In an interesting read, I came across this line, ‘Think People, Not Pixels’. I will tell you why I wrote this at the very first.
Now let’s delve into branding: At its very core, it is a discipline; a codified version of why you exist at the very place.
Sometimes marketing and branding sound a bit similar, but actually, they are quite different, though they functionally work together.
In the book ‘Marketing Complex’ by Giles Lury, the distinction is made quite clear. Marketing is how you take the brand to the market. While branding is how to personify your product/ service/ solution/ idea and build your brand’s philosophy.
It’s the ultimate blend of solidified strategy and flexible ‘tactification’: that ultimately gives you the best financial, business and people results.
Your branding success starts with your ‘Why’, then cascades down to your governing, synched-in principles and values, and then manifests into a definitive personality. And at the very core of your brand is your soul – which is independent of how your branding and marketing functions.
So how you define a branding success – be it in a qualitative or factual manner?
Like I mentioned in the beginning: true innovation and creativity happen (which I think are important metrics to gauge when you think of branding success) when you put humans at the core of all your business, branding and marketing initiatives.
Marketing is no more just promotional; it’s more humanized and empathetic. More so, it has never been more aligned with organizational goals and organization’s contribution than now.
That said, here is my formula to understand ‘branding success’ through my lens:
Humans (Brand’s soul) + Organization’s contribution (instead of just the social impact) to the business ecosystem + Principles/ Values’ advocacy = Ultimate branding success.
When I say humans form the brand’s soul, I mean the people who initially convened the deeper meaning of why their brand will exist in the market. It’s a brand-led intent that will last for the brand’s longevity and sustenance, regardless of how the market multiplies or accelerates.
Organization’s contribution is much more holistic than just an impact; it is the way it responds to its ecosystem when it comes to creating value with internal and external stakeholders and considering every individual/ consumer as a potential influencer.
And finally how your brand’s principles and values are fostered within your community will speak impactfully about how you thrive in living what defines you – consistently and inclusively.
So if at any time you feel you are getting into ‘fuzzy’ marketing by any chance, go back to your drawing board and do a branding exercise of the above ingredients. You will definitely find a strategic way to keep living the ‘branding success’ you so earnestly vision.