A few decades ago, I was a little bored one day and decided to research Trump University. For $89.95US, Donald was going to teach me all about branding. Trump University promised that they would demystify branding for me. The course arrived in my mailbox about 2 weeks after I placed the order. There were 4 course CD’s. Once I started the first one, I couldn’t stop. Hours passed by before I realised I was onto my 4th CD! I was hooked. Why hadn’t anyone explained it this way before? Low and behold, Donald Trump had taught me one of the most valuable pieces of information my career would ever see.
Let me explain…
A brand is how a business makes you feel. It’s the experience you have as a customer when interacting with the business. This experience can intimidate or be intimate. It can make you feel welcome or unworthy. It can be formal or informal… and so on. Basically, a brand has power over your emotions. Through the brand, a business is targeting a certain demographic and letting them know that they are compatible. The brand of a business is the most powerful tool that any business can apply.
Over the last 20 years we have worked with many businesses. Some truly understand their brand… others, not so much! A brand goes beyond a name. From designing a logo to the final transactional activity that may take place between a business and customer, the brand is the driving force. If we humanise a business, the brand will grow and develop characteristics, values and emotions just like a person.
Every business has a personality and the time taken to define the personality is where business values develop. The values guide decision making and protect the integrity of the brand. People joining the business need to be inducted into the values and helped to understand their importance. While each person working within the business will be different, the strength of the brand and the associated values reduces risk of business integrity being tarnished.
With all that being said, when you meet us for the first time, we will ask you to explain what you believe customers feel when they meet an employee from your company for the first time. Is this how you want your customer to feel? If your answers aren’t aligned, we can tell you now, you business is operating with brand confusion. This is incredibly risky. The brand of your business is your first point of consistency. It is the first guarantee to your customer that what you see is what you get. When we talk about getting it right first time, this is the part you need to get right first time! Branding is also a psychological game. Words are powerful, and ensuring you are appropriately utilising their strength is half the battle. Understanding the psychology of marketing is another area which we are proficient in and will work with to help develop business branding.
It is important to understand that not everyone will love your brand. You cannot please everyone – this is a fact. Consider Donald Trump: people either love him or hate him. There is no in-between. His brand is so powerful that indifference does not come into the equation. Powerful branding achieves a level of emotion in everyone. Just like Trump, when defining the brand for a customer, we make our decisions using data. Before commencing any branding exercise, ensure that the data used to guide your future brand is backed up by strong numbers. Data will always be your best friend.
In all honesty, Donald Trump knows how to market himself, there’s no denying that! Love or hate him, we all are very clear on his brand.