qualities we all share.
In a world of over communication of features and benefits there are a handful that speak clarity, reassurance, consistency, and status – everything that enables human beings to help define themselves. Brand represents identity.
Thank you for listening.