What’s behind a mark for a brand? How centuries-old practices have made products and companies more recognizable
Have you ever wondered, “what’s a Brand?” and “who started making logos anyway?” Probably not until just now. As consumers, we interact with logos and brands so often that they’ve become normalized as part of our subconscious decision-making. In fact, studies have found that babies recognize brands by the tender age of 6 months. To become a great brand— you need to ascend to a pervasiveness within our lives and culture perhaps even changing the way we live. Need a Kleenex?…Just Google it on your iPhone. You get the idea. Brands live because of our dependence on their usefulness in our everyday lives. The greater the contact—the more affinity that can be expected. When a brand falls out of favor, like for example AOL—it’s because the brand failed to continue to deliver on the needs within our lives. Kodak is another victim of this dilemma as remaining relevant is just as important as delivering a great quality product.
There are certain brands you personally trust based on the tangible and intangible attributes while others have no impact on your buying behaviors. Why? A good logo is simply the starting point for developing a trusted brand. Your brand has as much to do with consumer perception as it does with actual attributes. And that’s where brand development begins. Your brand has a reputation to uphold and likely needs some improvement. Call 866-4-TBAER-7 or email me to talk about your brand reputation and how to gain new brand loyalists and reconnect with past users.
Transform your brand from a normalized commodity into an experiential brand consumers trust and admire
Most brands are relegated to a miserable life sentence as a product commodity. Sad, but true. Moving your business beyond a commodity takes thoughtful actions and meaningful consumer value. Because users of commodities have no brand loyalty and therefore are indifferent to a brand choice and instead make choices based on typical monetary terms. We all do it…why pay more for the same thing or even less of something, right?
A look back into the sordid history of branding
Unfortunately, brand marks have a tarnished past dating back to early civilizations. While brands aren’t to be blamed—they do act as a painful reminder of their ill-intended use which thankfully is now relegated to history books not to ever be repeated. For centuries people were branded with the mark of their owners…the Egyptians did it…European Lords…and early American Plantation owners. The practice morphed in early America as slaves were branded not with a physical mark but by sharing the surname of their owners.
In early Europe, commoners aligned themselves with their landowner’s (Lords) with a shared purpose of serving the kingdoms which in turn provided protection and community. These regions used flag designs and crests to represent themselves. Family bloodlines established family crests in pride of their established clans. In regions such as Scotland, this even included the coloring and patterning of a plaid which would be worn by members of a particular family or clan. This is commonly referred to as a tartan and there are well over 4,000 variants that exist.
A Brand can help to connect our needs with our values
So as we look through the ancient past, Europe and America to today—brands and our innate desire to associate with and belong to many different tribes is a powerful marketing opportunity. Moreover, newer generations today are more likely to align with a brand based upon its mission or cause-based initiatives than to commune based upon a proximity-based community. This means that the newer generation of tribes will be loosely based on values and ideals rather than tangible attributes.