I’ve been reading a lot about brands. What makes a good brand? What makes it stand out from the crowd? Is it luck or is there a secret recipe? Or is it the people behind the brand?
Now instead of reading about them, I wish I was buying beautiful brand-name items in the form of make-me-look-ever-so-slim clothing or handbags by Versace, Michael Kors and Mimco, to name a few. But sadly, for the moment reading is all I’ve got.
Okay, so let’s stop daydreaming and get to the point. I have one, I swear.
There seems to be so much more to creating a brand these days. Take Apple, for example. Apple is one of the most successful and reputable brand in the marketplace at the moment, and yet I wonder how much thought went into its initial branding.
Was there a brand analysis? Were there tone of voice workshops? Who decided what was the Apple story and how long did that take?
Or did someone in a tiny office simply decide to call the business Apple and come up with the most logical object as a logo?
Perhaps it was Apple founder Steve Jobs who made the brand. After all, he was a likeable fellow. But it’s what he did for the world that made his reputation and meant everything for his brand. He changed how people live, connect and share, and in the process became an inspiration to millions.
What is a brand?
A brand is more than just a logo and physical image. According to Business Dictionary, brand is defined as:
“A unique design, sign, symbol, words or a combination of these that creates an image that identifies a product. Over time, this image becomes associated with a level of credibility, quality and satisfaction in the consumer’s mind.”
I think the second part of that description is the most important when it comes to branding. It’s about building trust with your audience. Your brand establishes your personality and persona. Essentially, I like to think of it as encompassing what people say about you when you’re not around.
So let’s go back to Apple. What do you think about Apple as a brand? Innovative, sophisticated, market leaders: these are a few terms that come to mind. Not a bad way to be regarded, I reckon. Still, it’s the combination of Apple’s products and the personal branding of Steve Jobs that make it the perfect brand.
What about when brands get it wrong?
Getting that perfect combination isn’t easy, as the following examples reveal. For instance, I’m not sure what services you’d be receiving from this dentist, but it might be more than a scale and clean.
Or what about when pen maker Bic told women to ‘think like a man’ on International Women’s Day? I’ll spare you a feminist rant, but this is just bad branding for so many reasons.
Volkswagen also faced issues with brand reputation after its emissions scandal. Customers all over the world took to social media to vent their surprise, anger and disappointment.
All these ‘brands’ make you think less of them for different reasons. No matter how or why they made you think this way, the result is clear - bad branding!
So, what’s behind the Very story?
This brings me to a subject close to my heart: Very Media.
At Very, we’ve been diligent and dedicated in creating a great brand for our new business, but I have realised that we are yet to fully share ‘our story’.
That’s because it is still evolving, but let me begin by sharing something about myself.
I’m a career-driven woman, with two children under four, a husband and two chihuahuas. I eat chocolate at 7am and I let my kids eat packet food. I quit my 9-5 full-time job with not much more than a vision and the belief that all I have learnt in my field has given me much to offer our business and our clients. I love what I do, I’m passionate about storytelling, and I’ll tell you straight about what I think.
My business partner Michael is one of the most experienced and talented writers you could find. This guy has interviewed everyone! He is also witty and cheeky, likes to run and also quit his 9-5 full-time job to pursue the Very vision with me.
Our different skill sets make us an unstoppable combination. But mostly we’re so proud of Very Media and the brand we’ve created, and we hope that you will share our journey with us.
Remember, brand is everything. It’s not just about the product you’re selling.
So, what do you say about us when we’re not around? We’d love to know.
Written by Melinda Rogers, Managing Director, Very Media
At Very Media we believe that effective communication is all about the story. And it’s crucial to have a skilled storyteller. With our expertise in social media, we can work with you to shape and share ‘your story’ no matter the scale of your project or the platform you choose.