The word, ‘brand,’ what exactly does it signify? Is it just a name, legally registered on hard pressed paper to inform the world of its’ existence?
A brand is obviously a legal existence of your product, your service, your thing. You can be a brand, if you like. But, more importantly, it is a symbol of differentiation.
Thing is, everyone believes that their product or service is unique; Everyone believes that what they are offering is of value to the world and that is why they choose to identify their offerings under a unique brand name. But, how unique is your product really?
Is it just you who can provide the world with what they are looking for? Is there no one else, no company, no maverick, no challenging individual, no competing corporation that can provide the world with what you are offering them? If there isn’t, then all your brand is, is a name. Then, the name is enough to ensure undefeated sales records and user adoption. Then the name itself is a powerful tool. But, chances are, that there are competitors and tiny little sharp toothed sharks, willing to make a hit when the time is right.
How do you still set yourself apart in this hyper-competitive world, which will feed on your weaknesses the minute it can. How will you make sure your brand is more than just a name that can get lost in the plethora of other brand names? How will you leave a mark when every other person is trying to erase the foundation of your mark with all their strength? The only defense against this is to connect with your customer and give them enough faith to never question your motives.
To connect, you must make people feel connected. Stories make people feel connected, they invoke intense feelings across varying wavelengths and even if people forget the exact feeling, they will never forget the memory of what they felt. This memory of intense emotions is what makes people keep coming back for more. They become connected to the brand, and once emotions are involved, rationality is forgotten. Thus, while your product itself is important, there is a need to make people fall in love with your brand story.
An Apple laptop is not just a great computer, but a representation of pushing boundaries in a world that will never believe until you don’t push it enough to. That Kate Spade bag isn’t just another luxury good, but an indispensable companion for the world-traveling, adventurous, intelligent young woman. Eventually, you aren’t just selling another product. You’re selling a lifestyle and that is some high-level philosophy you do not want to be messing with.
Eventually, forget everything you know. Forget the strategies and tactics and financial numbers. Forget what was ever told, said or demanded of you. Just be true to yourself, reflect on what you can give the world and create your story. People can steal your product ideas and your service offerings, but they can never steal your reason for existence. It is your story, that will eventually set you apart.
The minute you create a story, your brand becomes more than just a representation of your products or services. Your brand develops its’ own personality and identity. It begins to breath life of it’s own and develops a destiny beyond your control. People stop buying your products or services, and begin buying your brand, your story. They love it, they feel connected to it and they view it as their friend.