What’s the most popular quote in all branding industry? It’s hard to decide, but I will go with the one used really often “Brands are people.” Shortly speaking that means: just like the people brands have identities and personalities.
The idea of personal branding is based on the same statement but read backwards.
All processes start from the real human being and focus on its features, attitudes, professional competences or life goals. The clue is to to find the answers on the questions “who am I?” and “how am I like?”. This exercise give us a brief look at our present and create the foundation to the idea of what we want to be, which at the same time can become our mission with the goal to achieve. Then we should consider how can we have an influence on the world and people around us. How are we going to change the world? And in what style are we going to make it happen? This question should end up with the draft of our values.
The next step is to create our personal brand logo. This iconic face of our identity is going to communicate our presence to the public. Brand design must stick closely to our personality in order to make us easy to understand at a first glance.
Personal branding in general is about the idea of individualizing and distinction from the society in the professional or personal area in order to promote through various channels people’s exceptional competences. In that way individuals can gain higher specialist value and reliability, develop their carrier path and get self-confidence.
Superbowl commercial break is the biggest (and most expensive) ads contest in the world. The cost of 30s short commercial is about 5 000 000$! It might seem a lot, but it’s pretty much affortable for a worldwide brands budgets. Investing in that marketing action could be trully worth it, especially when the ad is being seen by more than 150 milions people. Those numbers might be impressive, but there is even bigger TV phenomenum – Eurovision, which is seen by around 400 milion people every year. Unfortunately this commercial break potential does not work so good for european-wide marketing actions.
How (not) to catch somebody’s attention and build up emotions in only 30 seconds ad?
Tones of texts read by voice over just make people tired of listening. Talking about values without developing them in the minds of TV audience is pointless. People easly get bored and turn down their attention. The times of call-to-action ads is also over. Who is the brand to make somebody do something? All of this kinds of messages are based on psychology theory which says that If TV commercial shows a person doing something or encouraging to do the same, it will have an influance on customers behavior, making them do the same. It partly works, but only when the commercial is airing frequently and has an easy to remember short message, claim or jingle. The next, almost completly, useless concept is the oldest one but still working. The idea of showing products’ unique values is still alive mostly in technology market, but it is much more effective in discount markets, where the ad associate the cheapest price for banana (unique value of product) with the store brand, making people perception for the discount much stronger.
Branding in commercial is about sharing related to brand emotions. If the concept for a brand aims to show it as enjoyable, than the ad should develop a smile on the audience faces. The colorful and optymistic rainbow of Skittless is a perfect example of the idea for sharing positive feelings and smile. In order to stangthen the brand identity the superbowl Skittless ad makes us laugh. That branding actions develop a strong association in customers minds creating a need of feeling happy everytime people have contact with the Skittless product. The theory claims that people want to recall emotions and to do so they buy brand products.
The idea of good ad concept should pay attention to two aspects: the message should be easy to understand by target audience and also should inspire those people to live a better live.
Skittles ad: https://youtu.be/f8X8Ygy5VjI
B: Why do we exist? What do we believe in? What do we care about? What are our values? What are we like? Where are we going to? Who are we? Who are we live for? What do we want to achieve? What are we going to change in the world?
MM: What does the market look like? Who are our opponents? What do we look like? What makes us different? How popular are we? Who are the people we live for? What they care about? Why they chose us? Do we satisfy them? Why they believe us? What the society think about us? Why do they think so? How can people contact us? How can we reach them? What channels do we use? What are we talk about? How do we communicate? What is our product? Is our concept innovative? What does it look like? What is our promotion? How do we reach our clients? Do we produce marketing materials? Where are our clients? How do we make money? Which income channel is the most efficient? Is the price relevant? What is our unique selling proposition? How are we going to sell our product? What are the threats? What are our advantages? Do we have long time strategy? What our organisation culture looks like? How do we care about employees? What are our processes?
In marketing there are thousand questions which need to be answered every day. The problem is, that without the core of branding process replying to the them is pointless. Every action the brand does must be developed deeply in the heart and soul of brand. It should stick to branding strategy to make the brand truly consistent.
