Apettite supressants 37.5 milligram Along With Other Weight Loss Supplements

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How Bean Counters Destroy Brand Personality and Recognition – Why Do Customers Love Your Brand?

Why do customers love your brand? Why do they associate themselves with your brand? What have you done lately to reinforce this brand loyalty – and, what have you done to diminish your brand, or do you even know? So often corporations are in such a hurry to save costs, to increase profits that they forget about the customer – those things which drove customers to their brands in the first place – take those things away and the once brand-loyal customer migrates to the competition.

Whereas, once a person has personal buy-in to a brand, they are unlikely to switch, however if the customer feels abandoned or you don’t care about them, you’ve lost your greatest asset and the strength of your brand. One of the easiest ways to cause distrust between customers and companies is to be unfair with return policies, prices, promotions, discounts, loyalty-programs in order to push up the bottom line.

Not long ago I read a survey article from one of the elite Brand Associations, it indicated that of all the fast food restaurants (QSRs – Quick Service Restaurants) the most famous of all, was reported to have the poorest service, most complaints, and most dissatisfaction, worse, it’s now two years running. Ray Kroc would not have been very proud of that. Okay so, let’s talk.

As a Brand Loving Consumer (BLC) myself, I like other BLCs wear a certain brand of sports shoes and clothing, eat specific branded foods and go to the premier Branded coffee shop. I’ve noted something about this particular branded coffee shop with 10s of thousands of outlets everywhere and a very notable green logo – that the coffee and blended coffee drinks just don’t taste the same anymore.

If your customers don’t feel you are good to the employees or the employees complain about your brand to the customers – you are in for a hard landing. Let’s take the minimum wage debate. If employees complain about their pay, hours, shifts, health care benefits or the company in anyway, then the customer will believe them over any corporate communications you deliver via social media or email campaigns.

You may not know this but due to the ‘fight for $15/hour minimum wage’ we are seeing the rapid deployment of kiosks at QSRs. Doubt this? Well then, please watch the YouTube video titled: “Building a better Mac Donalds, Just for You,” on the Micky D’s YouTube channel.

Your employees must have brand loyalty otherwise your brand strength will stop building and fall back, and there is a long way down to go. Don’t take my words lightly, think on this.

Brand Status: Leveraging Your Employees’ Phones

Marketing is a vital part of any successful branding strategy, and getting your name out there through accessories your employees will love is a tool businesses have been using since businesses started. The idea is this, leverage your employees to spread your brand. An example goes as follows, everybody nowadays uses mobile phones and tablets, it is unavoidable. Why not use those devices in your favor? You can leverage a promotional product handout like screen cleaner stickers to get your logo or message on the backs of your employee’s devices. As long as they can use the product, they will be spreading your brand in no time.

Phone Accessories That Your Employees Or Clients Will Love

Your Employees are much more efficient in their role in your company when management offers them the ability to utilize the freshest in tech accessories. Companies have begun to leverage employees fascination with their devices by connecting that device to the company brand through promo handouts. Does your company require employees to carry around a company phone? Why not brand that space to help your advertising efforts? Not only does this help your company, it helps employees by giving them a free gift, in turn helping productivity.

Whenever you see a person who proudly wears their company logo, either on their phone or on their sleeve, you automatically have a certain amount of trust in that company. If it is good enough for a person to voluntarily promote outside of work than it must be good right? The real secret is that the company found a product, in the form of a shirt of screen cleaner, that they could hand to their employees that the employees, in turn, found so useful they begin to unwittingly do some of the company branding all on their own.

Custom Promo Items For Your Company

Did you know that people, including your employees, check their phones to the tune of hundreds of times a day? Talk about valuable branding space. Why not give them a promo handout that will place your logo directly on their device?

Fully custom microfiber screen cleaners answer that call and have been a trending promo handout at trade shows and company parties alike. Again, the key is that they are a useful gift, unlike the company pens you gave away and ended up in everybody’s drawers. A screen cleaners that cleans the smudges off your screen while hyper branding your logo is a great idea.

 

Brand Conscious

The ultimate recognition when Bill Dedman said -Brand names are well known to business school professors, but only one professor is a brand name herself. Call her Professor Oprah. There can be no greater appreciation when one’s own name becomes a brand in itself and it is accepted globally. Even our fictitious “Gabbar Singh” is a brand representing a certain quality of person, albeit stereotypical.

