A few weeks ago, I went to an NGEN seminar on “How Brand Works” by Richard Suareman, AKA the brand guy. I have to say that it would have to be one of the most entertaining and educational seminars I have ever attended; so I wanted to share with you all a small idea around this topic and help explain why companies have come about their current brand strategy/image.
Richard’s definition of brand style “is more about gut feeling rather than thinking and analysing what it should be.” Most organisations and companies tend to overthink and overanalyse their branding based on data and numbers. As a result, they restrict and stop the flexibility and creativity that brands can offer. A really good example is the new Air New Zealand ad – Airline Safety. Traditional airline safety instruction videos, as we all know, are boring, repetitive and always really serious. Let’s be honest, it’s to the point that no one really takes notice of them, but that’s about to change. In partnership with the All Blacks rugby team, Air New Zealand have recreated what airline safety instruction videos should be; fun, engaging and informative content that entertains and capture people’s attention.
The 3 Fundamentals Of Branding
Brands are more heart than head
Brands make a stand
Brands are created by people
1. Brands are more heart than head
As we have discussed above, the perception of what people think about a brand does not have to be the reality. As long as it comes from the heart, people can and will associate with the brand no matter what data and numbers in a spreadsheet can prove. However don’t be mistaken, brands HAVE to represent the actions and responsibilities that they set out to do, if not, it’s meaningless. What something means is as important as what it does.
Here are some examples of what I mean:
The comedic concept of the emotional representation between women and men is shown in this ad.
Human element representation of the brand at the end of the ad.
2. Brands make a stand
(Caution: there will be a risk, there will be haters!!)
We have to know the “one thing’ in the brand that stands out from the rest. We don’t want to be popular, brands should be known to stand for something. We’ve all heard this quote before, “those who stand for nothing fall for anything”. For example, the Coca Cola Happiness Machine; the essence and what the Coca cola brand stands for is all about “happiness in a bottle”. From this specific ad, we can then break it down into the different personalities/ attributes that the brand represents. As a result, each of the personalities/ attributes in the below brainstorming table can become a potential campaign.
3. Brands are created by people
This point ties back to all the things we have discussed about brands and the purpose of brand. As simple as it is, brands are created by and for the people, most specifically by the media and for the consumer. When defining brands, we can use Archetype images. They are words or phrases that people can quickly understand and visualise. Archetype is the modern psychological theory behind the personalities/attributes or even benefits of the brand. For example, Coca Cola – Innocent, Regular guy, Dove – Lover, Lynx – Outlaw/Hero/Lover, Lego – Creator, Pedigree – Caregiver/Lover/Hero, Go Pro – Explorer. When choosing an Archetype image for your brand, don’t choose just one type, this does not define who you are as a brand. This is what determines the difference between your brand and other brands.
Now that you have a better understanding of brands, my only advice is go out there and let your heart do the talking, explore different concept and take some risk. No matter what you do, don’t be afraid of what people might say and ultimately stand for what you believe in and feel your brand represents.