Brands with meaning
Interact with people, talk to them about your brand and see how the brand makes them feel. How does the brand make them feel – good or bad, inspired or annoyed? Without these sorts of answers, you will never know where you stand.
Lots of clients ask me if we do our research ourselves or we let a research agency do that job. My answer is always the same – we do it ourselves because we want to hear what people have to say. If you are not in touch with your consumers, your brand will not live in their hearts and minds, but somewhere out there. There won’t be a connection.
A connection is made when the brand really has something to offer to the consumer and makes them feel special. If the consumer doesn’t feel special when buying the brand, the brand becomes just another commodity they can live without.
For a brand to be emotional, the creator of the brand has to be a good storyteller. The brand storytellers create stories that that they would like to take part in. But really good brand storytellers look into the psyche of the people they would like to target.
Even though we are all unique as individuals, we all obviously have common characteristics. We love the color purple (and all that it stands for), we cry when listening to “Nothing Compares to You” by Sinead O’Connor, we love the smell of freshly mown grass, we don’t like pushy people, we smile when we see kids smiling, we love the touch of silk, we crave ice-cream, we feel safe in our mothers’ arms, we don’t like boundaries. I am sure that when you read this, you made mental ticks yes/no to each statement. You might have made the same mental ticks as other people who read this, so you do have a lot in common with the other people. Brand storyteller’s task is to know which traits are important for the brand. The brand storyteller creates a brand that will resonate with the people who have specific traits in common with each other.
Therefore by combining the brand’s innate traits with the consumers’ traits – a believable, strong and relevant brand is built. Such a brand is trusted and people feel passionate about it, as it stands for something important.
But brands shouldn’t stop here they should not just stand for something important, but do something important. The brands and the corporations that stand behind them need to do good, help out when help is needed, inspire when inspiration is needed, create a well-meaning aura around them, otherwise the brand is meaningless.