Some brands come out to be very powerful as Sara Blakely puts it, It’s the power of the brand. We’ve never formally advertised. I don’t know if you are familiar with this snippet, Half a circle, full a circle, half a circle A. Half a circle, full a circle, right angle A. We, as kids in the late 60s used this as a brainteaser to confuse our friends, the answer to which was. This is the power of the brand when it becomes a part of everyday life.

Look at the truth behind the following:
*How many of us use the term “photocopy”? We mostly use “Xerox”.
*Do we say “search the Net”? No. we say “Google it”.
*Seldom do we say “petroleum jelly”. We always say “Vaseline” which is a trademark of Unilever.
*”Walkman” is a Sony brand. The generic name is “Personal stereo”.
*We say “Ziploc” and not “Zipper storage bag”.

There are numerous such examples, many of which would surprise you such as, Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid), Bikini (two-piece swimwear), Cellophane (transparent regenerated cellulose sheets), Dry ice (solid form of carbon dioxide), Escalator (moving staircase), Kerosene (combustible hydrocarbon liquid) and Thermos (vacuum flask).

What is a brand? As defined in BusinessDictionary.com Unique design, sign, symbol, words, or a combination of these, employed in creating an image that identifies a product and differentiates it from its competitors. Over time, this image becomes associated with a level of credibility, quality, and satisfaction in the consumer’s mind. Thus brands help harried consumers in crowded and complex marketplace, by standing for certain benefits and value. Legal name for a brand is trademark and, when it identifies or represents a firm, it is called a brand name.In other words, a brand goes beyond a mere name or a logo or icon. It is a promise to your customers of a certain kind of product or service. A brand combines several elements which include logo, words, type font, design, colors, personality, price, service, etc. You should also look at the attributes of your product/service and incorporate them into your brand. When you think of SONY you immediately get the picture of top quality consumer electronics and BENZ reminds you of best in class German engineering in automobiles.

*Your brand is your public identity, what you’re trusted for. And for your brand to endure, it has to be tested, redefined, managed, and expanded as markets evolve. Brands either learn or disappear. Lisa Gansky

Why do you need a brand? Every company needs a brand including startups. With the short attention span of customers in today’s environment, standard advertisements do not register. When you watch TV how many commercials do you view or remember? Maybe, only the radically unconventional ones or those related to well known brands and there too you may not remember the actual advertisement.

What goes into the making of a brand? The creation of a brand is a complex and time consuming but extremely crucial activity. Here, let me show you some of the elements and their impact:
*Name: This is not just a word or a set of words. “Apple” or “Idea” is not just a word; they provide a feeling, a promise. In the case of Apple the promise is of quality and exclusivity. In the case of Idea it is technology reaching out to the common masses.
*Logo: This is the visual representation that identifies the brand. The LIC logo of a pair of hands holding a lamp symbolizes to secure/protect the light of life.
*Signature phrase: A very important component for any brand. We all know “The Taste of India” is associated with AMUL (Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd).
*Graphics: The graphical design (shape, color, font, etc.) of the entire brand including the logo. Air India has mascot in the “Maharaja” as well as a logo.The Centaur that has now been replaced by a red colored flying swan with the “Konark Chakra” in orange, placed inside it. The design and color combination on each aircraft also contribute to the brand.
*Shapes: The distinctive radiator grill of the Rolls Royce automobile is never changed across its numerous models.
*Sounds: Tunes and musical notes add to the experience. The chimes of Microsoft Windows, Mozart’s 25th Symphony used for Titan watches.

There are other elements such as scent and taste that can also go into making of your brand. Companies have even used the services of linguists to help create their brands.

“People need patience. It takes time to build a brand.” Carmen Busquets

Achieving a level where your brand becomes a part of daily jargon can take years and may or may not signify something good for you. For some of these brands the owner companies have completely dominated the market and they continue to reap the benefits. For most, however, the owner company has faded into oblivion while the brand lives on.

