No matter the type or size of business, developing a strong brand is just good business strategy.
Picture this: you’re planning 2 weeks off in an exotic vacation paradise. You check out the glossy brochures, the rooms look fabulous, your mouth drips from the pictures of the glorious buffet spread, and look, there are just so many activities you can do. Great, book it.
You arrive at your vacation destination and things just fall apart: no one picks you up from the airport, your room is musty and smelly, and the food, well lets just say that McDonalds could have supplied a better 4 course meal. You approach the manager to discuss your concerns and the response is just a shoulder shrug and an extra ticket for a drink at happy hour that only lasts for 30 minutes.
Of course, this scenario is a bit extreme, but it helps visualize a point. So what is brand? Despite what many may believe, brand isn’t about your logo, tagline, fancy advertising or brochures. Instead, a strong brand deals with the essence of an organization, in practical terms it integrates multiple parts of an organization from corporate philosophy and ideal, architecture and market positioning, customer interaction and employee communication expressed through integrated communication strategies.
Brand focuses on three major components: Vision, Culture and Image. Consistently integrating all three throughout all levels of an organization helps drive customer relationships to grow and prosper. Strong brands can drive an increase in sales. The company is better positioned to attract and retain the best employees. Vendors can see value in your brand and look to establish partnerships with your business. All contribute to increasing your brand equity as a valuable commodity.
And so, here is the best definition I have seen from a leading brand agency across the pond to describe brand:
Brand is the Real Things that you do, that people want to pay money for.