There are brands, and then there are charismatic brands. In a competitive world like today’s, the focus should be on building a charismatic brand and not just a brand.
What is a charismatic brand? A brand is charismatic when it can’t be substituted.
Pretty awesome, isn’t it?
So, let’s start from the beginning. What is a brand? – Is it the logo? The design? Or the colours? It’s true that everything matters, but in reality, all these are just the elements of your brand. The brand is the heartbeat that motivates your consumers to reach for one of your products or services.
After years of describing the concept of branding; this is it. Heartbeat!
Branding is not selling. Selling is when you try to convert, while branding is all about creating an experience for your audience. Guess what, the latter wins, always!
For example, when you hear Apple, Levi’s or Coca-Cola, you have a definite natural response to your judgment about that brand. Apple makes our heart beat with its creativity. Levi’s, on the other hand, reminds us of style and comfort. Coke makes us think about the refreshment.
The most successful businesses in the world don’t sell, they create an experience; they evoke an emotion. Their ads focus on a common emotion about the simplicity and luxury of using their product. Emotion makes your brand memorable.
Branding is for the long-term. You are building a ‘relationship’ for the years to come. Whether you are a new start-up or a large corporation, you have to envision a brand identity that will let you build a long-term rapport with your audience. Make them feel the ‘heartbeat’. Use a sight, sound, and emotion, to build a sense of pride and professionalism.
Seriously! People have too much to choose from and with the minimal difference between the products, how do they make this decision? It’s the heartbeat you created. With this heartbeat being created, your days of becoming a charismatic brand are not that far off.
Does that attract you? Then you can be a charismatic brand, too.
Take, for example, Apple.
Apple entered the computer market with an adequate amount of storage and a decent level of CPU, like any other good computer. So, the Apple manufactures didn’t even bother talking about it. Instead, they talked and competed on its status and style.
Do you want to create a charismatic brand? The first step is in understanding that marketing and the product should work together. If a product is the ‘life’ to a brand, marketing is the brand itself. It’s marketing that helps you to make your audience feel your emotion; your brand!
Our brain is hardwired to notice those things that are unique and different. You can sell a soap and still be different.
Take for example the brand ‘Dove’.
Think how it emerged beyond just being a beauty soap. Today, Dove is no longer a soap, but a cream bar. It is the mildest bathing bar with ¼ moisturizer. They changed the way the world looked at beauty. They challenged the entire Personal Care industry through their campaigns on Real Beauty and emerged above any other normal beauty product by pushing their focus beyond the boundaries of physical beauty. They thought beyond their product and stated the very fact of inner beauty, that wrinkles, pimples or dull skin are not a barrier to living beautifully.
FOCUS on what you’re doing.
FOCUS on what you want to sell.
FOCUS on what your competitors are up to. See and observe keenly what they have to offer the audience. Find that ‘Unique Selling Point’ (USP).
And, finally, focus on a niche. Try to impress a smaller demographic rather than trying to appeal to everyone. The best example will be automobile manufacturers; they design cars to impress a selected category, while some common traits like reliability remain static across product ranges, the performance or design features might vary.
Consider your brand as another individual. Like humans, brands are the most efficient when they’re ‘social’. It is important how your brand behaves in a particular situation, how it appears, and what it says.
To ace such situations you have to be creative and logical at the same time. You have to make use of both sides of your brain. So, take on the ideas and efforts of your technical and creative team. You need them both. Remember to give individual growth space for every employee.
‘Employee branding’ is now equally important as employer branding.
So, FOCUS on your employees. Celebrate their success stories.
Think about it. How much it will amuse your audience if the employees working for you hold a high social image? The enthusiasm they have to know your employees and the brand can turn your world upside down.
So, create your heartbeat. Work on it, and you will be there, where you always wanted to be.