 

Brand Book: Build a Consistent Brand Around Your Company Logo

Let’s say you have decided to start your own business, or you thought of upgrading or reinventing your brand. One of the first order of things you would be doing is to design a logo for your business. Your logo would have to say it all about your brand: your color scheme, font styles, feel and so on. But sometimes, the whole thing would just seem to be quite off, and you can’t figure out what is wrong.

This kind of situation is the reason why you need to have a consistent and strong brand identity. Especially in today’s modern market trend, when tiny details make or break you. Not only does it makes your brand look firm but it would build your credibility, as well.

So here’s the big question: How? – Well, enter the brand book.

What is a Brand Book?

A brand book is a set of rules and guidelines for the use of your brand. A standard if you must. A style guide, in a designer’s context. It basically explains how to properly make use of elements to make sure that it is consistent with your brand.

Why create a brand guide for your business?

Having a brand book makes it easier to do a project. Example: if you decided to do a packaging for a brand product, presenting the brand book to the designer would make things easier to select font styles, colors, and whatnot and output would be consistent with your brand.

Makes you look professional. Being consistent with your marketing tools and outputs makes you look professional. Like everything’s planned out to be the way they are.

You will have control of your brand. Having standardized brand gives your control of any loose ends. If something is not working – a look or feel – you refer to your trusty old brand book.

Never a cheap moment. When you have a brand that’s solid in all corners, your brand would avoid looking cheap.

You enhance your brand. With your brand’s style regulated, it makes you progress into a finer and solid brand. You are put onto a perspective where you see your brand’s untapped potential and develop changes for its betterment.

What to Include in a Brand Book?

There are several components to include in a brand book. Here are the basics and must be included.

BRAND OVERVIEW

As much as possible, this should be brief. In little words as possible, make sure that the concept for the design of your brand is clear. A designer should likely read this very important part of the brand book; it should tell what the brand is aiming to be, its look and feel.

LOGOS

A logo is the brand’s key component to its strategy; therefore, it should be taken seriously. The brand will likely revolve around the logo concept BUT the logo is not your brand alone. Make sure there are many logo variations for certain styles and backgrounds, and clarify minimum sizes.

INCORRECT LOGO USAGE

Remember when I said, a detail can make or break your brand? Here’s a common mistake in the branding world: logos are used and stamped upon on almost anything. Your brand has to look professional, and you should know not to mess around with it. If you do, you’re basically messing with your reputation. You have to be careful to make sure that designers or anyone that would make use of your brand logo understands what they can and cannot do with it.

FONTS

Font is crucial. It also affects your brand’s feel. You have to define what kind of typefaces to use. More so, their size, colors, headline and body typeface. Do not forget to include web and non-web fonts.

COLORS

Since your brand revolves around your logo, and your logo revolves around a particular color set, it is imperative to make sure that the use of colors is specified. Specify primary and secondary colors – when and where to use them. Include color palettes, as well as, formats for both print and web end.

COPY AND TONE OF VOICE

Think of this as another key component to your brands personality. It’s how you would want them to “hear” or “read” you – your character. Defining the way you deal or sound like, especially in the social media, is a great way to be consistent. When there are several people writing or doing the copy in their different ways, your brand would seem to have several personalities. That is why it is key to have these laid out properly.

ICONOGRAPHY

Specify what size, spacing, and where to use icons is significant to promote consistency.

OTHER COMPONENTS THAT CAN BE INCLUDED

There are still several components that you can integrate in your brand book. It’s really up to you and up to the industry your business is in. Some components that you could consider include:

  • Photography style
  • Supporting graphic elements
  • Design layouts and grids
  • Social media profile page applications
  • Brochure/flyer layout options
  • Website layout
  • Signage specifications
  • Advertising treatments
  • Merchandising applications

Who makes a Brand Book?

Usually, brand books are developed by an experienced graphic designer. Sometimes, the agency where your logo is made could do this for you. Even if you already have a logo, you can always hire someone to make your brand book. But of course, it’s better to have the one who made your logo do the brand book for you, as well, to ensure that it flows well with your logo.

It is always better to have a PDF format brand book for you, aside from it being printed. It’ll make things convenient especially during a project where you can always send it via email.

The Bottom Line

Your logo is a significant component of your brand. Several aspects of your business revolve around it, especially in the modern branding world. But your logo alone is not your brand. It’s just a part of your strategy to be identified with. How your logo is treated and used is where your branding unfolds. By having a brand book, you can ensure that everything works consistently to have a strong and solid brand.

