Brands are built by people.
Brands are in the minds of customers, investors, employees, media and more. Infusing personality (or personalities) into a ‘brand’ is what helps to create an authentic connection which is remembered.
Design, messaging and communication all go hand in hand. They provide a prime opportunity to showcase the values and character of the people behind the brand and it’s essence through all forms of communication.
There is an emergence of more ‘personal brands’ around peoples names, character and persona. Today there are instances where a person is the brand. Traditional business brands are built over time to represent the products and offering, and today, the lines between the “person” and the “business” brand have blurred.
How can a brand reflect values?
We’ve heard it time after time, but understanding the vision and goals of the company helps to create alignment with those behind the brand and who will ultimately build a better one. If we use a skincare company for example, their products may be branded as “Organic, caring, and easy-going.” This in some way would be a reflection of those behind the company who are looking to interest in their ‘tribe’ who hold similar values.
Building a brand that speaks to your customers.
Brand is the face of business. It’s a feeling we get when we think about it. It is the picture we build in our minds. Brand can be used to help position and differentiate, and it’s an opportunity to showcase the best qualities (and quirks) that make a brand unique.
Nando’s as a company is known for its quick-wittedness and humorous approach with all of their external communication, brand messaging and touch points. McDonald’s on the other hand has a more light-hearted, ‘family-friendly’ approach. Each has an affinity to those that eat or order from them.
The same could be said to creating a personal brand for thought leaders and influencers. Their goal would be to create loyalty, educate and to cultivate trust in those that they are seeking to engage with.
Nurturing should be at the heart of the company
People ultimately are the heart and soul of any brand. We have access to data, technology, bots and AI which powers a lot of interactions these days, but ultimately, humans are behind each of them.
With employees and stakeholders invested in a brand’s mission helps to create a level of understanding and support across all its internal teams. Individuals and teams have voices and recognising these will help to cultivate a culture of transparency and integrity within a brand. Employees become champions and feel proud of their association with the brand, mission and more.
The crossover, business branding and personal branding
Inherently, we as humans may choose to engage with a brand if we are able to see the people behind it. We may be inspired by them, their thinking, and their values and want to become a part of their tribe or community.
Take Elon Musk for example. As an individual, he owns Tesla. Tesla is positioned as a luxury, exclusive automobile brand. Musk is also closely associated with technology as well. So if a customer also has shared value with electric vehicles, technology and space exploration, they may be more likely to purchase a Tesla vehicle over someone who does not.
On the other hand, as a brand, Coca Cola has been around for much longer. It does not have any direct association with any individual, but with its positioning as a ‘lifestyle’ brand it is able to pivot and latch itself with those in popular culture, individuals in sports, music and more.
Brands are kept alive by those customers who share similar values with it.
With the fast paced world we live in, brands can change in an instant. At the same time, some brands will have a more ‘timeless’ approach. Through regular communication, staying current, and maintaining regular contact with customers can be invaluable, allowing it to be steered towards the goal and reinvent itself when the time presents itself.
What do you think? Should we think differently about brands and business? Should we consider the people behind them as well? Branding goes much deeper than the surface level.
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