Branding is a relationship
I want to talk to you about relationships. We’ll start by asking a few things about yourself. How do you feel in your own skin? What do you think that others feel about you? Ok, I’m slightly joking but you have to know that these are questions that strongly relate to any brand out there because brands are just like real people in the mind of the consumers. That is why I want to talk about relationships.
People have strong connections with the things around them, daily used items exceed their functional purpose and become active participants in their lives. We perceive a lot of small things as purely functional so we feel like the decision to buy them was rational. This couldn’t be further from the truth as most of our buying decisions are emotional, not rational.
For example I will always take a kitchen knife to cut a potato and you might say it’s functional, but we always look for that favourite knife, this is how things get emotional, the connection becomes a relationship. Amazingly we are able to set up personal connections with the most common objects and (these connections) are based on relationships build in time. We’ll always associate positive attributes to the preferred object, or maybe even a dose of “good luck”, sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
As an entrepreneur you have to know that all your customers make these type of associations to your product or service, no matter the business. Even B2B falls into this pattern because each business relies on a human being to make decisions and, make no mistake, people need relationships.
We are used to relate to each other and we always expect reciprocity, we want to communicate all the time, even with objects and our way to manage this is to personify them. Objects have human features and sometimes a personality of their own and this is what makes us interested in brands.
Brands are more than objects, brands have stories and through good strategy are able to communicate efficiently. The secret behind building a good brand is being able to understand this characteristic of human connection and the behavioral patterns that dictate human reactions. Big brands create context around them and build stories that help their products infiltrate the life of the consumer in such a way that he will feel as it is a member of the family. Many times losing an object feels like a breakup more than a material loss, because objects that we love have human attributes attached.
This is what makes branding great, this is what makes branding wrong. Control over the way you communicate as a brand because the way you communicate is vital. Relationships don’t start without 2 participants, at least not the sane ones, so be careful when building the brand. Branding is a relationship, is continuous change of information, adaptation and back and forth effort to maintain a common denominator. Branding is not about image, it’s about value, emotion and information.
Build a brand as you build a relationship, by listening, by being sensitive and adaptive, build a brand like you would build a human being.