 

what is Brand?

Language is supposed to illuminate meaning, but it doesn’t always work that way.  As usage evolves, definitions become unmoored, and different people start using the same word to mean entirely different things.

I think “brand” is one of those words that is widely used but unevenly understood.  What does “brand” mean, and how has the word’s application changed over time?

The first definition of “brand” is the name given to a product or service from a specific source.  Used in this sense, “brand” is similar to the current meaning of the word “trademark.”

More than a century ago, cattle ranchers used branding irons to indicate which animals were theirs.   As the cattle moved across the plains on their way to Chicago slaughter houses, it was easy to determine which ranches they were from because each head of cattle was branded.

With the rise of packaged goods in the 19th century, producers put their mark on a widening array of products—cough drops, flour, sugar, beer—to indicate their source.  In the late 1880s, for example, as the Coca-Cola Company was getting started, there were many soda producers in every market.  Before Coca-Cola could get a customer to reach for a Coke, it needed to be sure the customer could distinguish a Coke from all the other fizzy caramel-colored beverages out there.

In the first sense of the word, then, a brand is simply the non-generic name for a product that tells us the source of the product.  A Coke is a fizzy caramel-colored soda concocted by those folks in Atlanta.

In earlier times, we referred to these non-generic names as “brand names.”  When Baby Boomers like me were growing up, marketers might have said that Proctor & Gamble sold a laundry detergent under the brand name Tide.  Nowadays, people would simply say P&G sells the Tide brand of laundry detergent.  Problem is, the shorthand suggests there’s no difference between a brand name and a brand.  But, in contemporary marketing, there is.

Beginning in the later part of the 20th century, marketers began to grasp there was more to the perception of distinctive products and services than their names—something David Ogilvy described as “the intangible sum of a product’s attributes.”  Marketers realized that they could create a specific perception in customers’ minds concerning the qualities and attributes of each non-generic product or service.  They took to calling this perception “the brand.”

Put simply, your “brand” is what your prospect thinks of when he or she hears your brand name.  It’s everything the public thinks it knows about your name brand offering—both factual (e.g. It comes in a robin’s-egg-blue box), and emotional (e.g. It’s romantic).  Your brand name exists objectively; people can see it.  It’s fixed.  But your brand exists only in someone’s mind.

In fact, one of the ways we sometimes see that a brand is growing stronger is when its customers start referring to it by something different from its brand name.  Think “FedEx” or “Tar-jé.”  This only happens when customers feel enough of a relationship with a product to bestow it with a nickname—which, in the cases I just mentioned, happily reinforce the brand attributes Federal Express and Target seek to promote:  speed and efficiency for the former and affordable chic for the latter.  But sometimes, customer perceptions can be a headache for brand managers.  Natural and organic food retailer Whole Foods Market has been struggling for years to shed the moniker “Whole Paycheck,” which captures public perceptions of what it costs to shop in the store.

From now on, I’ll use “brand name” to refer to the name signifying the source of a product or service, and “brand” to refer to the perception customers have about that product or service.

 

Brand Recognition what is it? and how does it works?

What is ‘Brand Recognition’

The extent to which the general public (or an organization’s target market) is able to identify a brand by its attributes. Brand recognition is most successful when people can state a brand without being explicitly exposed to the company’s name, but rather through visual signifiers like logos, slogans and colors.

BREAKING DOWN ‘Brand Recognition’

To measure brand recognition and the effectiveness of promotional campaigns, many companies will perform experiments on study groups. Both aided and unaided recall tests may be used. With similar products, brand recognition will result in higher sales, even if both brands are of equal quality.

The 7 Pillars of Branding

Although the question of branding has always been essential part of marketing and has been approached with multi-dimension models, sometimes these studies have been made without systematic approach or with full of redundancy or ad-hoc views. Unlike marketing which has the widely-known and usable, practical 7P-model, branding still misses such a sort of basic structure which makes the skeleton of all branding story.

Here I am making an outline of such a simplified model to help people in successfully designing brands and also to better understanding the already existing ones. I collected 7 layers of the branding with 7 different tasks to be completed in everyday actions. I hope this can be useful for the readers, too.

