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Any productive discussion about brand should begin with a clear understanding of what we mean by the term, "brand." After all, a myriad of definitions float within the business lexicon attempting to explain exactly what a brand is.
At the heart of all these definitions is a simple underlying truth:
A Brand is the relationship between an organization and an audience.
Not the sweaty palms, butterfly in your stomach, can't eat, can't sleep type of relationship. But the real and powerful relationship formed between an organization and people.
Brand is a relationship because it represents how we, as intuitive, emotional, and sensitive human beings connect to organizations in the world around us. It's how we form allegiances to certain organizations over others. It's how we become passionate about the organizations we choose to engage with. It's how we decide whom we buy from.
Generally, products create functional-value through the tasks they accomplish. Brands, however, create emotional-value through the human connections they facilitate.
Lean Brand development centers around helping organizations discover the emotional-value in their brand development efforts.
A brand is not a logo. It's not a color scheme, or a personality, or an identity system. At their most basic, these are merely surface elements pointing back to something much deeper and more substantial below the surface - the relationship.
These relationships lay the foundation for value creation and delivery crucial to today's transforming marketplace.