To build a brand or make sales, should you choose?
The reality in which most business leaders and marketers find themselves: pressure from turnover or market share, does not encourage them to lock themselves away for days to reflect on the mission, values and even less on the personality of the brand for which they are responsible.
What matters is short-term sales!
Even if it means constantly changing to try to please everyone. The risk is that the personality and identity of the brand dilute until they become non-existent, transparent…
Even if it means boosting the ultra-short term with promotions… And what happens in this case: for the “lucky ones”, a growth in short-term sales. However, promotion has all the characteristics of drug addiction: the more you “consume” it, the less it gives the expected results, and the more you must increase the ” dose “… in a vicious circle that has an impact on the brand’s profitability. In fact, it encourages buyers to wait for the next promotion to make a purchase, not to mention the potential price war between competitors.
In either case, the brand may be devalued until there is only one interchangeable product or service left.
But firstly, “making sales” is clear, but building a brand is more abstract.
Think about the strong brands you know, what do they have in common when you try to describe them?
- They are not only products or services, but you spontaneously attach values, personality elements, sometimes that of the founder, etc.
- You can quote elements of their visual identity: logo, colours, emblem, as well as their slogan etc.
- Points 1. and 2. seem not to have changed drastically over time.
In fact, a brand is above all an identity, coherent and consistent elements of recognition over time: values, personality, brand signature, visual/sound elements, etc. It is therefore no coincidence that behind many strong brands there is a founder / manager present over time, whose assertive character is consistently reflected in everything his brand does and says.
All this is very nice, but what’s the point of so much effort, especially when you get a brand whose past looks more like a patchwork than a strong dynasty… Let’s go back to the basics, when you make a purchase, for what basic reason do you do it?
For factual and rational characteristics, including the price of the product or service? False: only by default.
For brand identity? Bingo! Our brain functions in such a way that the part that controls our behaviour and decision-making processes is sensitive to the “why”: beliefs, mission, values… and not to factual and rational information, hence the famous “post-rationalisation” post-shopping which does not only concern women!
And yet, building and developing a brand identity is too often considered abstract, ungrateful, unsexy – so much so that it is often botched or even completely overlooked.
So, should you choose to build a brand or make sales?
My cry from the heart: no longer be managers of your brand: become brand builders! And to help you do so, here are the 3 commandments of the Brand Builder:
- Be curious about your brand and its existing and potential customers: love them, seek to understand them.
- Dedicate yourself to the strategic identity of your brand: its mission, its values, its personality, as well as its visual, sound and textual recognition elements (the famous brand assets or brand cues)
- Become the guardian of the coherence between the brand’s positioning and all its visible actions: communication material (including packaging), products, services, innovations, etc. At each decision, ask yourself if you are growing this brand that has been entrusted to you or if you are just exploiting it in the short term.