Right before entering this syllabus, we need to define what brand and branding is: in our view brand is a vision that is related to a specific company, product or any specific entity which lives in people and materializes to them. Branding is the art of deliberate control over the whole process.

First pillar: Publicly known

A brand always defines a smaller or bigger group of people who are somehow aware of the product or the service in question. This is the prerequisite or trivial condition of all brands: if you are the only one who knows a specific service or uses a specific product and no information is publicized, the service or product is unable to evolve into a brand. This is the primary task of all marketing efforts, making our specific product or service (along with its whole branding costume) widely known on the addressed market: the majority of the marketing budget is used for this purpose. At this point we normally pay attention to the details of the publicity of all brands: target segment(s), its content, geographic, demography, media, communication methods, timing etc.

Task 1: design and make your publicity

However, the fame of a product or service is not exclusively based on the publicity gained (mostly depending on the money available for promoting the brand) via frontal, push-type of promotion. Money spent on communications is a very important factor to reach the second stage of publicity: the people involved in the communications flow will probably share the information with each other and start a – sometimes very simple and few words – discussion about the product or service heard. The act of sharing the information with each other happens or has happened with all known brands. Suggestions, opinions made in public are very important in articulating brand and thus creating or strengthening/weakening brands. This is why the importance of Facebook in contemporary marketing cannot be overestimated enough, or, with similar effect, the customer service/problem handling has always been focal point of customer satisfaction and branding, too.

The publicity of branding therefore incorporates all means of sharing the information related to a specific brand or service. There are two basic type of publicities: there is of course the strictly controlled information sharing method (typically: marketing communications) and we also have to face a second publicity, the huge uncontrolled means of communication. When we are thinking on designing a new brand or just examining an existing one, we have to enlist all the ways how the specific brand gains publicity and sort them by relevance with regards to the public coverage and effect, making special attention to the uncontrolled ways of publicity.

The success of controlling publicity is a key to profit from branding, however, public control will never mean information monopoly over the media and over the outcome: even situations when a company has theoretically 100% control over the situation (e.g. customer care desk at the office or shop), it is always a challenge to control what is exactly happening there, what is going to be told or heard. Thus, from micro to macro level the publicity always carries a huge uncertainty factor with regards to reach, direct effect and future implications.

Second pillar: Associative and narrative – stories around

The discussions initiated and information shared publicly about a brand (or a branded product or service) would show up the next major characteristic of brands, that is, the power of the coupling or association related to the branded products or services. In other words, branding means that we create stories around a brand. Brand identity or personality, brand vision, brand promise are the official stories reflecting the narrative of a generic brand on different levels. Marketing creative planning is exactly doing the same around a specific product of a brand (e.g. ‘The environment friendly Toyota Prius’ as a story), while general brand stories (I mean the Toyota brand in the example) or associations are on higher level only. We therefore have to consider several layers of brand stories or narratives when examining them. It is very useful when these stories are consistent and formed professionally and are not contradicting to each other.

Brands are incorporating many stories and ideas not just from individual products and services determined by the company but stories and ideas also coming from the public. Unfortunately – as we mentioned above – we cannot control the majority of the perceptions of our brand. Individual opinions, perceived qualities, good or bad experiences are building the narrative universe, or more simply, the stories of a brand.

Task 2: define and drive brand stories

Notwithstanding the above, we can drive these brand stories and narrow them to the desired ones on at least two-three different areas. The mission statement of a company/organization is the very source of official brand stories and determines the branding direction via its written values and operational reasons. Secondly, the slogan or the tagline of a brand (like LG’s Life’s Good) is meant to embody the driving narrative story and works like a magnet: collects all the associations around a brand. The third layer of story comes along with specific products or services: repeating the slogans, taglines while inserting the logo of the brand on individual products/services makes the specific product or service painted with the general brand’s associations and qualities. The individual story of a product or service is like a topping on the branding cake. Pure brand campaigns on the other hand are always aiming outlining and fixing the desired main stories and narratives of qualities in the customers.

