How To Create A Brand
I haven’t been writing here for quite a while, so here’s something I want to talk about. This time I don’t want to talk about the brand or whatever I’m doing for it. I just want to share what I know about starting a brand. Actually, I’m no expert on this topic, so just treat this as an opinion and my personal view on creating one, juxtaposed to the illustration above and the article with it. You can check out the article here.
First, what is a brand? A brand is more than just a name for a product or a business. It is the face, the identity and the public understanding of that particular product or business. If a person is a brand (which in some point, you can always call yourself a brand), the things that attract and make people love him are the actual essences of a brand. In short, his character and physical appearance. With physical appearance, that’s more on the design side, so for this post let us focus on the character of a brand.
Contrary to the illustration above, I am going to try to talk about “How to Create a Brand”. (I can say “a great/good brand”, but I really haven’t created any great brands yet, so.. yeah.) So of course, first things first, do not go into the “me-too crap”, “useless crud”, “mindless waste” and “SHIT”. That’s kind of self-explanatory. Let me go through each circle and try to explain it and give a few tips.
“Using cliches to convey your brand’s value and distinction”
By cliche, this does not apply just for the tag line of a brand. It generally means that your brand’s mission and vision should really mean something, and most of all it should be different. Let’s say there is a clothing brand that is created under the idea of superb quality. The brand banks on that sole statement. How many other brands.. better, bigger brands, do you think claimed that they have superb quality already? Maybe, your brand’s products really have great quality, but do you think your message will be as effective? Humans, naturally see anything that is repeated with less importance and then they give less attention to it. Compared to something that is new, your cliche brand is definitely no match. Blame curiosity. So as much as possible, if you are about to create a brand, as cliche as this may sound, think outside the box.. or inside, if ever there’s a part of the box that hasn’t been explored yet. Differentiate your brand to everything, or at least in your brand’s industry.
“Copying what other brands are doing to guide what your brand should be doing”
I’m somehow guilty about this. I do check out other brands, most of all, the brands I look up to, to find something interesting and working, to apply to my own brand. However, I make it a point that it is something consistent with the brand, at least a little different and will be done for the long term. There is nothing wrong with taking inspiration and creating new ideas through other ideas. It only becomes wrong when you completely copy it, or take your brand to stir it away to its essence because this certain idea from another brand is getting a lot of attention. Always keep your brand’s essence/character in place. Be as consistent as possible. Create new ideas from inspiration from others, but never let it change your brand. This is where consumers become confused. (even if it won’t naturally show, but in their mind your brand will be fucked up.) Let’s take Betadine for example, (sorry, it’s the only brand I can think of that’s perfect for this right now) you know it is for bruises, it cures them. It has been like that for most of your life. But one day they launch a Betadine Feminine Wash. How will you respond to that? Will you suddenly say, if you’re a girl, this will definitely work because it cures bruises. By the way, who said those are bruises? In my opinion, this is the most stupid brand extension ever. When a brand is settled in a person’s mind as this one thing or concept, it will be very hard to change, if not impossible.
“What your mother/spouse/best friend/dog thinks your brand should be doing”
I think a lot fall in this hole. This does not mean you should not listen to them, but remember that they are not the ones who are running the brand, and most of the time, they are not your market. If your market is a 18-24 aged fashionable man, why will you listen to your mom? or even your best friend who wears a statement t-shirt with baggy pants every day of the week? I understand that they are important and they influence you in a lot of ways, but please not your brand. The brand can follow what you like, but never someone who is not your brand’s target market. Listen to them in terms of life lessons and probably about saving up, but never how your brand should be done.
According to the article where I stole this illustration, a great brand should “stand for something as well being opposed something else”. I believe this completely. The stand for something is a no-brainer. A brand that does not stand for something is very generic, and in reality generics have no weight in a consumer’s mind. While for the opposing something, this is the first time I encountered that thought. It is actually very true though. To provoke an action or reaction, a brand should clearly point out either what to do or what not to do. Imagine the brands that actually make you do or believe things, probably you won’t notice it, but those brands are the ones that really stick and you stay loyal to.
I’ll just end with this. For my own brand I haven’t even done it in the best way I can yet. So if you’re starting a brand, just think it through very very hard. Make your brand as different as possible. At least by doing that, you start with your initial consumers having no idea what your brand is and stands for. And from there all you can do is go up and go deeper to make your brand’s relationship with them better. This is probably a lot to take in while starting, but I’m telling you, it is very vital. I hope this helped, even in the littlest way.