Top Branding Myths & Misconceptions: Are You Guilty of Believing These?
Branding Myth #1: Brand = Branding
Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat – a brand is not a logo, a color palette, or a slogan. It is the perception of your company and its products through the eyes and experiences of your customers. Visual and creative assets are a big component of that, as they are the central symbols that help customers notice, recognize, and remember you. But they are not your BRAND. They are BRANDING.
Branding Myth #2: Branding Sells
Branding can do a lot of things for your business, but “selling” should not be one of them. Instead, your company’s branding should capture attention, communicate your brand’s key concepts and emotions, and leave a lasting impression.
Branding Myth #3: You Control Your Brand
Another thing branding should help do is unite your user community. Thanks in large part to the internet and social media, today’s brands truly belong to the tribe: the group of people linked by similar values, beliefs, and behaviors.
When a brand jibes with a tribe, its members are not only more inclined to purchase its products and services, but they are more likely to integrate the brand within their own identities. The brand’s branding might even be adopted by the tribe as a way to express this affinity. This is why today, we have the tribe of people who wear Converse sneakers and use their iPhones to listen to TED Talks on Beats headphones while making Vines on their MacBooks.
It is also why we have a tribe who not only drink Starbucks coffees, but proudly don their signature to-go cups like fashion accessories and even raise a media frenzy with their debate over the company’s latest seasonal cup design.
For better or worse, the brand belongs to the tribe. BrandING, on the other hand, is another story.
Branding Myth #4: Branding is Superficial
Before you draw a single line or write your first word, you must start the branding process by digging deep and answering two big, existential questions about your identity and the value of your business:
WHO ARE YOU?
Who you are, really? Both as a business and as people. Where are you today compared to where you started, and where are you headed in the future? This is the arc that your brand story should follow.
WHY DO PEOPLE NEED YOU?
What value do you provide, and how is it unique? This starts with understanding who your target audience is and what drives their decisions. Also consider the market you operate in and who the other key players in your industry are.
Pretty heady stuff, right?