Many people have very negative feelings towards brands. They’re associated with conformity, mediocrity and the suppression of individuality. They are seen as money making machines who would say anything to get customer to purchase from them to increase profits. But is that is because we associate branding with those brand that aren’t doing the right thing, who aren’t making a conscious effort to do good by people and planet?
I recently came across this video from The School of Life which does an excellent job of explaining why it’s important to have good brands in the world and why branding is an important tool in the success of these doing good brands.
There are plenty of ‘bad’ brands around who do the wrong thing and employ clever tactics to cover up the reality of their product and service. They are inauthentic and don’t care about doing the ‘right’ thing, they are more interested in the bottom line.
When you think of a brand as standardising and re-producing something it is quite depressing e.g. Subway. But this is only the case when the brand is uninspiring, and not positively contributing to the world in which is operates. However, when you think of a brand which is built on genuine and authentic virtues and values, one that delivers on promises, thinks about it’s impact on the world and makes conscious decisions that make a positive impact, then that is inspiring.
The question needs to be what makes a good brand? Is it it’s popularity and wide spread brand awareness or should we be measuring this by the impact the brand has on the world? The later for sure!! I always ask my clients “If you were to take money off the table why do you exist?”. The why is important and it should be something that you are proud to bring to the world.
A brand consists of many components but the logo (or as we like to call it brandmark) which is a visual cue, communicates certain qualities that signal intent to the market. So when that brand doesn’t stand for something important and is contributing negatively to the world it turns us off the concept of branding and having logos littering our skyline. When the fact is, all the logos we saw had positive connotations and existed to be good we would feel more positively about branding.
Brands help products and services that are doing good to widen the power and influence they have on the world. When more consumers support the brand the more impactful it becomes.
Think about your brand and brands that you love, what makes a brand admirable in broad human terms? What makes it good? What signifies a positive contribution to the world?
The reality is the world needs brands to help communicate these qualities and brand propositions.
I believe the role of a brand when used correctly is a positive for the consumer and the world. Brands can do wonderful things we just need to create the right sort.
Director of Brand Projects