When building a brand, we usually begin with the attributes of the product or service. First, we ask questions like: "are we high quality?" or "are we durable?" Then, we consider how we can represent the benefits of this through an identity.
However, if this was all we based our brands upon, there would be countless clone corporations. No one wants to be a cookie-cutter! With so many similar businesses, competition is fierce, so we have to combat this in order to give ourselves a fighting chance.
How do we genuinely stand out?
Similarly to people, businesses are multi-layered. They should have depth, a personality and a genuine voice. One way to create this is to consider the brand as an organisation. Brand associations which are driven by the organisation are less tangible than product or service attributes, but play a strong role in supporting customer relationships.
What do we mean by organisation-based branding?
It's the culture and values, the people within, the programmes or initiatives, the assets and visibility. These, when communicated, set the right expectations both internally and externally for a business.
Examples of organisational associations for a business are:
Can adopting one of these characteristics help?
Yes! These various characteristics create a value proposition for the customer, giving the business a competitive edge. They can make a business look trustworthy, likeable and full of expertise. For example, The Body Shop is environmentally conscious. By being an organisation that "gives back" and does the "right thing", they become increasingly likeable. It differentiates them from beauty brands who are solely focused on the value or product features. Therefore, giving customers another reason to buy.
The overall benefits of a brand that involves an organisation are:
It creates a meaningful value proposition that differentiates the brand from others
It promotes customer relationships based on the feelings caused by the organisational associations
It can provide product ranges with an “identity umbrella”
It provides the team with a sense of purpose and community, which then motivates them
When considering your own brand, think about which organisational associations you can adopt. It will help you forge true, emotional connections with your customers. It shows that you truly stand for something. Which type of organisation are you?
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