Every brand has to divers their product line to stay fresh and take the full advantage of its brand potential. Nestle or Nivea are perfect examples of this behavior, they provide various products and prices. Apple also produces new devices from different categories always holding on to their brand attitude “making a technology accessible for human”.
Apple as a umbrella brand for their products was smart enough to name its products starting with “i” or “Mac”. That move made two lines of products – easily portable small smart devices and powerful products for home use.
But few months ago Apple introduced us to new name category – the Apple product category. Here are examples: Apple Watch, Apple Music or Apple Pencil. This new branding strategy brings not only the breath of fresh air but also is really smart. Whenever you think of those products it makes you focus all of your associations with Apple brand and values on the product or service itself.
In a few weeks the next iPhone will be released. It is going to be a 10th (sic!) generation of the most famous Apple product. Rumors says that the brand is preparing true break through. What if, with the next iPhone technology, will come new product name? If Apple truly follows branding strategy the new device will name Apple Phone – creating a spirit of whole new category. At first glance sounds little cheesy, but this maybe a future.
Which iPhone are you expecting? 7s, 8, 10? Or Apple Phone?
Designing a brand communication is the core of whole branding process and it never ends. There are situations which cant be predicted and the brand has to react on them. This could be a clever move made by our market opponent or unpredictable social or environmental incidents.
On 30th of November 2016 in Rudna (Polkowice, Poland) – the one of the largest copper mines in the world 8 people died following an quake. Polish and world media attention was aim in KGHM reaction to this incident. The brand, with the help of its spokesman and general managers was following a check-list of the process called crisis management. Some of the media channels starts to call this incident the biggest tragedy on the 55-year-old history of Rudna copper mine.
“KGHM” was in touch with the press during the whole rescue action. Contacts with media were frequent. Even when the spokesmen got a phone call on TV live interview she did not pick up and finished her statement. That was a professional behavior. Her ton of voice was calm and blue and the information she was giving to the press was concise. It’s important to show to the public the company is doing its best to save the trapped workers.
General manager on behalf of “KGHM” went to the family homes of unlucky miners to inform about the tragedy. That’s another good reaction to this hopeless situation. By showing not only a human face but also engagement the company proved how valuable are relations with miners and their families.
During the rescue action in different parts of Rudna miners were sill working on acquisition of copper. They were even more scared then usually and the brand has not done anything about it. Those people has to act during their work like nothing has happened. I know this is a business and the company is results-driven, but one of the company value is also teamwork. This kind of relation is fundamental for all the actions taken under the ground due to acquisition copper. Those people should be the most important, not a business goal since without them business success is unobtainable. The company should not only take care for the safety of its workers but also for their mental conditions. It is crucial to relax their minds and let them work in normal atmosphere. To achieve at least some of it, the company could take actions like a video message to all employees with the personal words from CEO of “KGHM” and personal letter sent to their family homes. There also could be a day off for all the people working in this area and with those miners.
Crisis management team should always be two steps forward and ready to take an action as brave and human as the KGHM rescue team were taking to save their friends underneath the ground.
What is branding? Branding is a new concept for creating a strong brand identity, till the moment people start to treat brand like a real human being. Strong brand has not only a face, but also a personality. They have mission of what they want to become and vision of how they change the world. But the most important thing is that we know why they exists. And this might makes us love or hate them. Take a moment and think about your friends, or people you know in general. Why do you like them and don’t like the others? What could be the reason you are in good relationship with them?
They suits you. You like them, because you share similar ideas for life. Naturally not every single one, and that is the point. Some of your friends are inspiring for you. Some makes you laugh and the others make you feel save. You know them. It’s easy for you to recognize their faces, behaviors, visions for the future or even their tone of voice.
Branding is like creating people’s friends. The stronger brand identity is, the more friends gets. Brand has to be like a real human being to start making relations with customers. We live among brands like among society. Look around. How many brands are in relationship with you?