What do others see in your brand?

Wow! A writer for Gnosis Arts Microtank assessed the Red Slice brand recently in a very complimentary piece called The Science of Branding. You should check out all parts of this series, as it’s very interesting in terms of how branding works in the human brain. This Part 2 talks about 6 modern branding approaches:

  • individual branding
  • attitude branding
  • emotional branding
  • iconic branding
  • no-brand branding
  • mindshare branding.

How do others interpret your brand? Is it the image you want them to have or not? Brand lives in the minds of customers and all we can do is try to influence that perception visually, verbally and experientially – across everything they do. But they have the final say. Someone I worked with recently has a very feminine logo and website look and feel, and I was shocked to find out that ideally, she’d like to work with executive males. Talk about delivering the wrong message to the wrong audience! Her ideal clients may have visited her site only to be turned away by what what they saw, or to decide that she wasn’t for them.

Red Slice was listed as an example of both emotional and iconic branding. The writer of the article got it right when he talked about me going for that emotional connection with Red Slice. He correctly interpreted the red apple standing out from the sea of green apples as something to be desired (differentiation). I help clients create a brand and messaging that will stand out from the crowd, connect with customers and delight them. Working with my design team at Karo on this site, I wanted to convey “fresh, juicy, irresistible” and the writer assessed this accurately based on the imagery of all the different pages. However, he also saw some “sexiness” and “forbidden fruit” in some of the imagery and experience that I never saw before. Being so close to my own brand, I had not seen this and it was unintentional. But  that aspect of “attracting” your audience still works for my business, in my opinion. Businesses want brands that people can’t resist and that they talk about. While I don’t believe a “sexy” brand is the answer for every client, I do try to find some aspect of sizzle in what they do for their target audience!

They also talked about the importance of this consistent experience carrying over to my well-designed Facebook page. That was, again, by design. You want to convey the same brand message in everything you do. Thanks to Socialbees for a great job translating my brand and design to Facebook. Love them.

It’s worth it to get some objective opinions about your branding and what it is saying. But do this carefully, as to many opinions can really muddy the waters. You want to make sure you are asking people who are close to your target audience or who know how to give objective brand opinions. As I mention in my book, asking your 21 year-old nephew what he think of a your brand, which is designed to appeal to 50+ year old women might not yield the best insights for you. Miley Cyrus is a branding phenom for her target demo, but I can’t stand her. And I’m not supposed to – she’s not meant for me.

Seek out an objective brand audit from a prospective target customer, a loyal current customer, a trusted partner or a branding expert. You may be surprised that you are saying something you don’t mean to say – or not saying something that you think is coming through loudly and clearly.

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