Can You Imagine World Without Them – – –
Yes I Mean To Say BRAND-
Imagine you wake up one morning, follow the same routine you do every day; wash your face with soap, pick up a toothbrush and paste to brush your teeth, wipe your face with a towel make yourself coffee. Now also imagine that all this is happening in a world without brands! Without any brand names, logos or brand messaging – I am speaking of no branding whatsoever. What would that morning be like? What would it look like and how would you feel? To be honest there might be some advantages, such as no more getting bombarded by messages about how people are obese and should hence join a gym, but other than that could we benefit from a no-brand world.
Without the right to have your own brand identity and brand positioning there is no competition in the market, and without competition there is barely any business. Want coffee? Where would you go? There is no Starbucks or Costa but the same looking and feeling coffee shop spread around town, serving you just any coffee with some water. Want to make your own? Sure, pick from the variety of same looking glass jars filled with coffee powder at your nearest super market (which also doesn’t have a brand).
Lost in a sea of low quality cola.
What happens to quality of products and in turn life when we do not have any brands or the right to practice branding? All products on a shelf look the same, how does a consumer differentiate yours from your competitions? Without brands, there is no brand recognition. When there is no brand recognition there is no brand loyalty. When there is no loyalty and no concept of repeat customers, the latter only a matter of probability. You may want to buy a particular soda, but you wouldn’t know which is which till you buy one, and then it might be too late. Why should businesses spend that extra buck and go the extra mile to improve or even maintain the quality of their products?
Now, for business owners.
Let’s think about your business as it stands today. Are your customers purchasing your products because they like you and your product, or just because it has been put in front of them? Are they coming back to you? Or would they just hop among you and your competition?
Simple questions all these, but with far reaching ramifications. Consider this, without branding there is no business. If you as a business owner are not practicing branding as a serious business function, your business starts looking like anyone else’s, and then it’s just a matter of probability of when you get your next customer. This is true whether you are in the hypothetical brand-less world or in the real competitive world we live in today.
What does the consumer think when they interact with your product, service, packaging, people, shop, office etc.? THAT! Is what branding is all about. Branding is not just about creating a logo unit, a logo is the visual manifestation of the brand and its promise. Branding is about the pre-disposed image and reputation one business/product/service creates in the minds of its various stakeholders (not just customers). The promise it makes to its stakeholders (“When you come to us, you are assured of …..”).
In today’s competitive world, if one does not consider branding as a serious business practice, they are heading to become just another non-descript product on the shelf.
I leave you with a video from one of the greatest marketing and branding master-minds of our time, while launching one of their marketing campaigns.