A brand is the gut feeling you have when you think about a product or service. It’s not the product itself. Thus, a great product or service must come before a great brand. A magnificent identity and an elegant website won’t save the day when someone buys from you and is disappointed.
We are often asked to make people a brand. We can’t. All we can do is express your brand through audio, visual and environments. These expressions can influence someone to try it or recommend it, or teach someone how to use it, or change the way it’s perceived. But we can’t control someone’s gut. You have to do that.
When I think of the omnipresent word “branding” – I think of how Apple would design a gas station – and I get a little vision of it in my head. That’s a brand. When it can transcend it’s normal context and make sense, I can fill in the blanks with my own emotional response. You might have read “If Disney Ran Your Hospital” and even if you didn’t, you probably have an idea of what would change if they did.
You want a great brand? Make your product or service a DELIGHTFUL experience. Then let your customers tell their friends. Think of the best movies you’ve ever seen, it wasn’t about the actors or the special effects or the budget – it was about the story. The story for your organization is its SOUL. Is your soul a movie I would go see?