To build a truly unique brand—one that has equity and serves as a quantifiable asset—takes time and commitment. It’s really a quite simple adage, yet it somehow eludes a lot of marketers, including me, evidently.
I believe it’s because there may be some confusion on the true definition of a brand.
A brand is not a logo. A brand is not your new creative campaign.
“A brand is a set of mental associations, held by the consumer, which add to the perceived value of a product or service.” (Keller, 1998)
A brand is the promise you make to your customers, suppliers, employees and investors. A brand embodies your vision, your purpose and your values. A brand is a powerful tool that elicits emotion and instills confidence and trust.
Here’s an interesting excerpt from “The New Strategic Brand Management: Creating and Sustaining Brand Equity” by Jean-Noël Kapferer, who pinpoints the value of a brand:
“We live in an attention economy; there is so much choice and opacity that consumers cannot spend their time comparing before they make a choice. They have no time, even if they did, they cannot be certain of being able to determine the right product or service for them. Brands must convey certitude, trust. They are a time and risk reducer.”
Products and services are launched. Campaigns are launched. Rockets are launched.
Brands are not. You can’t launch a feeling of “trust.” You have to earn it. And that takes time.
So, the next time you hear someone talk about “launching brands,” call 911. Wait don’t, I don’t think they would consider it an actual emergency. Instead, call me at 312-997-2436.