“Design is the silent ambassador of your brand.” – Paul Rand
At Big Red Jelly, we believe that a brand is the perception your ideal customers have of your business, and that design is what is silently influencing their perceptions. The following quote can also be used to support this idea: “You only notice design when it’s bad, and never notice it when it’s good”. This can be especially applicable when you land on a bad website and instantly comment on its poor design, disregarding the effective, well-designed parts of the site. Good design should almost always be unrecognizable. Good design is a silent ambassador.
“Your brand is a story unfolding across all customer touch points.” – Jonah Sachs
Everything you do as a business owner or company is going to influence the perception of your ideal customers. In all forms of customer service and communication, from how you answer the phone to how you respond to an email, everything is going to either have a positive or negative impact on the perception of your business.
“Products are made in a factory, but brands are created in the mind.” – Walter Landor
The definition of a brand is the perception that the ideal customer has of your business. Products are made in the factory, but your brand exists in the minds of your ideal customers. This can be everything from your visual identity to your messaging, the kind of language you use, your customer service, your design, and everything in between. The personal story and purpose of your brand can also not be manufactured in a factory. This is something that only you and your company can create and market to potential target audiences.
“Every interaction, in any form, is branding.” – Seth Godin
The quote exemplifies what we are trying to teach, share, and promote here at Big Red Jelly. Some small and mid-sized business owners think that branding is limited to just your logo, the colors you use, your marketing design, and the typography you use. While these are important elements of branding, they are just the beginning pieces of the bigger goal of establishing yourself and your business as brands. Every interaction made by your employees or your leadership with your audience is branding. How can you expect your customers to love your brand if your employees don’t love it? Every interaction, in any form, is branding. Being aware of this principle opens up a new view of what a brand is and how your interactions may be affecting it.
“Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” – Jeff Bezos
You don’t get to tell your customers what your brand is. It’s ultimately what your customers are telling each other about your business. What would they say about your business if you weren’t in the room? What do they say about you, the business owner, if you weren’t in the room? Think about your personal brand and how important that is. This principle can be applied to your personal brand, your leadership, and your company brand. What are your customers telling each other about your business? Do they refer their friends or family to your business? What do they say about you? One way to find out this information is by looking at your reviews and testimonials. Learning from both the positive and negative reviews is crucial to your company’s success and branding.
“A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn a reputation by trying to do hard things well.” – Jeff Bezos
Taking customer service seriously and going above and beyond can be a difficult effort when building your business. Being particular and thorough in your product management and creation is also a difficult effort. However, if you succeed in great customer service and create great products, you will earn a reputation. You will earn a reputation of being a strong brand.
“A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer, it is what consumers tell each other it is.” – Scott Cook
This is very closely related to the quote that we described above: “your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room”. You can’t force your brand perception on others. One of the best indications that you have a strong brand is that your previous customers or clients refer more business to you. There’s no greater sign of a strong brand than your consumers or your customers referring their close family, friends, colleagues, networks, partners to your business. This is a strong indicator of successful branding and client relations.
“When you look at a strong brand, you see a promise.” – Jim Mullen
The difference between an average brand and a strong brand is a clear vision and promise to the customer. It’s a result or product that the customer expects, no matter what the situation. If your business is able to honor the customer’s expectations, then you are a dependable brand.
“The way a company brands itself is everything – it will ultimately decide whether your business survives.” – Sir Richard Branson
In a rocky economy and an oversaturated, competitive industry, how do you establish and differentiate yourself? If you’ve been honoring your brand promise, been consistent, have a clear vision and purpose, and have a positive influence, then you are more likely to succeed despite the tough times that may come. As seen in past recessions, strong brands always come out on the other side.
“Within every brand is a product, but not every product is a brand.” – David Ogilvy, Founder of Ogilvy & Mather
Like in the quote mentioned above, it’s easy to have products, pricing strategies, marketing, and advertising. However, the difference between a good product and a great product is the brand. For example, Apple, the brand, has done a lot of work for the product itself, but they have also put in the work to establish their brand. Ask yourself, are you a single commodity or product or are you a brand?
“The art of marketing is the art of brand building. If you are not a brand, you are a commodity.” – Philip Kotler, Marketing professor and author
If you needed to get gas, what gas station would you choose? This is usually determined by the following two things: the one that is cheaper and the one that is closest. That is the definition of a commodity. If your customers chose your business because it’s cheap or convenient, then you’re probably more in the commodity range. Tell you customers that you don’t just sell things and widgets, tell them that you sell an experience. You are a brand. A business can reach that brand status by offering a suite of services or products.
“Brand is just a perception, and perception will match reality over time.” – Elon Musk
A brand is really just what your customers think about your business, and eventually what they think about your business will become reality. Eventually, the perceptions of your customers will determine the future of your business. From the very beginning, you have to start from the ground up to build a strong brand. We believe here at Big Red Jelly that a strong brand starts with “brand DNA” . This is your purpose, and this comes from the leadership and founders—it’s who you are. The brand DNA is what the founders of a company set in motion to fulfill the original vision of the company. Next, we establish the “brand core,” which is the core values. This is going to be your mission, your vision, and your message. After these two pillars, there’s the visual identity, brand assets, customer service, and more. Here at Big Red Jelly, developing world-class branding is what we help small, medium, and large-sized companies do. We can help bring your company to the next level.
Written by Josh Webber