Learn why your customers’ feelings affect your brand and business growth.

By: Alex Valderrama, Cranium Agency

Imagine sorting through the long aisles at your favorite sporting goods store for a great pair of running shoes, searching for a great place to eat on your phone, looking through hundreds of shirts for your new wardrobe at your favorite store. These are just a few examples of many brand choices we make every day. What motivated you to choose one brand over the other?

The answer is simple. We make brand choices based on our “feelings.”

While the answer might be simple, the strategic work in creating or refining an existing brand can sometimes be difficult. The concept of a brand is complicated to comprehend for most people. This is because of the inherent misunderstanding of what a “brand” is. Let’s begin with this simple premise. A brand is not tangible. You can’t hold it in your hand. You can’t see it across the street or touch it. Therefore, it is difficult for most marketing, advertising, and yes some branding professionals, to create and define a brand.

So, what exactly is a brand? A brand is a feeling that you have about a particular product, service, or in the case of a person, a personal brand.

Using the same analogy mentioned in the earlier example, think about your favorite running shoe, car, band or watch. You most likely have strong feelings about your favorite brands and use them regularly, advocate for them, defend them and tell people how great they are. Your strong feelings are what defines the brand. They are what connect you to the brand and what creates a preference for your favorite brand. This analogy is true about brands you dislike as well.

“Our brand choices are influenced by our feelings.”

~Alex Valderrama

The best companies understand this concept and know how to connect you with their brand. These companies do a great job setting up expectations, delivering on their promise and exemplifying a personal brand experience that is unique and memorable.

Your customers’ feelings about your brand are defined by their experiences. Your customers have many options and their feelings about your brand directly affect their decision on which brand they choose to go with.

Branding by definition is a process used to create, define or maintain a brand by strategic means. Branding is not static. It is an ongoing endeavor. The goal of branding should be to create awareness, provide true expectations through various touch points (interactions) and connect with your customers on a personal level.

Take a logo for example. A logo is simply a symbolic reference that serves as a consistent reminder of what your customer should expect from the brand.

Besides a logo, all touch points and interactions are merely expressions of the brand. The overall identity, the advertising, social media interactions, the actual product or service and many more touch points are merely a reflection of the brand.

Now follow me on this. If you’ve had a bad experience with a brand, that experience will be your perception. Or if you’ve had a good experience with a brand, that will also help shape your overall perception of that brand. Keep in mind, Every touch point you have with a brand helps shape your feelings about that brand.

Great brands create great experiences.

The brands that take time to exemplify the customer experience from every touch point are usually the brand people fall in love with. That is why some people are so passionate about their choices of a brand; cereal, actor, favorite band, etc. And they become brand evangelists.

So, how do you create that feeling?

The biggest challenge for most companies is to understand what purpose their brand serves and how it impacts their customers. In addition, the main focus should be on the experience someone has with your brand, from every touch point.

Advertising and marketing are the tactics of branding and are meant to create awareness, provide enough information about what to expect and finally act as a supporting reminder on how great your brand is. Advertising and marketing become a part of the brand expression and only play a small part in relationship to the whole brand experience.

Remember, people will make up their own minds about how they feel about your brand.

Also, you can’t tell your customer how to feel about your brand. You have to show them through their experience with your brand. Through branding, you can shape the expectations of the brand and help define the direction of what someone might expect from their experience with your brand. And once they try your product or service, and their experience is positive, you might just have a brand evangelist. But remember. People will eventually make up their own minds about their feelings in regards to your brand.

Branding should begin with the very onset of a new brand. Let’s say, for instance, you have created a new company. The first stage should be to gather insight into your brand. This first stage is important because it helps to lay down the groundwork on how you present your brand in the most clear and honest way.

Brand building is an ongoing process. I think companies are just starting to understand that. You cannot create a brand strategy, execute it at the beginning and then just forget about it. For instance, when we initially engage with new clients, we often begin with these simple questions: What are your customers like? What do they like about your product? What don’t they like about your product? These among others are basic questions that are fundamental in understanding the current perception (your customer’s feelings) about your brand.

Finally, it is important to put a strong brand strategy in place. This helps you focus on relative tactics with regard to your customers and how they feel about your brand. It also helps lead your business, advertising, marketing, product and service development and other categorically important divisions of your business to a successful brand that has purpose and impacts your customers’ lives.

Want to know more?

Call Alex Valderrama for an initial complimentary meeting and discover how your business can thrive.

p: 303-952-9332 or email Alex Valderrama at alex@craniumagency.com.