Let me first say that there are many definitions about what a Brand is and what a Brand is supposed to do.
Of course, by now you are probably aware that I have my own definition. The way that I build Brands is different from the way that other agencies build Brands.
It’s different philosophically. It is a totally different approach. The results are much greater.
The way I Brand gives a company the ability to have the impact of the larger Brands without the usual components of length of time in business and massive money spent.
My Branding concept allows businesses-especially small- and medium-sized business, although it also applies to big corporations-to actually take a shortcut.
If you think about the concept of Branding or at least where it comes from (the whole cowboy / rancher and cow thing), you’ll understand that taking a lot of time and spending a lot of money has nothing to do with it.
Think about it: If you were a Texas rancher and you went out into the pasture one day to “brand” some of your cows, what would you do? How would you go about it?
Well, without going into a detailed description and list, you would probably do something like this:
Make a fire, heat up the branding iron (with the cow logo), go catch one of your cows, and then hold it down and burn the brand into its hind end hip.
Done. No fuss-no muss. The cow is branded.
It’s pretty simple. From then on, everyone knows that this cow belongs to you because your brand is on it, burned into the cow’s hide and difficult if not impossible to remove.
Now you can start to see some of the similarities between actual bovine branding and business branding. Once they (the cows or in this case, the customers) are yours (branded), they are yours.
You see, the factor of time has nothing to do with it.
It should never take time, especially a great deal of it, to create a Brand.
This is not true of the way that everyone else thinks of Branding. The concept of “time” is a major part of their formula.
As a matter of fact, let’s look at what I call the Brand Equation. To create a Brand is to create “trust” with and within the marketplace.
Now, let’s look at how the equation of trust is created. It goes something like this:
(Experiences X Repetition) Time = TRUST
To break it down further, the experiences you have with someone or something (this equates to business) times the number of those types of experiences (repetition) over a period of time is how trust is created.
What you need to understand is that this is how the big Brands which we generally see and recognize every day got created. This is the formula they used to create trust with the marketplace.
The biggest thing you need to realize is that these big companies (Brands) didn’t at all start out trying to create a “Brand.”
They started out wanting to create a great product, service or business. The idea of Branding had nothing to do with it-in fact it wasn’t even a concept back then.
I am going to illustrate this using Sears as an example.
Sears started out simply by trying to be a great department store, selling everything under the sun. Let’s use their appliance division to illustrate the point.
Let’s break down the equation:
Sears builds a great appliance division with great customer service, warrantees, selection, and high-quality, long-lasting products.
You go to Sears and talk to a salesman who is knowledgeable; you buy the perfect refrigerator and have it delivered. The deliverymen are fantastic. You get a warranty that is amazing plus Sears has this “3 time rule.” If it needs service three times, they just replace it.
Unfortunately, it is just a machine and something does go wrong mechanically. You call Sears and they come right out to fix it. Let’s say this problem occurs two more times and Sears tells you, “No problem. We’re sorry for the inconvenience.” And they deliver a brand new one to your door.
WOW! You are amazed and impressed because, remember that this is taking place a long time ago when there were not any real department stores out there.
In this instance, you have had a great experience with Sears.
Over the years as your family grows and as you move around the country for work, you continue to buy appliances from Sears. You experience the same high quality services in every part of the country.
Of course you do. It’s Sears.
When you run the equation, great experiences X repetition X a period of years, you now have a lot of trust with Sears and their appliance division. Not to mention that there really wasn’t any competition for Sears at this time.
This is how each of us develops trust with anyone or anything.
(Experiences X Repetition) Time = TRUST
This equation also works in reverse, which is exactly why Branding is so important. Remember?
The marketplace will forgive mistakes for a Brand that they trust. The two words really are kind of synonymous.
But, realize that it’s this equation that allowed the big Brands to become who they are. They started out creating good companies. And they were all by themselves in the marketplace for a long, long time without any competition. (Remember Stage One of the communication cycle.)
The problem that you have right now in business is that you don’t have the benefit of “time” on your side.
You are in an “emotional economy.” The marketplace is “information-rich and time-poor.” You have massive competition and the communications cycle moves too fast.