14th April 2017 — This is a term that appears to be a perfect example of a word that has altered it’s meaning from repetitive referrals to it being a company. The word however has more depth than this. A company is typically by name alone, I shop at Walmart, or I shop at Tesco, or as another example, I’m creating a new supermarket and I’m calling my ‘company’ EatWell. These are all referenced by company name.

So if a brand isn’t the company, then what is it. One of the early adopters of branding a product was Coca Cola. In the late 1880’s the Coca Cola company chose to distinguish its product with its brand so it was recognisable from other similar fizzy, caramel coloured drinks. To make this move in branding their drink gave the product identity, that not only assured you that you were drinking coca cola, but you would receive the added benefits of the brand. This is the important bit.

A brand is an experience, it's how it makes you feel.

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If we continue with coca cola for the minute and I’ll continue to explain. When you drink a coca cola, you of course consume a caramel coloured fizzy drink, but what else are you stimulating or connecting to at the same time? Well, lets consider a few features. Your immersed, probably without actively knowing, in their ability to connect to you emotionally. The factual element is the product itself, the emotional is how you perceive coca colas and what you believe it does for you or their service gives you over the benefits of other companies soda. “It’s the Real Thing” or it offers you an element of confidence or you feel that you are assured by the authenticity of the Coca Cola stamp on the bottle, often these reasons are personal to you. Quite simply, they have connected the factual and the emotional part of the purchase to embrace you into being part of the Coca Cola product. The way the purchase, the feeling and the confidence that their product and marketing efforts make you feel.

A brand is an experience, it's how it makes you feel and, so strong is the experience, that people will be loyal to the brand, even though there are many other consumables on the market that are similar.

A brand is not only a product or service, but also a person. You have a brand. What you do, what you say and what you wear all have influence over what people feel about you. Their emotional connection to you and your ability to do and act in a manner that gives them confidence and assurance will demonstrate whether they see you as something worth investing their time or money in.

So look after the ‘brand’ you. Be reliable, be understanding, give value and most of all, know your the products, be strong on customer care and reflect regularly on the experience, both factual and emotional that you give to people.