What’s a Brand?
When you think of the perfect brand, what do you think of? Maybe Apple comes to mind, perhaps Marriott, Starbucks, something like that?
The more connections you have with a brand name the quicker it comes to mind. What do I mean by connections? It’s hard to talk about how consumers respond to brands without talking about our brains.
Our Brains Are Awesome
Aside from being a few pounds of fatty tissue that controls our lives, our brains are always changing and adapting, and being awesome.
Different parts of our brain do different tasks. Some parts will store memories, others will make sure that your heart keeps beating, and you keep breathing. And the different parts of our brain communicate with each other. Without getting too technical there are actual changes in our brain when these different parts communicate with each other. The more connections we make to certain things, like memories, the easier it is for us to recall those memories.
Now let’s tie that back to a brand image.
Back to Brands
Great brands influence as many parts of the brain as they can in order to have a strong connection throughout the brain and be easily recalled.
For example, when I say “McIntosh,” you likely think of… Apple’s flagship computer, better known as the Mac. But there is a slight chance you thought of the apple, the actual McIntosh, from which the computer gets its name. (It’s not really a fair example when I used Apple earlier in the post; but it shows just how well this concept works.)
So why is this important for a brand?
Now Let’s Talk Humans
Humans are a natural brand.
Think of your spouse, or your boy friend/girlfriend. What do they sound like? Not just their voice, but how do they talk? How eloquent are they? How do they look? Do they do their hair in the morning? Do they always wear t-shirts, or button-ups, etc? How do they smell?
Do you see where I am going with this?
We naturally build up a brand about ourselves. This brand might be as mismanaged as a middle-tier companies Twitter profile, but it’s a very inclusive brand; down to how we walk and interact with people we like and dislike.
Apply this to a Company
Can you imagine what kind of recall a company’s brand would have if they orchestrated everything about the customer’s experience from the moment the customer walked into the store? Now, movie theatres pop popcorn as you are going into your movie so you smell their brand. Apple let’s you see and feel their beautifully crafted products as soon as you enter their realm. Ray Ban let’s you feel part of the party when you interact with their ads, but who is doing all of these?
What Do You Think
When you think of the perfect brand, what do you think of? Leave your answer in the comments below.
I’ve ordered Ogilvy on Advertising which should be delivered soon (I’m so excited!). Do you have any suggestions for other good consumer behavior books I can read?