Controlling publicity cannot be done without controlling the stories attached to a specific brand and seems the major task of all branding and communications managers. Here, we have to highlight a related issue which behaves like the blind spot of the branding: rebranding. Rebranding campaigns are to change the very basic story of a brand. This is the reason why these campaigns fail many times and real rebranding is a very seldom event.

Third pillar: Concrete and multiplicative form

In real life we always give tangible forms to brands because we want to make profit from our money spent. Brand without concrete product/service to buy (or without a related person when we talk about personal brands) is useless or just a promise (like the newly planned Jolla mobile OS with only a demo video). The embodiment of a Brand is an essential part of its very nature.

Normally we use the power of a general Brand Name for many individual products. An already existing brand hands over its potentials (its stories of qualities, usage, value etc.) to specific, individual products and even when we see a new product of an already known brand we are already having a presupposition or sense of certain expectations towards the brand new product. A VW car is perceived for many as a reliable one; however, it may happen that a much lower quality is introduced in a new model than what the brand had fulfilled at its predecessors.

Task 3: make several appearances to utilize brand power

Most times we may say that a brand is transferred into several products and therefore it is multiplicative. It is very seldom that an earned reputation of a brand represented in only one product or service. For example the perfume 4711 seems to be transferred only into one product for a long time, but the brand’s product portfolio today consists of more than one item: after shave or even shower gel is also produced. Start-ups typically own only one product and normally the first product is the one that determines and forms the brand later on. Initially, the brand is typically built upon on only one product or service and this is why it is very sensitive when entering a market with a new company and a new product: it also determines the future brand and products the company assessed with.

Personal brands, seen superficially, are not multiplicative: a person who has double face (see politicians) and therefore not able to form a consistent and concrete personal brand, are subject to lose their reputation and their face rapidly. This is because brands can have only one concrete (credible) story, without major contradictions. The multiplicative nature of personal brands should be investigated from another perspective. In case we regard a person’s appearances in public as concretizations and multiplications of his/her brand, we are closer to the truth and we understand better why celebrities and politicians are so keen on public appearances.

Fourth pillar: Unique proposition

The history of branding is stemming from the wish of making a producer’s goods identifiable. This is not just to ensure the identity of goods but also to prevent from copying and forgery. The brands around us are still carrying these old attributes: the logo of the company/brand is expressing the uniqueness of a brand (supported by law as trade marks) and helps us to identify a specific brand in the universe of brands and signs.

Sometimes it is very hard to make distinction based on the products/services alone: Pepsi and its rivals put in a neutral glass next to each other are unidentifiable, so the use of branding techniques is crucial for gaining profit for both companies. Just like in the cola case, the technological industry also heavily relies on the branding when selling its products or services: PCs, laptops, smart phones or internet accesses are very similar to each other. Or, a tax advisory service consultant firm is facing real challenges to provide specific brand vision.

Task 4: find and use the means of brand differentiations

The unique proposition of the brands has to be built up and shown for the public: the individual logos of brands on devices for example help the company to make distinction from their competitors and help the customers to identify different market players in order to make a personal choice of preference. Most times companies heavily rely on the unique brand distinguishers, like stories about their unique market segment, tailor-made products, additional services they provide etc. Sometimes, when stories among a group of competitors are very similar or compatible (like the Big Four Auditors) and even their service is similar, a common story may evolve around them focusing on more the similarity and indirectly expressing the exclusivity of the group members.

Fifth pillar: Value

When we identify a brand on its telltale signs (e.g. design) or logo we do not think on what we see first (the product itself) but rather we focus on the brand value represented by the specific product or service. We may say (even without seeing the product) that if you are having Martin Logan stereo speakers that is very cool, but if you are having Philips that is not so awesome. Different brands represent different values: there are low-end and high-end brands with many in between. Start-up companies have to position their brand value on the axis predetermined by the existing market players. Making decision on positioning the companies’ services or products on the lower or higher end of this axis has nothing to do with ethical values: a low-end, cheap car helps many disabled or poor people without doubt. Rather, making the choice of brand values determine the market we are about to target. And this target market decision affects our business outlooks directly. When Toyota launched it Lexus series and decided to focus on the higher end cars they probably considered the higher profit option.

The value of a brand is also expressed in a more measurable way. In general ledgers brands are valued as a part of the company’s goodwill and are very sensitive for new product introductions and for amortization, too. From financial point of view brands regarded as assets that have been created due to investment and are also subject to lose or increase their values.

