What makes your business stand out?

Have you ever thought about what distinguish you and your competitors? Maybe you have done a competitor research and looked up for the differences in price, features, revenue model and so on and put together all this stuff that you reputed you are doing better and set is as the core value of your business.

Are you sure it will guarantee you to succeed over your competitors?

I want to talk about an aspect that is undervalued by many: BRAND.

What is, in your opinion, a brand?

Think about it for a moment.

I guess the first image that appeared in your mind was this.

Am I right?

You are not completely wrong, neither right. As you can imagine a logo has got only a margin function in the definition of the brand.

Let’s see what there is behind.

1- Naming

Obviously, the name is important. It is one of the first things that connects to what you do and what you are.

Do you know why Apple has got this name?

There are some legends about Newton’s apple that fall down from a tree or the “bite” on the Apple’s logo. This is a romantic way for describing the name; the reality is that in 1976 when Apple was founded, internet wasn’t so spreaded and if you needed to call someone or find a company, with an high probability, you were using a phonebook and ,guess what, it was sorted alphabetically. This was absolutely ingenious! You open the phonebook and the first you see is Apple. And this was before Google search.

Think about the name. It’s not only a merely “sounds good”!

2-Symbol

Look at the images, what do you see?

In the beginning the “mustache” symbol was together with Nike name. This is a smart strategy, and maybe used by others too. They wanted people to get used with the association name+logo.Then they grew as company and nowadays if you look at only the “mustache” you are able to say they are Nike.

3-Scent

It seems strange right?

Have you ever walked inside Abercrombie & Fitch ? What was the first impression? They have got this distinctive smell that gives off what the company describes as a “lifestyle…packed with confidence and a bold, masculine attitude.”

You know immediately where you are and what they do. Seems legit , right?

4- Music

I grew up watching to Tom and Jerry cartoons. Now even if I’m not watching it anymore, I know when I hear the roar that their cartoons are in TV.

As you can see a brand is not only a visual appearence but involves all our senses. This is a 360° experience, in fact they are not trying to sell us a product but to create an Experience.

They sell promises.

Are you sure you would buy a Macbook only because is cool? No, you woldn’t. And do you know why ? Because we don’t give a damn how the product is, there are almost thousands outside that do the same things . We buy the “WHY”.

Imagine if Elon Musk would sell cars only for the sake of selling.

“Hey you know that you can read while you drive and watching to your favourite film too? You don’t need fuel because is an electric car, it’s confortable and has got an endearing design.”

Maybe he would sell some cars. Let’s analyze the vision and how they put oneself in front of the customers.

Tesla’s vision statement is “to create the most compelling car company of the 21st century by driving the world’s transition to electric vehicles.” This vision emphasizes the company’s focus on renewable energy and where the mankind should be in the future.

They are not saying to buy their cars, it is only a tool to achieve that goal.

So you areinvolved and you want to be a part of this revolution, buying their cars you are inside it.

Well structured brand vs bad one

We saw how a good branding management could bring to success.

As the name says this is the “Golden circle” and is used to understand what your company/startup actually is.

Seeing this circle from a different perspective is the key to bring your company ahead.

Outside in

All the common businesses are made in this way. This is an old way to communicate what your business is about. “I sell e-cigaretes on an e-commerce because I want people to stop smoking, they will be more healthier.

The way you start the communication influences a lot how your product is perceived.

Inside out

This is the kind of communication that big brands are doing.

They start with the “Why”, they want to imply the customer, to be part of it.

We believe that we are on the face of the earth to make great products and that’s not changing.
We are constantly focusing on innovating.
We believe in the simple not the complex.
We believe that we need to own and control the primary technologies behind the products that we make, and participate only in markets where we can make a significant contribution.
We believe in saying no to thousands of projects, so that we can really focus on the few that are truly important and meaningful to us.
We believe in deep collaboration and cross-pollination of our groups, which allow us to innovate in a way that others cannot.
And frankly, we don’t settle for anything less than excellence in every group in the company, and we have the self-honesty to admit when we’re wrong and the courage to change.
And I think regardless of who is in what job those values are so embedded in this company that Apple will do extremely well.”

This is Apple’s vision, quite long, maybe one of the longest.

Look at the keywords: innovation,collaboration,excellence, partecipate; these are the values that Apple shares and wants us to identify into these values.

Only then they explain the how and what.

To summarize with one sentence:

“Brand is what others say about you”

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I’m happy to divulgate what I know and be helpful, I’m always trying to improve myself and share value to others.

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