Is your business a brand?

The word brand is overused and misunderstood.

There, I’ve said it – a bold statement I know, but I believe it to be true.  How often do you hear someone referring to a brand when actually what they mean is their logo (identity). “Can we have some branding on this please?” as though it’s a condiment to be sprinkled liberally until it looks nice.  Ask them what they mean by branding and the muttering and stuttering begins… eventually the words, ‘isn’t that your job?’ do come out.

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Brand wraps, brand values, brand benefits, brand equity, brand architecture, brand DNA, brand essence, brand extension… the list goes on and on and become less and less meaningful the more you hear them.  Not that they don’t have a place, or a correct meaning, just that they are so often misused by people trying to be corporate, or worse still by branding ‘experts’ trying to sell themselves.

We’re called ‘Plain’ for a reason and for me that includes plain speaking. We have had the pleasure of branding companies large and small, in the UK and overseas.  The process has always remained the same – and it’s mostly a sequence of logical steps.

Start by understanding what a brand is (and isn’t) in our brand-washed world.  Then answer the following question – what would motivate a group of people to become frequent customers of my business? This should give a steer to structured content that answers that question and a picture of your customers as a guide to aim for.

I didn’t say it was going to be easy, did I?