The Importance of Branding

Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armour yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.

Experience is everything in today’s abstract world. Value is no longer determined by traditional measurements such as quality, functionality, and need. Instead, there is a greater emphasis on how products and services make us feel.

The importance of creating culture in business, then, is indisputable. Yet many professionals seem to forget from where they actually engage with the market; and, as a result, hardly give their brand the attention it deserves. This needs to change.

Without culture, and the relative freedom it implies, society, even when perfect, is but a jungle. This is why any authentic creation is a gift to the future.

Society is more conversational than ever before. Today, all of us have opinions; and, because of the safety afforded by social media platforms, we aren’t afraid to share them (no matter how educated we’re on the matter). Gone are the days of top-down dissemination.

Therefore, your brand can no longer be considered a static physical marker in our increasingly digital and connected world. It’s much, much more.

Your brand is, in fact, all of the ways your company subtly communicates with its audience. It’s the combination of your design, words, personality, and price; it’s the gut feeling that your products or services evoke; and it’s the culture you let the marketplace judge you upon. As a result, it needs to be authentic.

This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.

We all have a desire for authenticity. Why? Because there is no such thing as an inauthentic experience. Humans are authentic beings; and, as a result, everything we feel has to be considered as such.

Emotionally powerful and high-value brands all have one thing in common. They represent ideas far greater than the product. Or rather, exude a sense of realness. They’re not flash-in-the-pan organizations.

It’s essential, then, that your business only exposes its followers to a brand that evokes a sense of genuineness (in a marketplace that is becoming more and more abstract). Today, authenticity is the basis of decision making. It’s the new consumer sensibility.

Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.

In a world with fewer material goods, two options exist. The first is to accept that we live in a poorer world. For most of us, this is an unacceptable train of though. We intrinsically despise losing any sort of wealth. The second is to accept that we live in a modern world where intangible (or perceived) worth constitutes a greater portion of overall value. To many, this makes perfect sense.

None of commodities, goods, nor services, are central to our modern economy. Nowadays, we trade experiences; and, as a result, most business problems we experience are ones of perception. Fortunately, we only have to look back in order to understand the things that lie ahead.

It seems to me that man is made to act rather than to know: the principles of things escape our most preserving researches.

Fredrick the Great reigned over the Kingdom of Prussia in the 18th century. During his time in power, he realized that two sources of carbohydrates – wheat and potatoes – would be far better than one; and, as a result, encouraged his people to grow the spud. Yet they refused to do so.

Confused, the great leader sought answers. Why wouldn’t his followers partake in an activity that significantly benefited them? The rationale was surprisingly simple. To Fredrick’s people, the humble potato was nothing more than animal food. It had a perception problem.

In what would become considered a masterstroke, Old Fritz declared the starchy crop a ‘royal vegetable, solely planted it in ‘royal’ gardens, and instructed ‘royal’ guards to watch over them day and night (albeit not very well). Why? Because Fredrick realized if something’s worth guarding it’s probably worth having. He came to understand the effects perceptions had on behavior.

The results were extraordinary. Nearly overnight, a massive underground potato operation was formed; and the rest, as they say, is history.

Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.

What constitutes brilliant branding? Frankly, there is no one right answer as the process is much more than displaying a logo. It’s storytelling.

Whilst there are countless combinations of colors, elements, and typographies, to choose from when creating a brand, most are (typically) not appropriate. Society, unfortunately, loves creating, and following, shortcuts; and, subsequently, certain colours project certain ideas, various fonts validate various views, and some visual elements symbolize some typecasts. For example, red tends to project the idea of health; Comic Sans validates the notion of whimsical; and a pentagram (five-pointed star within a circle) symbolizes the belief of occult practices (such as magic and alchemy).

In today’s multimedia world, people respond to images faster than text; and, therefore, it is extremely important that all aspects of your brand work together seamlessly (no matter how small they appear to be). Thoughtful brands entice people to engage. They create markers. They create relationships. And, most importantly, they create lust.

It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.

After you’ve developed a ‘thorough’ brand that enables the aforesaid, it’s essential that you repeat it as often as possible. Familiarity is vital to business growth.

Only after buyers have grown to know, like, and trust, your brand, will they begin to respond positively on the occasions they encounter it. Therefore, it’s extremely important that your identity projects the same, unified messages every time it’s exposed to the general public.

Ensure your brand acts as a cultural reference for your business; and, in time, your organisation will reap the benefits of appearing to be an established entity in a constantly evolving marketplace.

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