We all have in our lives that someone who stands out with their unique personality:
The loving grandma who makes our favourite food, the extremely fun teacher from school, the old tram conductor whose good mood was contagious, or even the grumpy friend who is always complaining about things.
Good or bad, they all leave a clear and consistent impression wherever they go and in everything they do - mannerisms, opinions to stand for, assumed roles in the group. All these little things combined, make them be remembered by who they are. They also define how we feel and how we want to relate (or not) to them. In other words, they are attributes that form people's identity and influence by how we perceive them in our lives.
This is exactly how it happens with brands: although we often find our businesses thoughts making the cold maths of how to increase leads and achieve profit, at the end of the day it all resumes into human-to-human relationships.
Regardless the size, businesses are nothing more than a conglomerate of people with values and aspirations working together towards a common goal. Sounds simple, right? But every recipe creates a different cake. Just like every person, each business has its own way of existing and interacting with the world out there. Just like every person, businesses also have their own personalities and how they play with it is the so called "branding".
It also means that more than a logo, a brand is everything people think about your business - all the associations linked to the experience your company provides are what will define how much a client wants to stay connected with you in a long-term, loyal and consistent relationship.
So, if brand is what people talk about us... how can we have any control about it? By being consistent to what makes us real and special, and communicating it in every opportunity of contact. For example:
A bakery with a promise of making bread might be just another bakery on our way to work... But what if the promise comes from a passionate baker that wants to create delights? What if you can experience that in every detail, from the fresh bits of bread to try on the counter to the lovely lady serving you and further into all their communication efforts?
That is all about branding: to manage a business message so it remains real and consistent to our strategies, so it can be perceived as a brand that resonates with our customers, create trust and loyalty.
Of course we all need leads, and all those marketing and sales tools but that's short term management. To build sustainable relationships and put our differentials in evidence, we must tell our customers what we stand for: a strong brand is the first step that will pave the path for a small business to become a big star.
"A brand that captures your mind gains behaviour.
A brand that captures your heart gains commitment."