Task 5: define and carry brand values

The value of a brand emanates into individual products of a company and the value of the sold products affects the value of the brands. More surprisingly, the value of a brand may transfer over the buyer persona influencing the perceived value of a person in a certain group of people (see Apple fan-effect) while the network-effect of the public also modifies the brand value (exclusivity, limited models are also able to increase brand value).

The relative price of a product or the whole branded portfolio both has very special connection with the brand value: the higher the price positioned the harder to imagine low brand value. This is because the narrative of the price (see Second pillar) influences the brand value. Other narratives of a brand (how durable it is, for instance, or which celebrities are using this brand) heavily effect the brand value, too. Similarly, the extent of public spread (see First pillar – how much the brand is known, how much spent on advertising) also effects the brand value.

Brand value is determined by several other factors even not listed here. It is partly the result of deliberate actions of the company (market positioning of the brand and its products) but also exposed to external factors (like time) and public opinion.( LG’s rebranding from the low-end Goldstar brand to the higher positioned LG showed that value propositions of a brand require efforts in both areas. Grundig made the opposite U-turn when sold to Chinese company.)

Sixth pillar: personal relation

All the pillars encountered previously are summoning on personal level because the nature and the definition of branding 100% relates to human feelings and perceptions. Most cases we can translate this personal effect and feelings to perceived brand values and the position of a brand in the customers’ head. People know or do not know, like or dislike brands, become haters or fans of brands, recommend or just accept certain brands.

Task 6: turn personal relation to action

As a result, this personal disposition of a brand clearly ends up in the relation to the act of buying. We, marketing professionals should not deny the aboriginal intention of our branding efforts to influence buying decisions on personal level. We are not just simply influencing people in business for the sake of general human aims: we do not want world peace; we do want to have our specific products and services sold. We want to convince John or Clair Smith as individual customers to select our service or product. This is the action we – or more generally: the investors – expect from any investments (including brand campaigns) made.

Fortunately we not all live in the business sector, not all follow business aims (i.e. sales) in our lives. Surprisingly, non-profit organizations are not so much different from business ventures from this point of view. Non-profits also want to have a specific action to be reached: an action that is maybe appearing directly (like giving donation for starving people) but can be mental action or change to be targeted (for instance diversity campaigns).

The personal relation to a branded entity can be outlined in a matrix where on the first axis we can define the readiness or probability of buying action (or in a non-profit: readiness for action) and on the second axis we may highlight the level of brand’s emotional acceptance.

The personal relation to a specific brand with regards to the ultimate sales reason can be mapped as shown, but we should not forget that personal emotions and relations to brands are much wider than presented above: some people feel that their beloved brand is expressing also their way of life, involving several other actions well beyond a simple shopping; or just feeling neutral about a brand while the person is not going to be represented in any commercial situation (like myself with any hunting brands, although I know some of them).

We should therefore identify very precisely the personal relations to our brand of our existing and potential customers and we should make focused actions to harvest the branding efforts we have previously made.

Seventh pillar: Exposure to time

We have already mentioned before the amortization as an important factor in brand values. The simple reason of amortization is that the brands (via materialized products/services) and the customers live in time.

The general life exposure to time factor represented in concrete shapes with regards to brand itself and to its specific products/services. (Amortization is only the result of that process.) Brand perception very much effected by the products/services in timeline (e.g. how much up-to-date the product is reflects the brand’s state-of-the-art nature) and on the other hand the brand itself (without looking at individual products) also has an individual character which has its own life-cycle (how old a brand is, what type of products they represent).

Task 7: Consider time: plan and replan over time

Brands do not last for ever and are changing over time, even without deliberate actions. Amortization expresses the time-factor in economic terms but all the pillars mentioned before has a time layer. The repeated actions of marketing campaigns, the product developments or changes in market environments change the face of the brand even if it is not perceived by the company. The sad story of Nokia is a perfect example of how this specific brand was effected by the time factor in all possible way, from the publicity of its phones (a complete new generation has skipped Nokia phones), through the changes in the narratives attached to the brand, with the refreshed need to be unique again to the sharp decline of the brand value.