A company or individual’s brand is it’s ability to distinguish itself from it’s similar counterparts in any given market place. Brands exist in several medium’s such as name, slogan, or design.
According to Marty Neumeier’s 2004 book, The Dictionary of Brand, Brand Identity “is not what you (the organization) says it is, it’s what the general public says it is.” This is why it is essential to develop a brand and carve out an image for yourself or your company.
Many businesses at the moment, and in years gone, struggle to establish a clear brand identity. Let’s face it, in today’s economy, the consumer buying pattern indicates that purchasers are spending their hard earned dollars with companies that are referred from friends, deliver above par customer service, and that they feel they can trust. A brand is one of the most valuable assets a business has, and yet business owners tend to ignore or avoid establishing a brand.
First, a brief history on the brand. Back in the days of an agriculture based economy we didn’t have to worry much about separating ourselves from our competitors. More often than not, families specialized in certain trades and only that family would provide the products and services produced to the community. Alas, the world is ever growing, and there are more and more people to serve. Accordingly, there happen to be many more companies and organizations to service our needs, as we exponentially add to the World’s population.
That being said, many companies still are not chosen as service providers in their industries. This can stem from lack of brand identity. Consumers want to feel that they can trust their service providers. They like to know that they are in capable hands. They need that good old fashion warm and fuzzy feeling when making purchases, and spending their income.
There are several methods by which a company or an organization is able to take their brand to the next level. One of the main influences I’ve found works best is the online approach. With a rising number of consumers bypassing their ‘real life’ friends for online reviews, referrals, and research, a strong online brand identity is cardinal in achieving success in any industry on the planet.
More over from this, using social media applications functionally can be a great boon to both individual and organization. Tools like Facebook and Twitter allow companies to develop a dialogue with their potential consumer. This engagement is often times what can help shift the public’s view of a company from being just another service provider, to one with a name, face, and personality.