I recently read an article by Jonas Bergvall that I thought had some good points. Here are some of the highlights:
There are countless definitions for this term; a promise, a rumour, a relationship, an image, a unique position and so forth. But these descriptions are all results of branding, not the brand itself. A better description is “a person’s collected experiences of a company, product or service with a certain name.” But not even this description is spot on.
A brand is actually a memory
Everything you remember about a company, through interaction, what other people say about them, advertising, using their products or every other interaction is their brand for you.
The brand as a memory
By constructing a brand as a memory you get a better tool for managing your brand. The clever thing is that you actually start at the end. In order to be able to manage your brand over time you construct a Brand Memory Identity. This is a description of the ideal memory your customer should have of your brand. This is someone who wouldn’t imagine buying anything else other than your brand, he preaches your excellence to everyone he knows, and is prepared to pay a little extra for your brand. That’s what all your customers should be like, right?
When you have defined the end state, the rest is just about backing your way from that point to now. What does your customer need to experience to get the kind of brand memory that you would like him to have?
At Stables Creative Group one of our past projects was to create a brand within a brand. We developed a campaign around a fictitious character named “Wally” for the North Texas Tollway Authority. The project was to address reducing toll violators and “Wally” was the “brand” created to get the message across.