branding: what’s the big deal
“It’s a new brand world.” Scott Bedbury
Everyone is talking about branding nowadays. From America to Asia, from businessmen to teenagers, from the government to the man on the street, everybody has become aware of the concept of ‘the brand’. But beyond the very considerable hype, not many people truly understand what branding means, how brands work, nor how brands actually build financial value.
Most are aware that branding has to do with the name, the packaging and the promotion of consumer products like cars, clothes, drinks, or mobile phones. They might also be aware that companies, countries, football teams or even personalities can be branded, as well. Think of Steve Jobs. He is no longer with us, but his brand DNA lives on in Apple and all its products. Or Richard Branson, whose occasional spectacular failures somehow seem to enhance his brand. Then there’s David Beckham, an averagely talented footballer whose personality brand is so strong it is likely to outlast his football career. As the former boss of United Biscuits, Sir Hector Laing once put it:
“Buildings age and become dilapidated.
Machines wear out.
But what live on are the brands.”
Indeed, what we are all coming to realize is that in an increasingly global economy flooded with competitive choices, how you brand your product or service is perhaps the only way to differentiate it from the rest of the pack, the only way to create and communicate real value.
But to get back to basics, what exactly is a brand, how does branding work and why exactly is it so important anyway?
If you want to find out, read the following blog post, ‘What exactly is a brand?’.