When you think of the word brand, what comes to mind? I believe that people often think of brand as a logo, for example the Golden arches of McDonalds or the mermaid of Starbucks. These logos are not really brand. Brand is the value you provide to customers; the level of service, the quality of the product or service, and a characteristic that you can rely upon when ever you purchase a product or service and encounter a company. While a logo is a representation of brand value, the logo acts as a reminder for the value you perceive you are receiving from a company. A logo then is merely an association with a brand.
If you see or hear the word “Volvo”, you might think of what the car company Volvo represents, I think of safety and automobiles. When you think of Starbucks maybe you think of a large corporate coffee company, or a place to meet people for a business meeting. With McDonalds, you might think of fast, cheap food, young children who demand food, or a convenient place to get unhealthy food.
What is your company’s brand? What is the value you give to customers? Does everyone in the company from the President to the newest employee understand what the company represents and provides to customers? Do you fulfill your company’s brand value promise every time there is an interaction with customers?
Everyone who works for your company is a brand manager. How they work, and how they act on the job represents the company. I’d suggest you focus on one or two values that you can represent throughout the company. Every decision at Volvo is influenced by the strategic decision to provide more safety to their customers. What value should influence every decision you make for your company? This question is very important because it influences how you really market your company over time.
Why is brand so important? Well brand has more to do with basic customer service and planning to make sure what will happen next when things go wrong. Rather than spending thousands of dollars on telling people how good your service, made sure your product or service is really is the best at fulfilling its brand promise.