What is a brand?
I have several years of experience working with children. A couple of years ago I started working as a babysitter and during almost a year I voluntarily worked with children theatre. I love kids, maybe even slightly more than I love brands. But when it comes to the question “what is a brand” I find a lot of similarities between the two of them (maybe that is the reason why I love both brands and children so much).
Just like a child, a brand needs attention, nutrition to grow and help with building its own unique personality.
The attention is crucial, especially in the beginning of a brand’s life. It’s essential to understand the long term brand value and the inherent potential of a brand to be able to create a sustainable brand. The nutrition that a brand needs is of course financial investment to create recognition and recall, to help the brand make a name for it. But the brand also needs to be fed with different favorable associations to grow and become a relevant, differentiated brand that has a high level of knowledge, esteem and energy. ( The financial Value Impact of Perceptual Brand Attributes, Natalie Mizik and Robert Jacobson)
When it comes to brand personalities, a well-known scale presented by Jennifer Aaker divides brand personalities into five dimensions; excitement, ruggedness, sophistication, competence and excitement.
The different dimensions naturally have different impact on attitudinal and behavior loyalty. For example perceived competence exerts a strong influence on attitudinal loyalty but only a weak influence on behavioral loyalty. So it’s up to the caretaker of the brand to decide which dimensions of the personality scale fits the brand the most. (Brand personality of retailers – an analysis of its applicability and its effect on store loyalty; Joachim Zentes, Dirk Morschett, Hanna Schramm-Klein)
”The parent ship of brand-ignoring companies is bad and we can all find examples, in our everyday life, of what happens if a person gets too little love, care taking and attention when growing up. The same might happen to an ignored or abandoned brand”
Even though the comparisons mentioned above may seem quite obvious, it still seem to be quite common that companies pay little attention or sometimes totally ignore their brands. The lack of attention can possibly be explained by the fact that the measures that are used when it comes to brands are assessed by customer mind-set, an unappealing measure for financial valuation purposes because they do not translate into money values. ( The financial Value Impact of Perceptual Brand Attributes, Natalie Mizik and Robert Jacobson).
But there are research that shows a connection between the relevance and energy of a brand and its financial value. Building a relevant and energetic brand will result in positive effects on stock return. (The financial value impact of perceptual brand attributes, Natalie Mizik , Robert Jacobson)
The parent ship of brand-ignoring companies is bad and we can all find examples, in our everyday life, of what happens if a person gets too little love, care taking and attention when growing up. He or she can end up on the “wrong” path in life and just the same might happen to an ignored or abandoned brand.
One of my favorite quotes is “it can take 30 years to build a strong brand and 30 seconds to destroy it” . That is what can happen if a brand isn’t taken care of properly. The world we live in changes all the time and it’s easy for a
brand to lose its way if too little attention is paid to it.
So my words of wisdom of today are: take care of your company’s brand as if it was your own baby!