Think-Feel Way to Building a Perfect Brand

People love brands. That's what they are for - to be loved, to be known and to be trusted. People love to pay to belong to such tribes. I love Apple, facebook, Twitter, HP, Cafe Coffee Day - all so much a part of my life. They have become a verb.

The Wrong Idea

You hear people talk of logos, fonts, design, products, faces etc. when they are talking about brand. Brand is not that. They even talk about defining in your business plan. An epic fail mission that is.

The Real Brands

So what the hell is a brand? Let's take strongest brands of world, which have largest following - Christianity, Buddhism, First Kiss, Hot Girls, Cute Guys... you get the idea. They have huge loyal following and none of them have a logo or associated colour, a single face (brand ambassador) or anything like that. All these strongest brands in the world have just one thing in common - feeling.

Know Thy Feeling

So your brand is a feeling. It's a promise to make you feel that way. First step in creating your brand is defining that feeling. You cannot define the feeling in a business plan on a fine Sunday morning. No, not Monday either. You build it over time. But before you can make them feel something, you have to know what your brand feels like. Better said, you got to decide. Let's try with my favourite brands and what they feel like: Adidas: Sporty, Confident & Eager Cafe Coffee Day: Sharing deliciousness with others and chit-chat. Bible: Assurance of Knowing God / Promise of Salvation First Kiss: Butterfly in stomach, feeling special. Hot Girls: Well...

Most of these 'feelings' are used by brands as their tag line or motto (Adidas: impossible is nothing; Cafe Coffee Day: A lot can happen over coffee)

Now take your brand, product or blog or maybe yourself - what do you feel about it? How does it make you feel? How do you want your customers to feel about it? There! That's your brand. Write it, define it, and refine it.

Example

Let's say I want to start a company that makes deodorants. How do I feel about it? I won't be embarrassed because I smell bad. That means I will be... carefree, confident, happy, attractive, involved with friends... that makes me think of Axe. Honestly, I didn't start with Axe in mind; it was just a random example. This shows how well branded Axe is (at least here in India). Here is another example: I want to write a blog about cooking. How do I feel? Food! (yum! Err... delicious) I won't be bored of making and eating same stuff again (variety and excitement), I will have people and community helping me and advising me (support, confidence, sense of belonging).

Build a Business around It

Now all you and your employees have to do is build around this feeling. If you can communicate this 'how my brand feels' to your designer - he will make a nice logo with perfect colours, your marketing department will work in right direction bringing right people in and so on.

Build around Solution Not Problem

Don't build your brand around how the problem feels but around how the solution feels. Nokia is not built around how frustrating a non-standard mobile device feels but what is opposite of that ease of connecting and using it.

DIY

  1. Figure out how your brand feels and write about it, make songs and poems out of it. The more you can define it, the better. The more time you spend here, the less time it will take your brand to reach where you want to be.
  2. 2. Once you define the feeling in a line. Or better - our epic 140 characters, then you can move on and build business plan or products around it.
  3. If you have a product or business already - ask yourself how it feels to you and ask your customer how it feels to them. Now work out on removing the parallax.

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Photo by TerryJohnston