A brand is just a conversation between customer and business to create conversion.
All the answers to your unique business lifestage questions
Many businesses believe that they need to make their brand a pulpit – telling people what they need and why you’re the one that gives it to them. But, how does real engagement happen? What happens after the hype and the affirmations? What makes a brand conversation one worth having?
The first thing is that it feels real. It’s easy to spot the guy who’s rehearsed his chat up lines or who wants to show off. People can smell authenticity. Authentic brands are not hard to spot. They tend to have strong points of view that they back up. The Nike brand, for instance, is about high performance.
Related: Branding your start-up
‘Just do it’, the slogan emblazoned on the shirts of impressive athletes and high performers. The comfort of the in-sole on your new running shoe that moulds to your feet. The in-store experience, the adverts, the running clubs and apps. The brand screams authenticity because they invest in the right message with the right spokespeople and follow a clear line of communication.
It’s not over your head
It’s frustrating when you’re talking to someone who’s passionate and interesting, but they can't communicate properly. We get so many messages thrown at us, every day, it’s hard to keep up, so the messages need to be clear and engaging for us to be willing to respond.
The best brands position themselves in the mind of the customer by talking in terms they understand and making the gap of understanding as short as possible It’s just easier to wrap your head around. This communication can harness the capabilities of numerous channels – you can communicate through competitions, through differentiation or through price, among other ways.
It is always grounded
It’s stimulating when people can take one conversation and fork it into interesting directions. That said, if you do it too much, it becomes confusing. Do it intelligently, and the potential of the conversation transforms.
Related: The economics of branding
A good brand can carry its messaging across different groups and products. Apple is probably the leader when it comes to this kind of authenticity. Internally, externally and in all its communications/products it’s always about design, innovation and simplicity in functionality. It uses these principles to drive new product lines and we’ve come to believe them when they say things.
To achieve authenticity, a brand requires a concise sense of self and, even more importantly, the ability to communicate it clearly. A million brainstorms and white boards and post-its will be needed. There will be tears and blisters and blood, but at the end you’ll end up with a beautiful brand that will communicate your authentic voice to the right audiences.