As you build your branding strategy, you may at times (especially the challenging ones) ask yourself: is this necessary? Is all this work really essential to success? Why can’t I just run a business…without all the planning and brand management?
On those days when you get frustrated, and you feel like all your branding strategy work is for naught, remember this:
Our World Needs Brands
Why? Because the world needs flavour, variety and competition. People desire the freedom to make choices through which they can express their personalities and preferences.
The Soviet Union attempted to create a culture without brands when they eliminated all brands…with the exception of Mother Russia. All names of products and services would be owned by “the state,” all prices would be identical, and the government would get a cut of every sale.
This didn’t work. No brands were encouraged to innovate with new ideas or reinvent old ones. No brands added value to any product or service, and therefore, all edge was lost. The culture suffered. Motivation deteriorated. Competition fell off. And so did the union.
I’m not suggesting that this attempt at “no brands” caused the Soviet Union to fall; I am, however, suggesting that it certainly didn’t help.
When a consumer buys a product or contracts with a brand to deliver a service, that customer either takes pride in that decision or regrets it. There is risk involved. There are consequences to every alternative. Something is learnt from every choice, too.
What does this teach us all? It not only shows us that we need brand names to stay motivated, it shows us that in order for brand names to survive and thrive, they can’t be the equivalent of brown paper packages tied up with string. They must be unique. They must solve problems in unique ways. And brands MUST add value to the products and services they sell.
Which brings me to my next point:
Brand Names put more Love in the World
Think that sounds a little off-the-wall? Think brand names have nothing to do with love?
Consider this: How many people have expressed their commitment to (and love of) Apple? They will wait in all kinds of weather for hours (even days) for the opportunity to purchase a newly released product. They will tell all their friends about it. They will sit for hours, entranced by their newly acquired item. They will argue on its behalf and defend its honour.
Sound like anything else? Maybe a little bit like love…or at least infatuation?
Think about it: Is the Apple fan in love with the way that iPhone or iPad looks? Is he fascinated by its inner workings or the decades of technology invested in its creation? Or is he enraptured by the brand? The feeling that it gives him? The inclusiveness he experiences when he sees others with iPhones? The status he feels? The support he’s giving to a culture he believes in?
People need products to fulfill needs. That may seem, at first, like the most important thing. However, it’s never the product that people want…or that they fall in love with. It’s always the brand. The brand is what fulfills their desires, feeds their emotions and gives them a channel through which to express themselves.
Still think it doesn’t sound like love? Consider this: the brand names that evoke the most “love” are those whose founders “love” what they did (or do). They are the ones who started with an endearing dream and those who remained fueled by a passionate commitment to success.
And what world couldn’t use more of that?
How about expression? Would you argue that people should have fewer ways to express themselves? Well, that brings up another point:
Brand Names are Channels through which People Express Themselves
How does carrying a Coach purse make you feel? Would you like to impress your friends with a Yeti cooler? Are you committed to wearing MadeFAIR clothing because it represents your support for fair trade?
People use brand names every minute of every day to express themselves and to support the values they wish to see more of in the world. Brand names are spectacular ways to accomplish this—particularly now that brands are being encouraged to take stands on social issues to not only make positive changes, but to attract the people to their brands who share their values (for better fits and more fruitful business relationships).
If you are of the belief that the world needs brand names (or if you’re even thinking about adopting this belief), then why not join us to learn how your brand can be one that changes the world? Join us for the B.R.A.N.D. Building Bootcamp of your choice, where you’ll learn to make your brand more credible, visible and profitable. Register here, before the boot camp of your choice is sold out.