There are so many theories and applications about Branding that the list will never end. Here are three points I wish to highlight for now. More to come in the future.
Branding is about experience.
The moment you enjoy the experience of a service or product, you remember it. Essentially, branding is about the battle of whoever gives the best experience to the customer. Experience comes in many ways such as -
- The emotional experience: something that touches you deep inside your heart, making it very personal.
- The friendly experience: something that makes you feel safe and want to be with the service or product all the time.
- The adrenaline experience: something that excites you and that made you crave for more.
- The lifestyle experience: something that makes you confident and feeling proud.
- Even the “budget” experience: something that makes you feel safe of your shortcomings, and able to explore the services or products that otherwise impossible to obtain.
Branding is about product/service + image association.
In other words, it’s about relevance. A 100 year old history cafe for example, would look great if it maintains the “oldness” and not revamping to its modern look. It would lose its flair. But on the other hand, a brand new chain store would need to be shouting loud and colourful to have an extra edge to its competitors. People expect different experiences when comes to different types of services or product. Being relevant to its history or company’s image is the most important.
Sometimes, branding is totally unrelated to design. You have to know that design is one of the many forms of helping a service or product to create its brand awareness. But say if a 100 year old cafe is so well known for its certain food or drinks, the taste and its history has became the agent of branding. Design in this case, sometimes can be totally irrelevant. Unless however, it has a lot of competitors that have a similar historical presence or the same type of food or drinks that it serves.
Branding is about experiments.
Branding requires money, time and experiments. To build a brand you need to spend a fair deal of advertising and promotions to let people know that you existed. And then you need time to remind people that you are still there. To make sure people remember you, you have to sometimes be daring and try out different strategies and accumulate more customers. That is why you see there are many different product/services ranges or sub-brands out there targeted at different audiences, but they all come from the same company. It is to avoid the loss of its loyal fans, yet gathering a whole new batch of customers.