Monday, 26 May 2008

You Brand, you…

If you were a brand, how would you like people to describe you? In fact, how would you describe yourself?

When we consider the brands that we enjoy buying and using, it’s our right brain that’s engaged in the process. The right side of the brain is ruled by feelings and imagination, it’s where our emotions reside. The left side of the brain relies on logic, facts and caution. When we think or talk about a product we like, one that has strong brand recognition, we usually describe it in these terms: “My favourite brand of paper towels is…” or, “I love the XXX brand of skin care products”. What underpins our brand loyalty is almost always emotional – what we feel about the brand. (Ask yourself what you’d like people to feel about you.)

We all love brands that promise to improve our lives, or make us feel better. Remember, “Persil washes whiter” and “Guinness is good for you.” Equally, brands that touch us in some way, earn our loyalty. Perhaps you’ve remained faithful to a brand since childhood. That brand is likely to hold memories of a time you remember fondly. Maybe you’ve come to rely on a particular brand because you trust it and it makes you feel safe and secure. Take a can of Heinz baked beans. When you look at the distinctively shaped black label on the blue can, (red and white logo in the USA) you can almost see and smell the beans. You know what to expect, it’s both familiar and emotionally satisfying. In fact, you might say that “It does exactly what it says on the tin”. (For my American friends and relatives, that saying is equivalent to walking the talk; ‘tin’ is interchangeable for “can” in the UK.)

Here, you might want to ask yourself if you do exactly what it says on the tin. Or indeed, does your ‘tin’ say what you do? And if it does, is the description accurate? One of the ways you can begin to answer these questions is by asking yourself this: if you were a product, what might that product be? One of my corporate female clients told me if she were a product, she’d be a bottle of Louis Roederer Crystal champagne. She explained why – it’s reassuringly expensive, of excellent quality, reliable, bubbly, always in style and contained in a shapely bottle. If you knew this woman, you’d see how closely she comes to those descriptions. Oh, about the ‘expensive’ bit, she commands a deservedly extremely high salary.

In order for you to establish what you’d like your tin to say about you, first, you’ll need to find out what’s inside the tin. Then your ‘label’, that which represents you, the brand, can be tailored to mirror the contents. It’s a kind of an inside-outside project: is what’s going on inside, aligned with what’s going on outside? When you’ve established a congruent match, as a brand, you’ll become easily recognisable, and if you get lucky, you’ll become highly desirable!

1 comment:

Mez said...

How Interesting a great view on personal brands. In my experience successful brands clearly define what it is they stand for and rarely become too diverse. By that I mean continually reinvent themselves, or try become something they are not. We are who we are and rightly should be proud authenticity is the way to success and fullfillment.